About Stanford ChangeLabs

We are a lab at Stanford University structured to build capacity and connect people around systems transformation and leadership

Why we do what we do

What does the world need in and beyond the 21st century?

We are surrounded by increasingly interconnected, environmental, economic and social challenges.
Current business-as-usual approaches and behaviors are undercutting economic growth, making poverty traps more entrenched, eroding food security, and further prolonging existing social inequities. Traditional means of problem solving that have brought us here need to make way for new trans-disciplinary paradigms.

Our vision is for humanity to have the capacity to achieve and sustain intergenerational wellbeing.
This requires enhanced capacity in systems-based approaches to leadership, innovation, design, and collaboration — particularly in the face of large-scale, complex challenges.

Stanford ChangeLabs is part of the Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (H-STAR) within the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
At Stanford, we advance next generation approaches to multi-dimensional, complex systems challenges, including emerging technologies and human sciences, and building capacity to address them. To this end, a key component of what we do includes developing new "technologies of thought" and investigating new modes of learning, thinking, and collaboration required for challenges of the 21st Century.

Our areas of focus

Our objectives

Shape initiatives for systems transformation

We work with institutions grappling with massive systems challenges and use the Systems Acupuncture methodology to shape initiatives that are actionable, while having the potential to transform systems at scale.

Massive complex global challenges reveal opportunities in disguise. We help organizations discover these opportunities and support them structure their organizations to scale their innovations for impact.

See more Systems Initiatives >

Advance the System Acupuncture approach

System Acupuncture is a powerful multi-faceted innovation approach for creating systemic transformation in the context of challenges that are scaled, complex, multi-dimensional, and urgent.

Developed through years of research and practiced experience, we deploy Systems Acupuncture in our projects and teach it to change makers. In the meantime, we continue to advance the thinking and refine its frameworks.

See our Systems Approaches >

Train leaders in systems innovation and leadership

Aligned with the ethos of StanfordUniversity, ChangeLabs operates with a deep belief in the power of learning and agency. We develop training modules and toolkits that are designed to spark a fundamental mindset change towards taking system-based perspectives in addressing complex scaled challenges.

These modules heavily emphasize innovation and leadership for scaled and complex challenges.

Learn Systems Transformation >

We care about sustainable development

The adoption of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a major step towards addressing some of the most critical challenges facing humanity.
Now we need to achieve them - a challenge of unprecedented complexity.

Our team

The Director of Stanford ChangeLabs

Banny Banerjee

Banny has worked in the field of Innovation and Design for 30 years. He is well known for his pioneering work in design thinking and more recently his advanced systems based innovation methodology and Systems Leadership models for large-scale transformations in multi-dimensional challenges. The trans-disciplinary nature of his work, which combines design thinking, technology strategy, business innovation, applied social psychology, behavioral economics, diffusion theory, and resilience theory, is pioneering the formation of a new type of innovation: “Systems Innovation”.

Banny teaches system transformation, business innovation, design thinking, and leadership at Stanford University. His research initiatives are centered on processes, paradigms, and integrated strategies to address complex challenges such as the future of water, energy, governance systems, and organizational transformations.

Banny is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future’s Council on Systems and Platforms and works with industry leaders in fostering cultures of innovation and Systems Leadership.

Banny previously served as the Director of the Design Program at Stanford. He was responsible for restructuring the curriculum and rubric of the undergraduate and graduate design programs. Prior to Stanford, Banny worked in the field of product design and strategic design at the design firm IDEO.

We're always looking for talented additions to join our team. Interested in working with us?

Contact us

We work with organizations around the world on big challenges

We work with innovators and leaders in industry, governments, research institutions, philanthropic foundations, and think-tanks to create platforms for system transformations.

Some of our initiative partners

If you are interested in making system impact and deep sustainable change, we should work together.

Contact us
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