HPI-Stanford Certificate

Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation

Program by Stanford Center for Professional Development and Hasso Plattner Institute. 

Transformation is becoming the new normal for executives, and the skills required to achieve it are as multidimensional as the challenge itself. The Stanford Center for Professional Development and the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) merge their expertise in education, research, and practice in the fields of digital technology, Design Thinking and digital leadership to offer an integrated program in leadership. The result is a training program created specifically for business leaders who want to take on the complex challenges of digital transformation and to transform them into success for their own company.


  • International view and behind-the-scenes experiences about how to apply Design Thinking for transformation when visiting the cradle of innovation – Silicon Valley. 
  • Strengthen your leadership skills and leadership style in the areas of Design Thinking, digital technology and transformation. 
  • An intensive exchange of experiences with a diverse course crowd as well as further development of personal and professional skills for your career.  
  • Participants get multiple inspirations and guidance to develop their own transformation strategies for their specific entrepreneurial context, which they are then able to custom design or adapt and ultimately implement.  
  • You gain your own understanding and behind-the-scenes knowledge of principles, strategies and methods that are used by the digital transformation icons of Silicon Valley. 

Key Facts

On site & Online

Workshop language



Three months with an on-site-block once a month

  • Blocks 1 and 2: each three days at Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany;
  • Block 3: four days at Stanford University, California, USA.

Target audience

The program is targeted toward those in executive positions who see digital transformation and innovation as an opportunity for the creation of added value and who want to actively promote it, such as those in top positions of management, digitalization, IT, innovation, CSR, HR, R&D, strategy, marketing & sales, operations and finance. We also offer this workshop exclusively for companies.


EUR 17,500 (plus VAT), including course materials and meals during workshops. Excluding travel expenses and accommodation.

More information

HPI-Stanford Certificate Leading Digital Transformation & Innovation from the Stanford Center for Professional Development. The program requires active participation and full-time attendance in order to receive a certificate.

Can be combined with

The Digital Transformation Leadership Cycle© helps you to close the gap between transformation strategy and transformation action. Based on the Digital Transformation Leadership Cycle©you put yourself in the shoes of a digital transformation consultant team and develop a roadmap to your transformation vision. With such a mindset, you will create compass activities that make the change you aim to achieve tangible. You will collaborate with a tech start-up and pitch your digital transformation lighthouse solution to an expert jury. Expect to be inspired by robust and effective transformation-strategies from HPI eco system experts and Silicon Valley researchers entrepreneurs. 


  • Get a Certificate from the Stanford Center for Professional Development and the Hasso-Plattner-Institute. 
  • Training basis is the Digital Transformation Leadership Cycle ©, an integrated and easy-replicable step-by-step model for digital transformation, which is built on the research-, education- and collaboration experiences with the industry in the fields of Design Thinking, Digital Engineering and Leadership. 
  • Focused and intensive program in diverse formats delivered by leading institutions. 
  • Cutting-edge themes covered by renowned experts in a practical and targeted way. 
  • The practice-focused program allows direct transfer into individual organizational contexts. 
  • Startup Safaris and conversations with the founding teams offer insights of success principles behind successes and failures in digital transformation. 
  • Also included: input content slides, templates and photo documentation, working materials, access to HPI collaboration platform. 
  • Online Support: The OpenHPI online platform provides a space to connect, discuss and work with your team and the class in between the face-to-face sessions. Virtual lectures, exercises and examples complement and deepen the unique learning experience.  


Overview program curriculum"134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 

Within 3 months, you will go through three building blocks of training and practice and explore the levels of value creation in digital transformation. In Blocks 1 and 2 you will explore and practice Design Thinking as a strategy for digital transformation – in Block 3 you will get insights into Silicon Valley´s successful practices of putting digital transformation strategies into practice."134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 

Your takeaway is a founded framework for repeatable and scalable transformation in your own organization: "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 

The program is structured in seven steps that will represent the golden thread for the participants’ work. This will ensure transferability to your own context and also serve as the basis for the direct application of tangible actions in your organization. "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 

You follow a replicable roadmap based on the seven questions of Digital Transformation Leadership. "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 

  1. What is the value of the corporate mission, specifically what is the overriding sense of the organization – in the context of digital transformation?"134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559738":150,"335559739":160,"335559740":259"> 
  2. Which human values in and around the organization are strong levers of  change? "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 
  3. What are the solutions that deliver practical (daily work) value of change?  for the person in the stakeholder system? "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 
  4. How can digital technologies become a motor of change by amplifying and accelerating the impact of those solutions? "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559738":150,"335559739":160,"335559740":259"> 
  5. What solutions should be prioritized to fuel strategic value? "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559738":150,"335559739":160,"335559740":259"> 
  6. What elements should be anchored in the organizational system to scale business value? "134233279":true,"201341983":0,"335559685":720,"335559738":150,"335559740":259"> 
  7. Which leadership action will become prototype,multiplierand symbol of your transformation culture? "201341983":0,"335559738":150,"335559739":0,"335559740":240"> 

