Life Design Course Inspires Alumni to Live Enriched Life

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David Gould, visiting associate professor at the Public Policy Center led an alumni and public version of his popular Life Design course, aimed to help participants discover what they are innately drawn to do. The course was hosted by the UI Center for Advancement and supported by the Public Policy Center.

Gould was inspired by the many messages he has received from former students in 2020, both recent graduates and up to 20+ year alumni, wondering what the future held for them in the face of the pandemic. “I stopped counting, but it was upward of 150 or 160 when I stopped counting,” he said, noting the connections shared a theme. “They were looking at their options. They were looking at people that could help them brainstorm what they should do.”

The sessions included readings, seminar-style discussions, and guest speakers, as well as some surprise appearances by musicians, poets, and other artists. To watch the archived content, click on the links of the featured speakers and their topics below.

The courses were well-attended, with 130 - 180 attending each week, and over 300 course registrants collectively. In a follow-up survey after the course, attendees offered the following feedback:

"I think now, more than ever, we have to be reminded or introduced to new concepts and new ways of thinking about our lives. We are continually asked to make decisions that design our life, and this class was such a great reminder that there are so many ways to cultivate curiosity about how we all design our lives."

"This course really made me feel a sense of community (virtually) and reminded me why I love the University of Iowa. It was just what I needed, especially now during these times, and makes me want to explore more and give back."

"This class was outstanding in the inspiration,  and concrete content that it offered.  It was very professionally done.  Life design should be a required course for everyone's life!"