On Purpose

How Life Design can help you create the life you want to live

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Applications are open for the second cohort of the On Purpose Pathfinder Programme. This Programme is for people who want to make fundamental changes in their lives, but are unsure where to start. Femke van der Veer, expert facilitator, tells us more about the Pathfinder Programme and what Life Design means to her. 

 What is the Pathfinder programme about? 

The Pathfinder Programme is all about finding direction and creating a life full of purpose, meaning and positive energy. This creative programme taps into the power of a group of diverse, but like-minded people to give you inspiration, positive energy, and mutual support. It helps you get a sense of optimistic possibility about your life and the part you can play in creating a better world. Participants often call it 'empowering and inspiring' and that is very much our aim for this Programme! 

 What is the source of inspiration that underpins this course? 

The Pathfinder Programme uses Design Thinking processes, principles and tools. Design Thinking allows you to look at your life and your future in a constructive and creative way, helping you to design your ideal life and solving life challenges and obstacles to make it happen. You are literally designing your life and career as if you were designing a product. We use all kinds of techniques such as vision boards, empathy reflections, ideation sessions, design challenges, life scenarios, prototypes and action plans. 

How has life design impacted your life?

I am an Industrial Designer by background, but I discovered during my Master's degree that I preferred applying design methods to non-product areas, such as brands, experiences, organisational strategies, and lives.

I have been practising Life Design for more than two decades now, and it has really helped me to create a purposeful, happy life that I love, and (helped me) to take creative and bold decisions to achieve this. I have designed a portfolio career for myself that allows me to work in line with my purpose, values and priorities, and I have moved with my family between the UK, Amsterdam and Barcelona over the past few years. I feel that without Life Design, I might not have been as proactive in shaping my own life. It has really helped me to go for my dreams, feel that I am contributing to the world, and has given me the feeling that I am leading my life, rather than life leading me.   

You’ve been helping people apply design thinking to their lives for a long time - what can you tell us about some of the impacts you have seen it have on people?  

I have led Life Design programmes with executives, MBA students, expats and career changers. I’ve helped people of all ages: between 10 and 80 years old. Many of the participants have reported that they get a real sense of optimism and enthusiasm about their life and future, and a 'can-do' confidence about being able to achieve their dreams. They also feel equipped to shape their daily lives to become more energising and fulfilling, and to deal with life's obstacles and challenges in a more resilient and creative way.  

Some people have made really bold life moves as a result of their life design process, such as Lovisa, who was a 42-year-old successful architect. She decided to retrain as a doctor and is a practising consultant now. I am very happy that through Life Design she was able to make this unconventional, brave move. 

Applications close on Sunday 28th February, click here to apply.


Photo by Carl Nenzen Loven on Unsplash


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