Hi, we’re Ei.

Experience Institute was founded out of a need to close the gap between learning and experience.

Our story began when our founder reimagined higher education for himself through a year of experiences with companies around the world. His adventures made it clear that something was missing in how we think about learning, work, and growth.

Today, over half of employees feel disengaged from their work (Gallup), leading to lower productivity and high turnover. Only 25% feel empowered to be creative (Adobe). 88% of executives believe their organization isn't ready for the future (Deloitte). And this "engagement gap" is costing companies $550-$600 billion per year (Gallup).

Experience Institute reignites the spark of motivation and purpose that only happens through transformational learning experiences.

We take teams out of their routine to develop and enrich their skill sets by applying their learnings to business challenges and innovation opportunities. We create a space to experiment, make mistakes, and reach breakthroughs.

Employees should feel emboldened to take leaps in their roles, not disengaged. After a decade of research and work with thousands of leaders, we understand the dynamics of engagement and growth. And we’re here to partner with you to build programs that help employees recapture motivation. By taking leaps, we can transform learning into fuel for organizational and individual growth.


Sara Loncka

From teaching 8th-grade history with Teach for America to designing learning experiences for leading companies like Facebook, Visa, and Chevron, Sara has facilitated groups of all sizes and worked at nearly every level of professional development. Sara served as the director of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the nation’s premier Fellowship for aspiring public leaders, and is a recipient of the Missouri Community Suicide Prevention Award for her efforts in youth suicide prevention. An actor at heart and by training, she uses her stage background to facilitate and design dynamic learning experiences.

Victor Saad
Founder & Chairman

In 2012, Victor founded Experience Institute after designing his own Master’s through 12 work experiences in 12 months. Over the past 9 years, he’s worked with thousands of students and professionals to grow their careers through engaging curriculum and meaningful experiences. He’s also a Lecturer in Design at Stanford and a Forbes 30Under30 recipient in the field of education. When he’s not leading Ei, he’s on his bike or working on his next writing project.

Erin Murphy
Director of Partnerships

Erin is Ei's Program Strategist and Senior Facilitator. Her career has centered around the nexus of travel and education, and she spent the last decade designing curriculum and running operations in the study abroad space, first at Rustic Pathways and then at Verto Education. Erin is passionate about illuminating connections between global issues and local stories. Erin holds a masters in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and lives in Virginia with her partner, Ann, and their pitbull, Sugar.

Amelia Rosenman
Director of Programs

Amelia has been designing and facilitating immersive, transformative professional learning experiences since 2010. She cut her teeth as a leader and design thinker when she co-founded and directed the Bayview Science Institute with and for San Francisco public school teachers. In her 8 years at the California Academy of Sciences, Amelia built expertise in coaching, work process improvement, and leading inclusive teams. Prior to joining Ei, Amelia helped companies upskill their managers as a facilitator with LifeLabs Learning. When she is not busy steering program delivery at Ei, Amelia enjoys swimming in the San Francisco Bay, dancing two-step, and learning languages.

Phoebe Sajor
Content Manager

Phoebe is a Southern California-based creative with a love for telling stories. A people-person and marketer, she is passionate about bringing a human touch to the content and writing she produces. She helps create and curate content for Ei and Experience Lab’s social platforms, and helps write and run Experience Lab’s blog. Phoebe recently finished her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA. In her free time, she loves to write, meet new people, eat Vietnamese food, and hang out with her dogs.

Katie Crain
Community Manager

Katie brings years of experience in high-performance, demanding environments. Her background in Music Management and Event Coordination has fostered her interpersonal skills, administrative prowess, and technical abilities. Katie now manages Ei's systems and logistics for Ei learning experiences and coordination. She’s also the ring leader for her two high-energy kids and the Crain family’s grand adventures.

Megan Christensen

Megan is a Strategist and Sr. Facilitator at Experience Institute. Over the past 10 years, she has designed and led courses in leadership, innovation, and business development for hundreds of founders, teams, and nonprofit leaders around the world. Megan holds an MBA and MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and is a Faculty Instructor at Baumhart MBA, Loyola University Quinlan School of Business.

Dustin Liu

Dustin's research interests center on what makes transformative learning possible. Previously, he's worked to support the professional learning and network activation of educators in both K-12 and post-secondary settings. In addition to his collaboration with Ei, Dustin is currently a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and working to power organizations through human-centered gatherings.

