The System Transformation Nexus at Stanford University

Join our network of forward-thinking leaders and organizations, leveraging systems innovation to discover new opportunities in untapped markets, while advancing new models for the future.

Are you posing these questions about the future?

How will my organization innovate in the context of accelerated change and increasing complexity?

Does my organization know how to shape actionable pathways to transform systems at scale?

How can my organization unlock latent markets and reinforce its position in the future?

How can my organization create genuine value in creating better futures?

Can my organization be a part of the economy that moves the needle on massive, complex, intractable, systemic challenges?

How does my organization leverage emerging technologies strategically and judiciously?

The System Transformation Nexus at Stanford (Nexus) is an international collective for thought-leadership, strategic action, and impact.

It is a replicable platform for shaping next generation models for unlocking big opportunities in an era of profound change.

Our problems are systemic yet our approaches and solutions are not
Current leadership models and organizational structures that are widely used today were forged during the industrial revolutionin the early 1800s. While the technological revolutions of the last centuries brought us here, we have now entered an era markedby rapid change, extreme complexity, and fragile futures. In this new world, we face a new class of challenge that demands newapproaches in order to craft a future that is more resilient and desirable than the one we are currently heading towards. The 21stCentury is an entirely new regime that demands retooling our thinking, and redesigning our organizational models. We are inthe “Systems Regime”, where our current approaches constitute a risk.

The Nexus: a platform for identifying massive opportunities in disguise
The purpose of the Nexus is to bring together an international community of leaders from diverse organizations to co-create pathways and shape system change initiatives for addressing the challenges of a new era. The Nexus leverages the power of advanced methodologies, tools, technologies, and institutional platforms to open up new opportunity spaces to maximize both economic and socio-environmental impact. The ability to craft systems of the future, especially if they can address complexity, scale, urgency, and genuine needs, represent massive latent markets and opportunities for impact. Currently these opportunities are masked by conventional thinking.

With the right organizational culture, leadership, strategic use of technology, and advanced innovation approaches, we can activate latent markets and shape new futures.

Join the Nexus

Underlying Principles of the Nexus

The underlying principles that govern the Nexus enables new perspectives and lenses that reveal new opportunities within the challenges we face.
1 | Discover Win-Win Strategies: 

Seek new opportunities in the Fourth Sector
2 | Leverage System Innovation Methodologies: Use System Acupuncture® to guide the process
3 | Design Alternative Futures:
Develop a System Innovation mindset to see alternative futures
4 | Build Capacity for System Change: 
Become a Systems Leader to build an ecosystem for transformational change
5 | Shape Technology Strategies:
Direct non-linear technologies where they are best leveraged
6 | Leverage Behavior Change:
Shape scaled interventions to sustain behavior change
7 | Design for Scale: 

Bake the Scale Advantage into theDNA of your interventions

Strategic Lenses

The Nexus works with Members to tackle their challenges with four strategic lenses to drive system change at scale:

Next Generation

The dynamics that characterize the 21st Century are fundamentally different to those of the past. We need to design platforms that set us onto trajectories towards longterm global resilience. For this, we need platforms that address the scale and complexity of current and emerging challenges.


The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a set of inter-related systems challenges that our current capacities are ill equipped to meet. With global engagement across sectors, the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs provide a powerful unified global framework for achieving long term global resilience.


The 4th Industrial Revolution Technologies

New technological paradigms have emerged with the promise to fundamentally reframe our institutions and ways of life. The emerging technological paradigms of this 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) carry both great promise and great threat, and require a systems perspective to effectively leverage and control them.


Next Generation Organizations

Organizational structures of the 21st Century need to foster cultures and allow innovation to take place at scale. The types of organizational structures that can catalyze large scale system transformation or platform based initiatives require new models of organizational ecosystems.


The Nexus supports a diverse program with a range of inter-related activities.

System Change Strategy Workshops

Our workshops are multi-stakeholder ,intense, facilitated experiences where participants leverage their collective insights to strategize at the system level.

Class Projects & Directed Research

Leverage top student talent and introduce challenges into Stanford ChangeLabs’s annual Large-scale System Transformation class offered through the Stanford

Innovation for System Transformation Summit

Join the Nexus community and other specially invited experts to shape initiatives and action pathways for transformational change.

System Transformation Masterclass

Send participants to Stanford to take part in the System Transformation MasterclassSeries to learn about the fundamental principles, processes, theories, and key mindsets necessary to embark on transformational change.

Connecting with the Stanford Community

Connect with Stanford faculty, institutes, programs, and students through our events, activities, and programs.

Visiting Scholars & Researchers at Stanford

You may have the opportunity to send Visiting Scholars and Researchers to Stanford to conduct self driven research to further the combined goals of your organization and the Nexus.

Join the Nexus

Members of the Nexus are forward-thinking leaders and organizations, leveraging innovation to discover new opportunities in untapped markets, while advancing new models for the future.
If you would like further information, let us know.

Join the Nexus