Sarah Stein Greenberg
Executive Director, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University
For over a decade, Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg has helped lead the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the “d.school”), an interdisciplinary institute at Stanford University that nurtures creative thinkers and doers and helps spread the methods of design. Today the d.school reaches undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty at universities around the world, social sector and corporate leaders, and K12 educators. She is the author of the 2021 book Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways.
In the classroom Stein Greenberg likes to teach at the intersection of design and social impact. She has taught the d.school’s foundational class Design Thinking Bootcamp, an experimental course called Design Thinking for Public Policy Innovators, and the long-running, high impact Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, whose students have gone on to design products and services that have helped over 100 million people worldwide. She likes to tinker with old educational formats and adapt them to today’s learners; one of those experiments launched the d.school’s short-format Pop-Up/Pop-Out course series.
Stein Greenberg shepherded the d.school’s 2014 exploration of the future of undergraduate learning at Stanford, resulting in innovative and radical ideas about the form and nature of college entitled “Stanford 2025.” This project explored speculative futures in which schools offer “missions, not majors,” and higher education is based on an “open-loop university” model in which the norm is for people to weave higher education into their lives over the course of many decades.
Stein Greenberg holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in History from Oberlin College, and the foundations of her humanistic worldview comes from the years she spent at a Quaker school, Germantown Friends. Among other creative pursuits she spends her free time scuba diving and taking photographs underwater. Her obsession with marine invertebrates continues to grow.