This work is a labor of love. After 20 years in design and education, I'm now entirely focused on what might happen if we asked these fundamental questions more often. Please reach out to with your experiences, thoughts, and questions!

Experimenters like you have offered the observations, principles, ideas, and experiments that have evolved this work.  My thanks to them below. Come back soon—there will be pictures and stories for each.

Till we speak, a bit more about me... 

Photo: Dirk Ahlgrim

Photo: Dirk Ahlgrim

Ela Ben-Ur

Ela Ben-Ur has worked and co-experimented deeply with educators and organizations interested in design thinking since 2012. She is passionate about enabling people of all ages to articulate and amplify their natural ways of designing and innovating.  Ela worked 13 prior years at renowned innovation firm IDEO. Her design practice and leadership at IDEO spanned diverse industries, geographies and sectors. She went on to coach teams, facilitate for clients and co-found IDEO’s Leadership Studio for developing project leaders. Ela has taught courses from product design to life design at pioneering Olin College since 2007. She has offered workshops through MIT (her alma mater), Sloan, Babson, Dartmouth and Harvard. Her 3- and 5-year old daughters are her inspiration.  

More at her professional site,


A few of many “lead user” experimenters:

(K-12) Artemis Akchoti, Coeylen Barry, Michael Dawson, Eric ChagalaKevin Day, Garrett Mason, Dawn McWilliams, Caroline Meeks, Audrey O'ClairKaleb Rashad, Dan Ryder, Ari Yares

(Higher Education and Professional) Aram Armstrong, Dan Coleman, Tracy DeLuca, Tess Edmonds, Linda Gerard, Tim Hall, Sara Hendren, Jenny  Jin, Hassan Hassan, Denise Kern, Caitrin Lynch, Michael Ninh, Alexandra Strong

Other thought and program partners: Maya Bernstein, Ben Linder, Gabrielle Santa-Donato, Otto Scharmer,

Communication design support: Jennifer Audette, Amy Leventhal, Kelly Sherman

Web design support: Kathleen McKissack

Planning support: Meli Glenn

The incredible support and community of 4.0 Schools

The inspiration of Tom and David Kelley and their message of Creative Confidence

My family