Block 1: Human-Centered Value Creation – 3-day Design Thinking Leadership Workshop at the HPI School of Design Thinking, Potsdam (Germany)

Discovering the Leverage Points of Human-Centered Transformation 

Get to know and apply Design Thinking as a leadership strategy for human-centered value creation which helps you to keep the focus on your most important stakeholders. Starting with the definition of an exemplary transformation purpose, you will discover and practice Design Thinking as a leadership strategy and explore how to discover the strongest lever for a culture of change. In small teams (six people maximum), you will use Design Thinking principles to reach the following curriculum goals:  

  1. Create your transformation purpose.  
  2. Bring to light human needs connected to the different areas of the value creation process and define your digital transformation challenge.  
  3. In a Design Thinking mode, develop solutions that have the power to give orientation and serve as a compass for further activities and to unleash cultural change.  

Block 2: Value Creation with Digital Technology – 3-day session: Startup Safari, Innovation Workshop and Transfer Exercise at the Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam (Germany)

Mining Untapped Digital Accelerators and Scaling Resources  

Grow your innovation skills by creating concrete prototypical solutions and develop your knowledge for value creation with digital technology that can serve as starting point or accelerator for transformation. 

  • In your teams, you will match digital technology principles, extracted from real-life cases, with your compass solutions to craft human- centered digital compass solutions.  
  • These results will be the content of your presentation to the HPI faculty expert jury: their feedback will be followed by discussion rounds where you can deepen and broaden your knowledge about technology fields such as big data, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or application program interfaces (APIs).  
  • The result of day 3 will be your personal roadmap draft, which will serve as your reflection and learning reference for Block 3. In Stanford you will experience the full potential of entrepreneurial business value creation and discover how the steps that you have followed can lead to successful transformation. 

Block 3: Business Value Creation – 4 days in Stanford / Silicon Valley USA

Mastering Entrepreneurial Value Creation Principles and Strategies 

Get inspired by strategies of successful transformation in the Silicon Valley community to transfer these principles into your own context of business value creation
Last but not least, you will enrich your hands-on training and knowledge- gathering experience with a full immersion into the entrepreneurial mindset at Stanford University and Silicon Valley. You will leave with new knowledge, a myriad of examples, strategies and success principles as inspiration and a foundation for creating business value with digital transformation. 

  • Stanford professors, renowned book authors and leaders from innovative companies share their insights and behind-the-scenes experiences.
  • Strategies andthedaily work culture of startups, venture capitalist firms and innovation labs are on the program of your site-visit day. 
  • Your journey will culminate with a personal leader’s transformation activity, a potent starting point and accelerator ona personalr pathway to your transformation vision. 

Your Coaches

Participant testimonials

I went into the course as a new digital leader searching for the “magic formula” to help customers transform for the digital era. Through our hands-on design thinking sessions, the innovation stories and experiences from the professors, and our time in Silicon Valley I personally transformed my thinking into an innovator’s mindset. This course provides valuable content that I will leverage every day in my organization as a strong digital & innovative leader

Laura Grant

Head of Digital Innovation – Public Sector

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This program has been one of the most enriching experiences in my professional development; because it allowed me to explore the whole cycle of digital transformation. These methods and concepts are applicable everywhere, because they tackle the infinite challenges of innovation, from the basic incremental up to the disruptive kind. The collaboration between HPI and Stanford provides the best of both worlds: technology and innovation mixed with creativity and entrepreneurship, generating a comprehensive and applicable approach to engage in the digital world.

Mario Herane

Vice-President, Universidad Mayor

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend the program to people who shape and lead their organization and would like to gain a deepened understanding of digital transformation. Through the personal exchange with thought leaders from Stanford, HPI and other executives from around the world, one’s view on what truly matters in their own context will sharpen: Customer choices matter!

Dr. Olaf Tidelski

Chief Customer Officer, Allianz Deutschland AG

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Human-centered design was a new way of thinking for me. I mainly focused on the technological side of the transformation before taking part in the Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation program. Now I have a holistic and very structured approach to achieving this goal. In my opinion, Design Thinking can be applied in all fields. I would recommend the course to executive and middle management, R&D as well as innovation teams and project leaders.

Fatih Kurt

Group IT Director, Standard Profil

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.