Impact Program for Arts Leaders

Innovation, entrepreneurial approaches, and change leadership in cultural organizations.

The goal of the Stanford Impact Program for Arts Leaders is to create a field-wide impact by developing cohorts of cultural leaders with a change mindset, while at the same time providing benefit to participants by enhancing their perspectives and abilities.

The program provides leaders in arts organizations with the opportunity to engage with Stanford faculty from multiple disciplines, gaining a framework in strategic planning, design thinking, collaborative leadership, and disruptive innovation.

The program targets established leaders who seek to develop new skills for leading change within arts organizations.


This program is jointly organized by the Office of the Vice President for the Arts and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and is part of the GSB’s Global Innovation Programs.

Participant Feedback from 2016 Pilot

“The program was absolutely terrific!”

“It gave people a language and direction to solve problems and understand resources they could go to.”

“What we will take back to our organization for sure: openness and values being part of the everyday life of the institution.”

“It was a gift to be able to participate and the three days were transformative and mind-opening.”

“The collection of folks from various disciplines made for incredibly interesting conversations.”

“Extremely useful to step back from the day-to-day of the museum world to listen, learn, and consider how material shared in the various sessions might apply to my own organization.”

“Great faculty, great facilities, great group, and clearly indicated agenda and desired outcomes. Would have been great to have more opportunities to socialize, network, and work in small groups.”

Summer 2017 Program

Week of August 21st, 2017

  • One-week program.
  • Curriculum combines faculty sessions with hands-on, facilitated workshops in which participants can work through the ideas presented and analyze their application to cultural organizations.
  • Topics to be explored include disruptive innovation, design thinking, and scaling.
  • Faculty include Neil Malhotra, Baba Shiv, Sarah Soule, Paul Oyer, and Brian Lowery.
  • A full schedule will be available early summer 2017.

Participation is by nomination only.

For more information contact:

Matthew Tiews
Associate Vice President for the Arts

2016 Pilot Program

Building on the Opportunity Assessment, Stanford launched a pilot of the program in August of 2016, featuring a condensed sample curriculum.

Eighteen nominated cultural leaders participated in the pilot. Participants were asked to consider the pilot as a prototype and provide feedback to help develop the next iteration of the program.

Participants were drawn from visual arts and performing arts organizations, and from for-profit as well as not-for-profit organizations.

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