Anne arrived at the d.school after 14 years in the military. During that time, she was a Division I athlete in crew and then became the first woman to box at the Naval Academy. She served as aide to the Academy Superintendent and went on to become the assistant director at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. She then worked for an internal think tank at Naval Special Warfare, which oversees the nation’s SEAL teams. After leaving the military, she worked briefly with the Steinbeck Innovation Foundation in Salinas Valley and currently works for BMNT Partners, a Silicon Valley-based advisory firm with a focus on national security and start-up technology.
The project: "Stories not strategy"
Anne’s fellowship was transformative both personally and professionally, as this year marked her first as a civilian. She started by working with the Steinbeck Innovation Foundation in Salinas Valley, applying design thinking to the unique challenges in the region widely known as “the nation’s salad bowl”. Anne spent time in the community, learning what deep empathy could mean in the interplay between the networks of the ag industry, school district, local businesses and city government. She has since left Steinbeck and now works for BMNT Partners. In that capacity, Anne returned to the work she had been pursuing for years: bringing creative thinking to the military. She has conducted design-thinking workshops at every level of command, from tactical to strategic. Anne discovered that reframing “empathy” as “curiosity” is an entry point to turning a non-linear innovation process into a logical step for military members operating in complex, uncertain environments.
Anne plans to continue using stories and the design thinking process as wedges into entrenched, stultified bureaucracies. You can find her weaving connections between systems - agriculture and technology, K12 education and local, micro manufacturers, the military and sticky-note suppliers.
Anne is a 2013-2014 d.school fellow. She can be found at @AlcinoeSea.