April 19, 2017

8 a.m. – noon

$395 - Includes tuition, course materials, parking and breakfast.

University of California, San Diego
Rady School of Management
Center for Executive Development


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About the Program

How did Apple create the products that shape our lives today? Can innovation be taught? Other than dogged work, determination, or the serendipity of the gods, how can we consistently create breakthrough ideas, products and solutions? Here’s a new answer Apple discovered in the 1980s: We play. Building on the games designed for the creators of Apple Computer by facilitator Jill Wright, participants will be given tools that open up new paths of innovation, creativity, and problem solving in their work.


We play Genius Games not only to discover previously invisible doors but open them and inhabit a new world. These are not traditional games where one player wins and others lose. The object of Genius Games is not the ‘goal’ but the potential transformation of your own brain/mind. Using the same games developed for Apple’s Think Tank, Vivarium, which led to some of the greatest technological innovations that impact our world today, participants will learn to literally think differently. Together we will play our way to Genius.


The course is appropriate for researchers seeking a breakthrough; corporate leaders seeking a new vision or product; professionals in health, well-being, or medicine; designers, communicators and artists; educators and policy thinkers; and professionals who seek a more innovative path for their work.

Participants will

  • Lower their associative brain barriers: unlearning old patterns
  • Make new neural connections: new results are revealed
  • Experience new perspectives of time and place: establishing new ground to work from
  • Reverse-think problems through objects: Learning to create on demand


Jill Wright began working with Alan Kay at Apple’s Think-tank Vivarium in the 1980s, where she developed Genius Games to help Apple’s geniuses breakthrough to new ideas. As a writer, she has written across a spectrum of media including books for children and computer games. She has been a consultant and/or lecturer at Apple Computer, Lucas Film, Warner Bros., Stanford Univ., UCLA, Loyola Marymount, Voyager Company, Los Angeles Children’s Museum, American Library Association, English Teachers of Los Angeles, Long Beach State, San Francisco State, National Alliance of Theater in Education, ARCO, UC Berkeley, Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference, and many others. Her work is taught in the IT Masters program at UC Berkeley. “Jill Wright is a prophet in her own country.” Ed Asner

Dr. Rebecca Johannsen has taught courses with Rady in Public Speaking and Emotional Intelligence for several years, pairing exercises used by actors with the latest in organizational training and development. Dr. Johannsen holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the joint doctoral program at UC Irvine and UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in Theatre from San Diego State. She has taught theatre at New York University, Fordham University, CSU Northridge, and Speech and Communication at Mercy College in New York. She currently resides in London where she is developing courses in Emotional Intelligence, Public Speaking, and Creativity with organizations across the UK. She is also an accomplished actor, director, dramaturg and producer of theatre in San Diego, New York City, and London.