Stoked is a design consultancy. We use design to wake people up.



How a Non-profit is Using Human-Centered Design to Transform the Child Welfare System. 




The best-designed answers start with stories.

Overcoming obstacles, reframing perspectives, and putting yourself into the shoes of others are themes at the heart of the stories that inspire us most.

Stories put spreadsheets into perspective and help us go beyond the whiteboards, post-its and Powerpoint slides of our work lives to answers that exist outside our comfort zone. They take us out of ourselves and help us feel the world from a new point of view.

We get up in the morning to help you recognize your part in the narrative of your work—and see if we can play some small part in helping create and share it with those in and outside your group.

We know stories are essential. Reach out and let's tell one together.


Stoked's October 2019 Digest. Dig what you see? Subscribe.


reframe, the podcast.

Because we believe storytelling keeps up your A game, we’re practicing this with our own new podcast, Reframe. In it we’ll explore stories and ideas that change the way we see and interact with the world.


This month: Out of Office — A Short Story

A short narration of Parker's time disappearing into the Swiss mountains and how discovering this place has provided him a respite from the daily grind.


➞ VIDEO   6 min

Disappearing Into the Swiss Alps

➞ VIDEO   4 min

Why we invest in our team

➞ VIDEO   2 min

The Crux Trailer | a new documentary about an indoor climbing community out fall 2019

Woop! We're excited to give a sneak peak of the new mini-doc we've been working on. It's a story of taking chances, going all in on a vision, and navigating the beating that comes along with it. Oh yea, lots of CLIMBING too!



Unraveling Complex Human Dynamics at Work

A Real Deal Connection Exercise for the Emotionally Mature

➞ VIDEO   5 min

“I think you have to have some sense of courage and bravery to come do work with us. The work we are going to ask people to do is not easy.”


➞ VIDEO   4 min

This year we've been busier than maybe ever before. In the chaos of work, travel and multiple projects all hanging in the air at once... how does one stay creative and focused? Perhaps the answer means leaning into it all as much as possible.


The Voice of Culture

“Our fuel is kindness, smarts, a strong work ethic, and a refusal to operate in traditional ways that do not serve our clients or us.”


What It Means To Collaborate

➞ VIDEO   10 min

➞ VIDEO   2 min

➞ VIDEO   3 min



Confessions of an Over-Optimizer

"the world is becoming increasingly more fragmented and disconnected due to overuse of digital tools and entertainment...there's this need to up our game. To “feel better” than we do naturally or normally. I pack all of these routines into my day in hopes of becoming someone more comfortable, confident, and happy... but maybe I don’t need to do so much addition as I do subtraction."

➞ VIDEO   4min

Conversations: Well-Worn Grooves

➞ VIDEO   4min

Conversations: Admitting You’re Wrong



The Party That Changed My Life.

Stoked's own Jacob Jones writes about how a seemingly small decision over ten years ago has had a gigantic impact on his professional life and taken him places he had no idea he was going.


➞ VIDEO   6min

We went into 2018 feeling invincible. It turned out to be one of the hardest years Stoked has ever endured. Here is what that looked like.


Team Time: Yeah, We Got Woo Woo AF

“My take away though, is that this team, like all the relationships in my life, requires work and intention. I don’t believe you can just put a bunch of smart and talented people in a room and they will automatically communicate well and do great work. “


➞ VIDEO    11 min

The Story Behind Stoked, a chance meeting and a late night in Brazil well spent.


Starting on Starting

We asked our good friend Bernadette Doykos to write about starting something new and she masterfully got very meta and wrote about the difficulties of write about starting.

Here at Stoked, we love reading articles that involve innovation and practices we hold dear. Recently we were passing around a Harvard Business Review article called "How to Hand Off an Innovation Project from one Team to Another". We love the article but thought....what would it be like to take these principles and tell a human-centered story that highlights an outcome?


➞ VIDEO    4min


No One Will Help You.

Kidd Redd tells the tale of starting out in radio and learning a better story about yourself.


Check out some previous month's issues below...


➞ VIDEO    2min


It's Not You, It's Us.

Barbara Patchen writes about the 3 causes of relationship ruts that squander growth and personal freedom.

➞ VIDEO    3min


Clean Up Your Meeting Hygiene

This month, Parker Gates writes about how culture both shows up and is spread (like wildfire) in meetings. He goes into the mind of a new hire to show us what it looks like to be intentional about our behavior in meetings and how we can have a positive impact on our culture just by being fully present.


➞ VIDEO    2min

➞ VIDEO    3min

Reflecting with Your Team

Here is something to try: reflect as a group with your team the moment a work day with clients or a design cycle is finished. This helps in a lot of amazing ways and here is how we do it.


Living Above the Trees

So, the question I often wrestle with and have from time to time for the majority of my life is… with such a limited amount of time on Earth, why spend any time at all doing something as trivial as going to work?


➞ VIDEO    5min

Culture Eats Strategy, Every Time


Our Work Heroes

A collection of the unlikely people we, as a team, look up to the most.

➞ VIDEO    4min

86,000 Hours at Work

➞ VIDEO    5min

Keeping Innovation Alive in a Crap Culture

Practicing Human-Centered Design in a culture that's not quite ready for it can be tough. Here are some pointers and thoughts on keeping the fire alive while hopefully creating some real culture shifts, wherever it is you work.


Well Worn Shoes - an article by Anna Love-Mickelson

Here are some other stories that are currently inspiring us.

Not all are our clients. Some are people who believe, as we do, that the principles of human-centered design can change the world, one answer at a time, if we only take the time to reframe how we think and understand others.

Have one? Want to write a new one? Let’s do it.


Sign up for our monthly digest featured stories & articles produced by us and our collaborators


➞ VIDEO    7min

Scott Witthoft - The Mechanics of Humanity

Scott Witthoft is a design educator at the d. school at Stanford, a product designer and writer. He is the co-author of the book Make Space, which is incredible.

➞ VIDEO    7min

Yusuke Miyashita -Public Speech Fail

Yusuke ("Use-K") Miyashita | Design Manager, SPARK Innovation Group at GoPro, talks about some big fails and what they taught him.


Work Sucks - a short story by Barbara Patchen


➞ VIDEO    7min

How to Test a Move Abroad

Parker Gates & Anna Love-Mickelson travel to Hong Kong to talk life, work and the pursuit of happiness. You know, the good stuff.                                                                                                                      

➞ VIDEO    8min

Chasing Stillness - Fly Fishing in New Mexico

This is Emily Roley. For the last couple of years, life for Emily has sounded like a river, cutting through the high desert, with the sound of her fly line slicing the air.


Greg Celentano moved his family out west to chase a new kind of California gold rush. This is a story of doing what you love, against high stakes.