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Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities Program

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Housed at the interdisciplinary Global Projects Center (GPC) at the School of Engineering, the Stanford University School of Engineering's Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities (DTDC) Program was founded by Executive Director Michael Steep and Professor Raymond Levitt to create a bridge between program members and early-stage technologies. The program creates awareness of emerging technologies for each member, while also exposing faculty labs to market opportunities and industry perspectives. The new Family Office Initiative is focused on the need of Family Offices and next generation leadership to understand the role of early stage technology not just as a platform for investing but to solve critical social problems. The program has become one of the fastest- growing corporate affiliate programs at Stanford with more than 25 corporate and family office members.

The DTGC Program works across all seven schools at Stanford – School of Earth, Energy and Environment, Graduate School of Business, School of Humanities and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Education, and the Stanford Law School – on behalf of our affiliate members.  For each affiliate member, a comprehensive annual plan is developed to match up their individual business needs with exposure to disruptive technology—guiding our continuous work on joint- venturing and research engagements on behalf of our membership and the Stanford schools.

The DTGC Program covers disruptive technologies and new business models spanning healthcare, financial services, transportation, construction, sustainability, energy, advanced materials, data analytics, media and entertainment. We provide members with active guidance on technology identification and how to transform disruptive technology into new opportunities for growth. Our approach offers a new and interdisciplinary perspective on technology by combining business modeling expertise and technology research. We also assist our members in identifying Stanford resources for speaking engagements, write memos and white papers on areas of interest, conduct seed research projects, and even create prototype products at Stanford labs (research projects and prototype development comes at an additional cost).


Family Office Focus

It is estimated that roughly 18,000 families globally have a net worth at or above $250 million. How this wealth is managed, and used, has significant societal implications. Despite the growing importance of family offices, there is still limited understanding about their impact among the families themselves, as well as academics and policymakers. 

We are creating tailored programming to help family offices and next generation leadership understand the role of early stage technology not just as a platform for investing, but also as a means of addressing critical social issues. We are developing a curriculum to analyze the implications of the growing importance of family offices on both private industry and society. Our work helps advance the professional maturation of a family office industry through robust guidance on best practices and a range of expert/peer collaborations.

Research and programmatic topics include early-stage technology investment, next generation empowerment, understanding legal and regulatory environments, and social impact philanthropy.