An IDEO + Sundance Institute production

A Collective Conversation that moves when you do

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Home is a notion that only the uprooted truly comprehend.

Wallace Stegner

Creative Tensions is a collective conversation expressed in movement.

What is home? Is it a place, a feeling, an identity? Is it safety or belonging? Does it come with us when we move or do we leave it behind? Is the notion of 'home' rapidly evolving in light of current world migration?

Join Sundance Institute and IDEO at The Kennedy Center, along with Raeda Taha (playwright and actor from Palestine living in Amman, Jordan) and Alex Aleinikoff (Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute) for Creative Tensions: Home to explore our what we think of home at a time when our planet is experiencing unprecedented migratory patterns.

March 25, 2017
The Kennedy Center, Terrace Gallery
Washington, D.C.

Raeda Taha

Raeda Taha holds a BA in Speech Communication and Journalism from George Mason University in Washington DC.​ ​Between 1987 and 1994, she was the Press Secretary of Chairman Yasser Arafat.
​ ​Currently, she is the Chairperson of the Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah, Palestine and a member of Administrative Committee of the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon.​ ​Raeda has published several short stories in the Anthology of Palestinian
​ ​Women Writers and has recently authored a book, Ali, chronicling the life of her father a pioneering Palestinian freedom fighter. She ​was an actor at the ​2016 S​undance Institute ​Theatre Lab in Marrakech​, Morocco​.​ ​She has acted and played lead-roles in three plays: Petra Rocks, Return to Haifa, and 80 Steps. In 2105, she wrote, produced, and performed a one-woman show Where can I find someone like you Ali? directed by Lina Abyad. The play is still touring all over the world​.

Alex Aleinikoff

Alex Aleinikoff is ​a university ​​professor and has served as Director of the Zolberg Institute since January 2017. He received a J.D. from the Yale Law School and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.​ ​Alex has written widely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, transnational law, citizenship, race, and constitutional law. He is currently at work on a book tentatively titled, The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime. His book Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship was published by Harvard University Press in 2002. Alex is a co-author of leading legal casebooks on immigration law and forced migration.​ ​Before coming to The New School, Alex served as United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (2010-15) and was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also served as dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University. He was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).​


Creative Tensions explores the opposing forces that inform our daily lives

Creative Tensions is a format for collective conversation, expressed in movement, where participants reveal where they stand on an issue by where they stand in the room. Guided by a moderator and provoked by experts on issues that lie at the heart of what it means to be human, Creative Tensions explores the opposing forces that inform our daily lives. An eye-opening and inspiring live experience, Creative Tensions demonstrates the value of three fundamental concepts of human centered design—reflection, empathy, and curiosity.

Creative Tensions: Empathy at 2017 Sundance Film Fesitval with Philip Himberg, Anand Giridharadas, and Gael García Bernal.

Creative Tensions: Action at CreativeMorningsNYC with Fred Dust, Lisa Peterson, and Purvi Shah.

What inhibits our sexual lives more?

Government & Society

Past Events

  • Truth
  • Sex
  • Action
  • Dream
  • Home
  • Empathy
  • Connection


A Partnership

It began as a conversation

When IDEO and the Sundance Institute Theatre Program sat down to collaborate, we immediately recognized a common desire to bring creativity to unexpected places. What unusual experience could we create together for our audiences? We decided to experiment by combining elements from each of our methods - empathy and observation from human centered design, movement and self-reflection from theater. The result is Creative Tensions, a unique live event series where participatory theater meets collective conversation.