International Background, Global Perspective

I grew up on a hop farm near beautiful Lake Constance in southern Germany, with plenty of opportunities to explore and experiment. This may be where my love for problem-solving began. Since then, I have lived, studied, and worked on four continents. From Germany, I moved to the UK, then on to Australia, and ultimately to the San Francisco Bay Area. Finally, a two-year interlude took me to Chile, Colombia, and Brazil. I thrive in diverse and international environments and love sharing experiences and perspectives gained by traveling, learning, and working globally.

Lake Constance (Bodensee). © 2018 Steinbeck

Learning, Design, and Technology

The science, practice, and technology of learning and design are the foundation of everything I do. My work in lifelong learning—from executive education and local classrooms to hybrid and globally distributed team- and project-based learning environments—has encompassed various roles, including learning experience designer, professor, coach, global program director, and researcher. As my Stanford University colleague and mentor, Larry Leifer, says, “Reality is the best classroom, coaches are the best teachers, and teams are the best learners.”

Student participants at a strategic innovation workshop,
Universidad Católica del Uruguay (UCU). © 2017 UCU

Spirit of Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Apple Inc. and Stanford University were my real-world classrooms where I learned the spirit of design innovation and the San Francisco Bay Area’s entrepreneurial culture. I had the best mentors and was on fantastic teams. Through a series of leadership positions at Apple, Stanford University, and the University of San Francisco over two decades, that spirit has infused my work and inspired my passion for sharing this culture with others to improve lives worldwide.

Don’t be afraid—innovate!

Stanford University Main Quad. Photo License CC-BY-SA-3.0

Strategic Human-Centered Design

IntoActions, based in San Francisco, is the innovation and learning design firm I founded to help organizations around the world—small and large and across all sectors—build strategic innovation capacity through human-centered design. The hallmark of our approach is a highly participatory planning process that combines innovation, strategy development, and design that puts defining and solving human needs at the very center.

Our Motto: Turning Insights Into Actions!

Strategic innovation workshop with leadership team,
Universidad Católica del Uruguay. © 2017 Steinbeck