Aaron Wilson Ahlstrom

The son of an architect and a public school teacher, Aaron found his calling designing and facilitating learning programs. As Ei’s former Director of Programs, he provided leadership and coordination for Ei’s corporate and higher ed programming. Previously, Aaron supported the development of the Henry Ford Learning Institute's core Design Thinking curriculum and related professional development programs for teachers, partners, and educational communities. Aaron also has a long history of working alongside Allies for Change and Justice Leaders Collaborative, providing anti-oppression education, training, and resources for individuals and organizations committed to social change.

Kaz Brecher

As a professional curious catalyst, Kaz drives breakthrough change for businesses and organizations through innovation and social impact, in emerging platforms and larger cross-disciplinary problem areas. Her practice applies agile methods from digital innovation to complex challenges. As a master facilitator, she’s held innovation faculty positions with THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam and Vancouver. Based in Los Angeles, Kaz is a Stanford graduate, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Certified Scrum Master.

Juan Carlos Rivas

JC is a passionate facilitator of growth & learning for individuals and organizations. A connector to insight, learning, tools & resources, he designs solutions to social problems in the immediate community. JC also serves as the Associate Director of the Changemaker Hub at the University of San Diego and adjunct faculty at the Kroc School for Peace Studies.

Bill Pacheco

Bill is an innovation catalyst that brings deep expertise in design thinking & product design gained during 25+ years leading engineering and design teams at Cybex, Life Fitness & Keurig Dr. Pepper. As a long time member of Stanford’s Design Thinking Exec Ed coaching team, Bill has built the capability and creative confidence of hundreds of business leaders and innovators from around the world.

He is the founder of Open until 8, LLC; a consultancy focused on helping companies be more creative & adaptable. Bill also serves as Innovation and Design Thinking Senior Fellow at Trinity College and as an Adjunct Professor at Boston University.

Zak Tracy
Head of Finance

Zak is the resident CFO for Experience Institute. Prior to joining the team he spent a decade inside large corporations building financial systems and designing new business models. Now he helps creative-first companies stay financially healthy and poised for growth. He is an alum of Ei's year-long program, a student coach, and business operations facilitator.

Bill Fetter
Marketing Strategist

Bill manages Ei's marketing tech and brings over 25 years experience in corporate marketing and sales, most recently focusing on the deployment of technology to customer journeys. A committed lifelong learner and avid global traveler, Bill is a huge advocate for the ability of experiences (especially ones that stretch and challenge) to grow our understanding of ourselves and others.

Stephanie Merello
Operations Manager

Stephanie has spent the past 10 years working with creative companies and studios as a CPA and small business consultant. Her work focuses on helping business owners manage their accounting and financial systems. Since 2015, she's supported Experience Institute's financial health maintenance and served as the link between the team and our clients so great learning can continue to happen.

+ Support from dozens of talented facilitators, experience designers, and expert practioners around the globe.

Our Philosophy

Why Experience?

The deepest learning comes from having the opportunity to not just understand something intellectually and abstractly, but to have opportunities to tinker with it until it bends or breaks. Then to reflect, so we can take what we’ve learned and transfer it, helping us to solve new and different challenges.

We’ve designed a methodology for teaching through experience. We root our offerings in addressing a specific organizational challenge and then cycle through core elements of experiential learning like challenge, practice, reflection, and application. Ei learning programs are designed to help the learning stick; reflection on and future application of new skills and mindsets are intentionally built-in into our Leaps process.

These four values reflect the way we build our learning products, our team, and our company.

1. Character

Do the right thing even when it's hard.

2. Curiosity

Explore the future even when the past has worked.

3. Care

Take time for one another even when work is pressing.

4. Craft

Do good work even when resources are limited.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We believe diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments are the heartbeat of a healthy and joy-filled society. We strive to examine and improve our own practices regularly to create spaces where everyone can flourish.


We intentionally expand our network and community so we can build a more diverse team as we grow.


We love our work, and hold it loosely enough to create space for health, wellness, and play.

Media & Materials

Professionals join our programs with diverse work and lived experiences — with vast knowledge sets, skills, and preferred learning styles. The way in which many traditional learning frameworks are designed can unintentionally reinforce systemic inequities. We are committed to learning and design principles that generate equity and inclusion across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other lines.


We price our programs to be accessible to all learners while also enabling us to care for our incredible team well.


We aim to move more slowly so we can do thoughtful work that considers the impact of what and how we teach.


We look for ways to support organizations who are actively building new pathways in workforce development and access to education.

Questions about our programs?

Meet with one of our learning designers to find out more.