Executive Director, Stanford Institute of Design's d.school
George Kembel, an entrepreneur and investor turned educator, co-founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as the d.school, which he led for over a decade.
Passionate about nurturing the creative potential of others, Kembel spends his time working with students, teachers, leaders and investors around the world to unleash the latent innovative capacity of their teams, organizations, communities and ecosystems. Under Kembel’s leadership, the d.school grew from a few projects and a classroom of students to hundreds of projects, thousands of students, and a cutting edge 30,000 square-foot facility at the center of campus. Kembel scaled the d.school’s impact even more dramatically. From a napkin manifesto to a widely recognized leader in innovation and education, the d.school has helped usher in a larger global design thinking movement. Schools and universities around the world are starting d.school-like programs, governments and large organizations are investing in design thinking as a fundamental capacity, and the start-up companies and projects that have spun out of the d.school have impacted millions of lives.
Kembel’s experiences as CEO, venture capitalist, and now teacher have radically reshaped his approach to leadership. He focuses on innovators, not innovations; prioritizes learning over expertise, experimentation over planning, and collaboration over individual excellence. His personal missions includes unleashing creativity at global scale, fundamentally transforming how we educate our children, how we lead our organizations, and how we tackle some of the most significant challenges of our time.