George Kembel

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Stanford d.school

George is an entrepreneur and investor turned educator. He co-founded and now leads the d.school.

Passionate about nurturing the creative potential of others, George spends his time working with students, teachers, leaders, and investors to unlock the latent innovative capacity of their teams and organizations.

Under George’s leadership, the d.school has grown from a few projects and a classroom of students to hundreds of projects, thousands of students, and a cutting edge 30,000 sq.ft. facility at the center of campus. George has 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, and the start-up companies and projects that have spun out of the d.school have already impacted millions of lives.

George’s experiences as CEO, venture capitalist, and now teacher have radically reshaped his approach to leadership. George focuses the d.school on innovators, not innovations. He prioritizes learning over expertise, experimentation over planning, and collaboration over individual excellence. His personal missions include: 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.

George lives with his wife and three boys in Redwood City, California.
He is curious about emergent systems, biologically inspired design, and environments that amplify and guide creative behavior.