Ei Studio an experiential learning lab and consultancy. We help schools and organizations give students the skills to meaningfully engage their communities and the confidence to design their own future. We believe that experience is an essential component of education.

Powered by insights from Experience Institute's year long student program we are continually developing new tools for learning and offer consulting expertise in Design Thinking, Self Reflection, Community Building, and Storytelling. Please see the video below to watch Ei Studio in action.

What We Offer

Learning Products

We are continually developing tools for experiential learning from online courses to physical objects. Stay tuned for the the Ei Leap Kit, a physical folio and set of printed materials for designing your own education.

K12 Professional Development and Curriculum Design

We work with K12 schools and school districts to better prepare their students for the 21st century. We offer Design Thinking workshops for teachers, curriculum design, and ongoing support for teaching and curriculums.

University Partnerships

We partner with universities to bring experiential learning to undergraduates and connect them with learning opportunities beyond the campus.


"Working with [Experience Institute] over the last year has been such a positive experience. The team made it so stress-free. During communications, meetings, and training, time was used efficiently. I always left the experience feeling productive and energized."

                          - Jamie Grothaus, 8th Grade Science Teacher, Ankeney Middle School, Ohio

"As a result [of our work with Experience Institute], personnel in the districts use Design Thinking in a way that best fits their structures and needs . . . some use the model in the classroom, others use it to address issues at the administrative level, and many focus on integrating one of the steps of the model (prototyping, for example) into the way they do business."

                          - Molly SullivanLeadership Mentor, Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative

Eli Sidman

Studio Lead

What sparks our curiosity and what makes it fade? Where in our lives do we go from asking “why?” to saying things like “I’m just not good at that,” or “my brain doesn’t work that way”? Following a path from physics to science education to object design, Eli believes that to learn something new we must start by being curious. His work explores how the experience of designing – actively uncovering opportunities and iteratively reimagining new possibilities – can be an incredible opportunity to stoke curiosity in everyone from kids to adults. Through his work at Experience Institute he creates design experiences that fuel curiosity for a new generation of students and educators.

Eli has previously worked with MIT, NASA, Samsung, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) where he currently serves as adjunct faculty. He received a B.A. in Physics and Visual Art from Bowdoin College and a Master of Design in Designed Objects from SAIC.

Aaron Wilson-ahlstrom

Director of programs

As Director of Programs, Aaron provides leadership and coordination for Ei’s signature one-year program. He also leads development and delivery of Ei’s corporate and K12 programming. Previously, Aaron supported the development of Henry Ford Learning Institute’s K-12 core curriculum and related professional development programs for teachers, partners, and educational communities. Prior to joining HFLI in 2007, Aaron was a founding advisor/teacher at University Preparatory High School in Detroit, a charter school in the Big Picture network. His commitment to innovative, student-centered education and educational reform began as an undergraduate, when he was a counselor at the High/Scope Institute for IDEAS summer program for teens. After graduation, he worked full time at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Mich., co-directing the Institute for IDEAS and providing training in active and cooperative learning to teachers and after-school providers. Aaron earned a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Michigan’s Residential College in 1995 and an MA in Education and his secondary Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan in 2000.

Victor Saad


Two years ago, I became curious about learning practical ways to improve the world. After researching business schools, I decided my options were either too expensive or less than what I was looking for, so I took one year to create a self-made Masters Program based on apprenticeship and experience. I called it The Leap Year Project and  traveled around several states and countries to work with some of the best and brightest. By the end, the project had sparked a conversation around taking risks to create change and several people took leaps of their own. We compiled our stories into a book and an end-of-project TEDx talk.

Learning through experience gave me a deeper understanding of the theory behind good business and social change, while also teaching me the adaptability necessary to make things work in our new economy. I believe this type of experience-based education provides transformative lessons, costs far less than current models, and can equip individuals to face today’s problems with an inventive spirit. Now, through this new school, a great team and I are building bridges to innovative individuals, companies, and organizations to create a new type of Higher Education based on experience.

When I’m not meeting with Ei students or teammates, I’m normally on a plane to a new place or across the table from a good friend.

Connect With Us



Visit our new Pop-Up Campus

444 N Wabash

Floor 2

Chicago, IL