Dr. Jennifer Aaker is a behavioral psychologist, author, and General Atlantic Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business who studies how meaning and purpose shape the choices individuals make, how time can be used to create meaning in unconventional ways, and how technology can be applied to break down barriers not easily broken head on. Dr. Aaker is widely published in the leading scholarly journals and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, and Science. She co-authored the award-winning book, The Dragonfly Effect, and is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award, Citibank Best Teacher Award, George Robbins Best Teacher Award and Robert Jaedicke Silver Apple Award at Stanford, and the MBA Professor of the Year Award.
At Stanford, she teaches The Innovation Playbook, Power of Story, Designing for VR/AR: Scaling Empathy in an Immersive World, Rethinking Purpose, A New Type of Leader, and Designing AI to Cultivate Human Well-Being with Dr. Fei-Fei Li with the goal to build machine learning capacities that optimize for human thriving. More recently, she has begun to teach Humor: Serious Business with Naomi Bagdonas. Unanimously voted the least funny person in her family, she is definitely not teaching this class out of spite.
Dr. Aaker co-authored the award-winning book “The Dragonfly Effect” and serves as a board member and advisor to early-stage startups, family foundations, and companies from ADAY, and Accompany to X with the goal to scale behavioral science to help companies and leaders positively impact human well-being through technology and business practices, and by embracing a new type of leadership for the innovation economy - one anchored on purpose, fueled by levity. More personally, she also has a passion to make a dent in cancer. Toward that goal, she has been able to put the Dragonfly model when working with a group of Stanford students, with the goal to get over 100,000 people into the bone marrow registry. They surpassed that goal in one year’s time. She is also an early adopter of the trailblazing “family sabbatical” practice, by which she “moves” her family to far-flung locations in order to teach her kids to be citizens of the world. They have yet to express enthusiasm about this practice but almost certainly will. Someday. In terms of personal accomplishments, she counts winning a dance-off in the early 1980s among her most impressive feats, and cooks very poorly.