It all started in a garage in Silicon Valley … 

IntoActions has roots in two of the most innovative organizations in technology, education, and design in the world: Apple Inc. and Stanford University



A glass replica of the HP garage in the School of Engineering at Stanford University.

… at least that is how the story is often told …  

Garages in Silicon Valley have given birth to many great ideas and companies. Hewlett Packard, aka HP, Apple Inc., and Google, to name but a few.

Reinhold Steinbeck, Managing Director of IntoActions, never owned a garage in Silicon Valley. However, for over 20 years, he worked in leading positions with Apple and Stanford University in the areas of technology, education, and design. It was with Apple and Stanford that he became infused and enthused by the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley.

At Stanford, Reinhold worked closely with the Director of the Stanford Center for Design Research (CDR), Prof. Larry Leifer, one of the most influential personalities and pioneers of Design Thinking. Larry is also a member of the founding team of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as the At Apple, Reinhold was part of the Advanced Technology Group (ATG) led by Don Norman, regarded as one of the leading experts in user-centered design.

In 2010, Reinhold moved to Brazil as a Visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), where he established d-USPLeste, the Laboratório de Design, Inovação e Criatividade, the first university-based social innovation lab in Brazil. He also planted the seeds for an innovation company during that time. And in 2012, after his return to California, Reinhold formally established IntoActions, an international Innovation Company headquartered in San Francisco.


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For a full bio click on a photo.

Our Core Team

Covering a wide range of professional skills and experiences across the private and the academic sectors makes IntoActions and its network of skilled associates a uniquely positioned consultancy in the innovation ecosystem.

The members of IntoActions’ core team have previously worked with the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (a.k.a. the, the Advanced Technology Group (ATG) at Apple Computer, Capgemeni London, the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL), and the Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley.


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Our Strategic Partners

IntoActions collaborates closely with key leaders in the business, education and social innovation sectors.

At the University of São Paulo (USP), the top-rated research university in Latin America, IntoActions teamed up with USP’s Business School (Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade/FEA) and Engineering School (Escola Politécnica), as well as the Laboratório de Design, Inovação e Criatividade (d-USPLeste). The goal of this strategic collaboration is to expand design thinking across the entire educational enterprise.

In 2013, IntoActions was one of the key-partners for the first Conference on Design Thinking organized by the Escola Politécnica.

IntoActions is a licensed and preferred partner with the Innovation Leadership Board (ILB)the developer of the Foresight Thinking™ methodology and a global leader in the design of tools and processes that enable radical innovation. ILB is based in Silicon Valley.

Foresight Thinking™ is a tool-driven approach to support long-range planning and innovation strategy. Its tools and techniques help organizations develop a sustainable culture of innovation by giving teams the language and long-term ability to innovate. The methodology was developed in collaboration with Stanford University and Tekes, the Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation.

The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) at the University of Santa Clara in Silicon Valley prepares social enterprises for growing impact. GSBI is recognized as a global leader in the field of social innovation.

IntoActions is a member of the GSBI Network, a growing group of institutions that share curriculum, methodology, best practices, and other resources for launching and operating social enterprise incubators and accelerators.

We continue to work closely with the research and teaching teams of the Center for Design Research (CDR) and the Global Design Innovation Program (ME 310) at Stanford University to extend Stanford’s innovation programs across Brazil and Latin America.

When it comes to Design Thinking, Stanford University is the EpiCenter of this human-centered innovation methodology, and both CDR and the ME 310 Program are the flagship programs at Stanford University in the field of innovation pedagogy and design thinking research.

During the 2013/2014 academic year, IntoActions facilitated the first collaboration between Stanford University and the University of São Paulo as part of the ME 310 Program. The corporate partner in this 9-month collaboration was Embraer.

Some of our Core Principles

In this article, published by hsm management, the preeminent business magazine in Brazil, Reinhold Steinbeck and Edgard Stuber write about the obstacles and advantages that Brazil offers with regard to the adoption of design thinking.

As they reflect on their experiences of applying Design Thinking in Brazil, they focus on four ‘rules’ or ‘principles‘ that are particularly relevant in implementing a human-centered innovation process:

  1. All innovation activity is ultimately social in nature
  2. All design is re-design
  3. Innovators must preserve ambiguity
  4. Facilitate communication: make ideas tangible


“This Design Thinking capacity building workshop was phenomenally exciting. Not only has it taught me to think about the problem that was set out, which was to find technology solutions for better learning, for better language learning experiences. It also changed the way I think about all kinds of experiences in problem-solving.”

Jeff Wang
Director, China Learning Initiatives
Advisor to the President
Asia Society, New York City, USA



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