An IDEO + Sundance Institute production

Conversations that move

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A glint in the eyes from otherness can rouse a shower of empathy.

Erik Pevernagie

Creative Tensions is a conversation that moves.

Otherness can subjugate people or inspire them, exclude or include, hurt or help. If otherness is hardwired into humanity, how might we draw on it to build the kind of society we want? And if it's not, what would a world without otherness look like? And would we want to live in it?

Join us for Creative Tensions: Otherness, produced in partnership with National Geographic, to explore how the groups we form shape the world we share.

April 11, 2018
National Geographic Headquarters
Washington, D.C


Creative Tensions is a fresh approach to dialogue.

Creative Tensions is not a panel; it's a conversation that moves. Reflecting on a tension between two poles, participants reveal where they stand on an issue by where they stand—and move—in the room. Exploring topics that lie at the heart of what it means to be human, Creative Tensions is a fresh approach to group dialogue that encourages openness and inspires empathy.

Creative Tensions: Empathy at 2017 Sundance Film Fesitval with Anand Giridharadas and Gael García Bernal, moderated by Philip Himberg

Creative Tensions: Action at CreativeMorningsNYC with Lisa Peterson and Purvi Shah, moderated by Fred Dust.

What inhibits our sexual lives more?

Government & Society

Past Events

  • Truth
  • Sex
  • Action
  • Dream
  • Home
  • Empathy
  • Connection
  • Voice
  • Responsibility
  • Bridges


A Partnership

It began as a conversation

When IDEO and the Sundance Institute Theatre Program sat down to collaborate, we immediately recognized a common desire to bring creativity to unexpected places. What unusual experience could we create together for our audiences? We decided to experiment by combining elements from each of our methods - empathy and observation from human centered design, movement and self-reflection from theater. The result is Creative Tensions, a unique live event series where participatory theater meets collective conversation.