Creativity & Humanism

Staying Human while Virtual

By Sean Park, PhD (@profseanpark)
Originally Published, March 24, 2020

How do we stay human when we’re collaborating virtually?  Let’s start by understanding our needs and design practices and rituals that make virtual connections something we want to do.

Virtual interactions are weird because we tend to be confined to a single screen without much else to do.  We are naturally inquisitive and our senses need to continually scan the environment for interesting differences.  Summarizing some of the advice from Glenn Fajardo at Stanford, try:

See what these ideas look like in practice here.

Rituals are activities that people do with intention to engender a deeper sense of meaning and connection.  More resources on the role of ritual in personal, team, and organizational life can be found here (Ozenc) and here (IDEO).  Designer Ozenc suggest some rituals for virtual teams including:

Useful at the beginning of virtual meetings.  They help people to get to know each other, try out digital tools, enable individual expression, keep people engaged and support creativity.  Some activities suggested by MURAL include:   

Sean Park, PhD (@profseanpark

Sean is an assistant professor in the Division of Education & Innovation (DEI) within the Department of Medicine.  He has a passion for creative, alive, and engaged teaching and learning.  He facilitates courses in design thinking, strategic foresight, experiential futures with the M.G. DeGroote Health Leadership Academy and iBioMed program.