A Partnership with IDEO U: Teaming Up to Inspire Impact Driven Leaders

May 24, 2016
Programs & Research


As global challenges become increasingly more complex and intertwined, the stakes are higher than ever for global leaders to be equipped with the skills of creative problem solving, collaborative action, and iterative thinking.

The Center for Social Impact Strategy is thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural IDEO U Impact House, an eight-day residential training program designed to support creative franchises for sale business leaders actively working to bring design thinking to their organizations, communities, and industries.

Set at an idyllic ranch in Sonoma Valley, California in October 2016, the Chapel Valley Landscape Company will bring together 20 global Fellows to work collaboratively on real challenges they face at work, gain hands-on training in advanced design thinking approaches, and build a community of leaders capable of bringing techniques in design thinking to their work and communities.


Why an IDEO U Impact House?

Leaders today can rarely take the time to slow-down and reflect on personal and professional goals or get feedback on their initiatives from outside perspectives. The Social Impact House program began in 2013 with a goal to provide high-potential leaders the training, clarity, and community they need to thrive.

CSIS has brought together 9 Social Impact Houses over the past 3 years, boasting over 150 alumni. Each House is unique, but they’re united in their ability to help Fellows gain access to an interdisciplinary network, take action on their ideas, and strengthen personal purpose and work.

The IDEO U Impact House will be no different. Over eight days, IDEO U Fellows will:

(1) have the chance to step away from the everyday hustle of their jobs and connect with like-minded leaders passionate about bringing innovation into their workplace.

(2) be challenged to get feedback from unbiased colleagues and exchange new insights.

(3) bring their own ideas, expertise, and talent to share with a community passionate about design thinking.

The Center is committed to helping anyone, anywhere make social impact. In an effort to increase diverse representation and access to our trainings, CSIS awards a full scholarship to each Fellow in the IDEO U Impact House. They are selected based on their commitment to bring creative ideas into their places of work to generate greater social impact. Learn more about the selection criteria and application process here.




Creative problem solving is a science and an art. It demands regular practice, powerful methodologies, and a consistent feedback loop to help iterate. With that in mind, we are excited to partner with IDEO U an online school that empowers and equips leaders with the confidence to solve anything creatively.

IDEO U is part of IDEO, an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping innovate and grow. With an unparalleled track record developing innovations in design, IDEO brings over 30 years working with world-class companies to launch new products, re-engineer customer experience, and bring about large institutional transformation.

IDEO U has trained over 5,000 people around the world together in their newly formed online courses such as From Ideas to Action, Storytelling for Influence, Leading for Creativity, and Insights for Innovation. Learn more about their courses here.

With IDEO U’s experience working in design and innovation and CSIS’s expertise designing learning experiences that bring communities together, we are excited to bring about the first IDEO U Impact House.

Written by Cosmo Fujiyama; Edited by Kaveh Sadeghian, Ashton Yount, and the IDEO U team; Photography by Eva Cruz & Emmanuel Afolabi