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Designing Your Work Life

An SG Leaders Network Event

Monday, 12th September 2022


About the Event

According to PwC’s “Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey” this year, one in five respondents said they are extremely or very likely to switch employers in the coming year. Aside from pay, job fulfilment was the second biggest factor when considering a job change. We believe that leaders today can empower themselves and their organisations – by helping their teams to reframe, innovate and thrive.


We ran the “Designing Your Work Life” workshop with Bill Burnett, co-author of "Designing Your Life” and "Designing Your Work Life”; Executive Director of the Life Design Lab and Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering - Design at Stanford. This workshop took participants through a simple framework and tools to apply design principles of iteration and prototyping to find alignment between work and their goals in life – and to find joy in one’s work.


Bill Burnett shared tips on how we can create meaning and purposeful work lives without quitting. He highlighted how managing energy may be more effective than the traditional approach of managing time, because it gives us a better sense of engagement and balance. When prioritising tasks for the week, be intentional about energy and flow, change things up to manage low energy (but necessary activities).

The Design Your Life (DYL) tools Bill shared (impact map, energy map and maker mix) can set your personal direction and intention, reframe your job and improve team effectiveness.


Key Moments

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About the Singapore Leaders Network

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the Singapore Leaders Network aspires to help advance the social capital of Singaporean corporate leaders who can support one another on their professional and personal leadership journeys - whilst cultivating a vibrant and robust community. This is achieved through large scale in-person events, smaller business networking sessions on various topics of interest, mentoring, as well as an online LinkedIn community.



Bill Burnett

Executive Director of the Life Design Lab, Stanford
Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering - Design at Stanford

Bill Burnett is an award-winning Silicon Valley designer and the Executive Director of the renowned Design Program at Stanford University. He is the co-author of the New York Times-bestseller Designing Your Life, an empowering book that shows people of any age how to design a life in which they can thrive, and Designing Your Work Life, which applies this transformative thinking to careers. A thoughtful and motivational speaker, Burnett emphasizes actionable tools in his lectures and workshops.

Bill Burnett’s penchant for drawing and building things began at a very early age. Today he is a very successful designer, having worked at start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, including Apple. His innovative thinking helped create award-winning products such as PowerBook laptops and the original Hasbro Star Wars action figures.

Burnett then turned his passion for design into a career as an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Executive Director of the Product Design Program at Stanford University. There, with his colleague Dave Evans, Burnett teaches a Life Design class that Fast Company has called “a course that’s part throwback, part foreshadowing of higher education’s future.” Inspired by the demand for this course, Burnett and Evans published Designing Your Life in 2016 to teach readers how to use design thinking to build meaningful, fulfilling lives and establish a growth mindset. The book struck a chord, becoming an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. In Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work, they apply that transformative thinking to the place we spend more time than anywhere else: work.

In thought-provoking lectures, Burnett brings the principles from his bestselling books to larger audiences—proving that the same design thinking used to create amazing technology, products, and spaces can also be used to design and build a person’s career and life.
Burnett earned his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Product Design at Stanford. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents as well as design awards and advises several other internet start-ups. 

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