Yuri Zaitsev is an established designer from Boston, MA. He focuses primarily on co-creation, participatory design, and needfinding to produce results. While he specializes in seriously serious topics like justice, community resilience, and healthcare, he is firmly rooted in storytelling and games.


When he is not working with organizations, he periodically lectures about product design, policy design, and UX research at Stanford University, UC Berkley, in executive education programs at Harvard Business School, and in workshops around the world. He also co-hosts The Listening Lab which is open to the public alongside Nethra Samarawickrema.


Game Design Principles to make cool products and change lives


Getsalt : Curious ruminations on design


Beginner visual training for product designers

The Listening Lab

on-going workshops


This space enables the conversations and the creativity that you have been wanting. This is a space for experimentation and empathy where the training wheels come off and people dive into the interactions that give them trouble. Together we create a place where communities can discuss challenging issues and create new ways of working.


This is based on the methods that Nethra Samarawickrema and Yuri Zaitsev first developed at Stanford University that create a space for honest, connection without voices becoming dominating or submissive. It is the intersection of Ethnography, Trauma Research, Resilience Research, and Non-Violent Communication.


The Listening Lab hosts multiple public workshops on empathy and flow, and works with communities to build programs that enable empathy on a larger scale.

find it online

listen to the podcast

"The Listening Lab by Yuri Zaitsev and Nethra Samarawickrema" is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

The Work

design feedback and co-creation


For teams doing design work and are about to go out into the field or are returning from it. Together we work through any conundrums and come up with a plan.


This is a publicly accessible service for what I teach at Stanford University d.School (Needfinding in the Wild) and Harvard University (Design Thinking Exec Ed). Specialization in complex, wicked problems (i.e. healthcare, energy + sustainability, community resilience).

available on request

Adapting to the Future

a multi-day intensive


This is a program that covers forecasting for innovation. A lot of design considers use, usability, and meaning in the present moment, but it's possible to go much, much further than that. This intensive is developed to combine human-centered principles with forecasting for long term reforms and policy. Build solutions today for problems that we can only speculate for now.

available on request

booklet + case study

If interested please write directly to:


Also available for chatting: