Stephen P. Anderson – Make Believe: Using Fantasy to Change How We Think, Work, and Connect with Others

Stephen P. Anderson

Stephen P. Anderson is a speaker and author who spends too much time thinking about visual collaboration, how people learn, and board games; not necessarily in that order. Oh, and he’s on a mission: To make learning the hard stuff fun, by creating ‘things to think with’ and ‘spaces’ for generative play. Through custom-designed toolkits, training, and via The Mighty Minds Club (, Stephen helps teams and individuals work through difficult situations. Stephen currently works in the Labs/Ventures group at MURAL, exploring new ways an increasingly digital and hybrid workforce might collaborate together. As a keynote speaker, Stephen continues to challenge and inspire audiences as he exposes the quirky connections between games, play, learning, interactive visualizations, and other exciting topics.

Stephen’s newest book  Figure It Out: Getting From Information to Understanding ( has been described as an epic journey that will “change the way you see the world” and “required reading for designers and anyone else who needs to explain things.”

Make Believe: Using Fantasy to Change How We Think, Work, and Connect with Others.

“Just imagine…” ”What if…” “How might we…”

Working through difficult situations often involves some element of fantasy. It’s through make believe activities that we become free to play and explore the boundaries of a situation. Pretending to be someone other than our self (or stepping into an imagined situation) creates more space to say and explore things that might otherwise go untouched. And—as ironic as it may seem—it’s through make believe that we can be more honest with ourselves and others. These elements of fantasy are implicit in much of our work (think ‘pre-mortem’ activities or ‘role-playing’ exercises), but use of fantasy as a facilitation technique has not been addressed directly, until now. Stephen will share what he’s observed, as well as a number of facilitation and coaching activities—all based in fantasy—that anyone can use to quickly establish a psychologically safe space to share and exchange ideas.