Residential Programs

IDEO U Impact House

Take your design thinking initiatives to the next level.

University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy + IDEO U offered IDEO U alumni the the first ever IDEO U Impact House. The House brought together 20 global creative leaders actively bringing design thinking to their organizations, industries and communities to create real impact. The Impact House offered a weeklong journey of connection, learning, and growth in San Francisco and Sonoma, CA.

This Impact House ran in 2016. This program is not currently offered.

Applicants took at least one of the following IDEO U courses before applying:

  • Leading for Creativity: Learn IDEO’s unique approach to leadership, so your team and organization can discover creative ways to solve the challenges of today’s complex world.
  • Insights for Innovation: Discover deep insights, so that you can see the world differently and solve problems in new and innovative ways.
  • Storytelling for Influence: Embrace the power of storytelling, so that you feel armed and confident sharing your innovative ideas with others.
  • From Ideas to Action: Bring your ideas to life through ideation and prototyping, so that others can experience your vision of the future.

Out of the Ordinary

Live in a beautiful, remote property surrounded by nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Intentional Community

Join a diverse group of faculty, coaches and inspirational fellows who will provide constructive feedback and new ideas to your work.

Personal Coaching

Get the space and support you need to reflect, set intentions, and actively work toward your personal and professional goals.

Digital Detox

Turn off your cellphones and set up your out-of-office message. This time is designed for changemakers to pause and take care of themselves and each other.

New Tools

Learn new frameworks for design, communication, purpose finding, and leadership that you can apply directly to your work and life.


Walk away with opportunities for group collaboration. United by a common interest and shared experience, Impact House participants become a community of supporters and potential partners.


Nestled in the hills of Sonoma, CA away from the rush of the modern world, the spirit of Westerbeke Ranch inspires guests to connect, create, and celebrate together. The California Mission and Mexican-style buildings and wooded cabins offer tasteful accommodation for groups of up to 48 people. Guests enjoy three exquisite meals a day, prepared fresh and from scratch. Westerbeke offers a beautiful swimming pool, a soothing hot tub, and massage services. The grounds are lush and unique, with rolling grassland, stately oak trees, and an undeniable natural beauty. With a warm spirit, old-fashioned elegance, and the power that only nature can provide, Westerbeke is a place unlike any other.




Day 1

Fellows arrive in San Francisco. The group convenes for the first time.

Day 2
Design Research

Tour IDEO offices in San Francisco and meet with IDEO departments and team leads. Travel to Sonoma.

Day 3
Storytelling for Impact

Tell your story — who you are and why you are here — and hear the stories of your cohort.

Day 4
Applied Design Thinking

Deepen your practice of human-centered design through live prototyping and iteration.

Day 5
Organizational Design

Dig into organizational design — origins, examples, future direction — with IDEO experts.

Day 6
Purpose Metrics

Explore ‘purpose’ with a mindset towards action. What is it that motivates you? Where are you heading? Why? Take a closer look at how we measure purpose.

Day 7
Taking It Home

Take a step back to imagine what the next 1-3 years could look like. Design an action plan, and find accountability in your cohort. Enjoy an amazing closing dinner.

Day 8

Gather one final time with your cohort. Depart from Westerbeke.