Experience Design Consulting
Say goodbye to
bad & boring
We’ve all been there – in a conference room or on Zoom at a well-intentioned but poorly designed & facilitated learning experience.
The presenter is droning on. It’s not totally clear what the topic is. The breakouts are too short. There aren’t opportunities to meaningfully process & apply what you’re learning.
The slide deck is difficult to read & the directions for tasks are confusing. Certain parts of the experience feel overly drawn out & others feel not spacious enough. There are some funky people dynamics that no one is quite sure how to address so everyone is pressing forward as though they aren’t there.
And you’re sitting there half-engaged, multi-tasking and feeling frustrated that your time is being wasted. You came to learn, but you’re not.
In this rapidly changing modern world, we are constantly called on to learn. And we need support in designing & facilitating learning experiences that actually support learning – that are engaging, & that really do deepen participants’ knowledge & skill base.
Whether you are an HR professional developing a professional learning pathway for your employees, an learning & development team designing a leadership fellowship or an independent expert creating a workshop or retreat, I leverage my extensive background in adult development, learning theory, curriculum design & facilitation to support you in designing & facilitating a space that will be memorable, impactful, & fun for your audience.
Learning should be fun. Let’s make it so together.
“Collaborating with Alice is a refreshing process! She always turns up to planning spaces well-prepared but also with an openness and curiosity to listen to the needs of the project and design with the user at the center. She brings a wealth of expertise from different fields and frameworks, and is able to connect the seemingly unrelated, in order to provide a holistic set of content. You are guaranteed intentionally designed sessions including the most beautifully crafted slide decks and resource guides that align with principles of how adults learn best. Alice asks deep and important questions to push on the work…our team always learns something new from her and she brings much needed humor and a slice of ‘humanity’ to all calls. Partner & collaborate with Alice if you can. You won’t regret it!” Alice Chen is one of the most talented consultants in the field!”
We hired her to envision and launch a new program to support middle school students to claim and direct their own personal stories, build meaningful relationships across lines of difference and discover the impact they seek to have in their lives. Alice then designed and facilitated a provocative and rigorous learning experience for educators where they learned new ways of being in the classroom to create a safe and inclusive container for students to engage in this type of inner work.
Alice has since designed powerful learning and processing spaces for our school leaders and educators where they participated in content rooted in deep reflection and self awareness, where they not only walked away with an immersive experience but with a new set of concrete strategies and skills they could continue to apply and practice. One educator who participated in Alice’s sessions shared “In 21 years of being in adult/educator training spaces, this by far, has been the most relevant, equitable and thought-provoking PD that has really shaken me in all the best ways!”
Four years on, I still hear of similar anecdotes from our team members who talk about the lasting impact that Alice’s sessions have had on their experience both as a learner, and as a human navigating this complex world!
Executive Director of National Programs & Innovation @ Citizens of the World Charter School
I lead & support others to create learning experiences that:
- Are grounded in research about how adults learn, grow, & make sense of the world;
- Are designed & facilitated through the lens of equity, inclusion, & trauma informed practices;
- Are experiential, interactive & geared towards multiple learning styles and will have participants reflecting, dialoguing, coaching, and creating in a variety of different ways;
- Help leaders know themselves more deeply & operate more effectively and also have greater empathy for & awareness of others;
- Contain content that can be applied to both workplaces and homespaces;
- Give leaders concrete language & tools they can apply in their personal & professional life immediately;
- Provide space for participants to work on real times challenges & opportunities;
- End with concrete actions to take & experiments to run moving forward;
- Support leaders to communicate more effectively and work better across lines of difference;
- Develop 21st century mindsets and skill sets that will allow participants to navigate complexity, ambiguity, & busyness more effectively
Citizens Of The World Charter Schools
I designed a student identity development curriculum, a peer coaching “train the trainer” program, & a multi-year leadership development fellowship for leaders in the CWCS network.
I co-facilitate innovation labs in the public & private sector on topics ranging from engaging student voice, creating delightful customer experiences, & fostering greater equity & inclusion.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation
I partnered with Optimistic Anthropology, to design an online curriculum on applying a strengths based approach to community engagement for Soccer for Success.
The Mindful Life Project
I trained & coached the Mindful Life leadership team on best practices in mindful leadership, team collaboration, communication & strengths based coaching.
I designed & facilitated a career roadmapping process for /dev/color’s flagship A* program and trained their facilitators on creating & stewarding strong small group culture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ever work with a consultant who is an expert in their content but who struggles with some of the more operational elements of working together – organization, communication, time management? It can be really stressful; I’ve been there and done that.
Worry not! As a consultant, I’m organized, responsive and I deliver high quality work on time. Yes, I have deep knowledge of human & organizational development, learning theory, & coaching. AND, I also have a passion and knack for systems & project management. I love keeping things simple and efficient for myself and my clients. Expect clear & proactive communication, timely delivery, strong results, and a joyful tone when we work together.
My curiosity is widespread – from technology to geology to acting & music to personal development and everything in between, I know a lot about a lot of things, and my mind is a multidisciplinary library of metaphors, connections, frameworks and resources that I draw on in our work together.
I challenge with support & deep belief.
I’m here to help you disrupt your own status quo, so I won’t hesitate to point out tension points in how you’re thinking & operating. At the same time, I do so from a place of deep belief in your strengths and desire to growth and will challenge you in ways that hold your dignity & agency, while also inviting you to grow beyond where you are.
I zoom in and out with ease.
I’m skilled at spotting patterns in how you’re thinking & operating, understanding what’s universal about your experience, and getting to clarity about the big picture of what you’re tracking towards. I’m equally skilled at focusing on the present moment, right sizing action and getting super tactical about how you’ll build the path from where you are to where you want to be.
I listen, organize & simplify on the fly.
Not sure what you want to say? Think you aren’t making sense? Worried you’re brain dumping? No worries – I’m an expert at helping people organize their own thinking. I can listen & pull out the most important gems in what you share, reflect them back to you in simple language, & help you arrange them so they make sense to you.
I keep it light & make it fun (when it can be).
While I believe change can be hard, I don’t believe it has to be horrendous. I help you see the humor in hard moments, find the laughter in learning, take a mindset of experimentation & play to your own growth, and approach your aspirations, not yourself too seriously.
Every consulting project start with some discovery work and a series of conversations with critical stakeholders to help us identify your organization’s key challenges and opportunities as they relate to experience design & facilitation.
Once we understand the landscape and needs of your people, we focus in on an opportunity for collaboration and identify the results you’re aspiring to. We also get clear on your timeline, budget, manpower, etc..
From here, I usually propose a scope of work that fits within the design sandbox of what you’d like to see, what my expertise shows me is possible, and what resources you have at your disposal.
After this we collaborate to reach outcomes – sometimes I personally build & deliver learning experiences for your team or organization. Other times, I coach you to strategize, develop & facilitate the learning. We remain in conversation throughout the consulting process, iterate & adjust as we learn more, while keeping our eye on the goal.
This is the beauty of collaboration.
In our work together, you bring the content based expertise and I bring the process based expertise. I bring my knowledge of how adults learn, my toolbox of strategies for engaging learners, my frameworks for how to organize & present information in accessible ways, and my experience communicating effectively & pivoting artfully when in front of an audience.
In other words, you show me what you want to teach, and I show you how to teach it – how to organize it & present it so that participants internalize and apply it.
What kinds of topics would you be equipped to personally design & facilitate a learning experience around?
I can help you structure a learning experience around pretty much any topic – even if I’m not an expert in – because I bring a lot of process based expertise to the table. I know how adults learn, how to organize & present information in accessible ways, how to communicate effectively, how to respond to people challenges in the moment, etc.
However, if you want me to personally design & facilitate a learning experience for your organization, my content based expertise is in leadership development.
Over the years, I’ve developed learning experiences on topics including sense-making complex situations, working across lines of difference, effective communication & collaboration, giving & receiving feedback, coaching, strong facilitation, storytelling & influence, executive presence, user centered design, emergent learning strategy, building community & culture, mindful leadership, and, of course, experience design!
Please reach out to connect and learn more.
My portfolio is wide and varied.
I’ve personally designed & facilitated workshops, weekend retreats, team off-sites, week long social justice journeys, multiple year leadership fellowships, online courses, collaboration days, community engagement events, and train the trainer arcs.
I’ve also supported a wide array of organizations to design & execute similar experiences. See the “Portfolio Snippets” section of my site for more concrete examples.
Are you looking for support in creating learning experiences that are engaging, impactful, & inclusive of diverse perspectives and multiple learning styles?
Are you ready and willing to invest a suite of resources in making this happen? Do you have some level of budget to dedicate to this? An internal leader who will run point on this work? A target audience?
If you can answer yes to both of these questions, I recommend we connect for a conversation and take it from there.
Alice’s Work in Action
The Energy Leadership™ Index Workshop:
How Your Team Reacts to Stress
Workshop Participant Testimonial:
Jason Young, CFO & COO, Mindful Life Project