Designing Your Life: Innovating From the Inside Out


Course Information

4-week online course
Start dates: January 30 & July 17, 2017

You have always known that work-life balance is critical to your wellbeing and happiness. Today, this notion of ‘life-balance’ that acknowledges the interconnectedness of the different dimensions our life is entering mainstream thinking like never before. Buoyed by the growth of books on ‘Happiness’ and the study of what contributes towards ‘Personal Productivity’, leading universities are offering courses that allow students to take an inner journey.

We are excited to offer this cutting-edge course that bridges the gap between the ‘self-help’ genre of books and the theoretical research by Ph.D.s in psychology. This month-long course will give you the space, structure, support and motivation to answer some very fundamental questions regarding your passions, your strengths, your goals, your limiting beliefs (yes, everyone has some), your priorities, your comfort zone, and your key relationships.

We invite you to watch this video on character strengths, an important topic covered in the Designing Your Life course.


To apply to this online course, please fill out our online application (click here).

Course Structure

This participant-centered course will leverage the following resources:

  1. Readings by leading researchers in the field of positive psychology on the importance of goal-setting and positive thinking
  2. Exercises and activities that will enable you to explicitly answer and practice the critical questions referred to above
  3. Hand-picked evaluation tools that will give you real-time feedback on your strengths, positivity ratio, and resilience
  4. Videos of leading ‘changemakers’ who share powerful stories of how they are practicing the theories of the course in their lives
  5. A cross-cultural dialogue with an international community of like-minded professionals
Course Format

The course is an online course, including: videos, lectures, articles and forums for discussions. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.


It will cover the following topic areas:

  • Week 1: The Good Life: Cultivating Positivity
  • Week 2: Know your Strengths: Finding Flow
  • Week 3: Understanding Relationships and Empathy
  • Week 4: Measuring Success: How do you keep score?

Download the full course details here!

Download the full course details here!

Download the full course details here!


By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Read the research on the benefits of cultivating a positive mindset
  • Practiced strategies to cultivate appreciation and positivity
  • A ranked list of your character strengths
  • A plan to increase the time you spend in activities that draw on your strengths
  • Identified key people in your life, how they support you, and how to engage them further
  • Practiced being more empathetic and discussed why it’s such a critical skill in the 21st Century
  • Identified the major sources of work-life balance conflict
  • Developed and complete a Personal Work-Life Balance Plan
Target Audience

The mix of participants from different backgrounds is an important and valued aspect of this course. This certificate course is designed for, but not restricted to:

  • Nonprofit leaders and Social Entrepreneurs
  • Business executives
  • Public sector and community leaders
  • Students finishing their Master’s and contemplating ‘what next’
  • Academics and individuals interested in a very practical application of ‘Design Thinking’
  • All individuals interested in being more intentional about their life

Enrollment To apply to this online course, please fill out our online application (click here).

Course Cost

$495 tuition rate. United Nations mandated University for Peace’s Centre for Executive Education certificate awarded upon completion of the course. Enroll with someone else and each will receive a 15% discount. The return on investment hard to calculate – but after this course, you’ll have the tools to lead a even more fulfilled life. Take this online course and connect with people all around the world who have also make a decision to invest in their own wellbeing!

Course Instructor

Kristen Palana, teacher for the online professional development course Designing Your LifeThe course is anchored by Kristen Palana. Kristen is a multimedia artist and educator based in Rome, Italy and a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media at The American University of Rome where she also runs its Film and Digital Media Program. She has 15 years of university teaching experience in Rome as well as in and around the New York City area. Kristen is a dual American/Portuguese citizen and has offered art, communication, social activism, and multimedia courses in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her work is exhibited internationally and online and has received a number of awards. Kristen received her MFA from Pratt Institute in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media and also holds a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Kristen’s number one goal is to help ordinary people do extraordinary things. Through her artwork and teaching activities, she strives to promote positive social change and to foster a sense of social responsibility in her students.

  Have a question? Contact us at , or visit our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Stay Connected

Not sure you’re ready to apply? Interested in staying connected with the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education? Receive free e-newsletters, updates, videos, sample readings and materials by joining the Centre’s email list (click here) or liking our Facebook page at UPEACECentre.  You may also contact us at