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About the SDGC-Mach49 Program for Industrial Affiliates

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This program was created by SDGC and Mach49 for corporates interested in exploring and understanding the practice and theory of innovation.  Bringing together a practical understanding of Silicon Valley innovation from Mach49 with innovation theories and frameworks developed at SDGC, this is an unparalleled opportunity to experience our innovation ecosystem up close and build your strong foundation for sustainable corporate innovation.  As a member of our innovation visiting scholars cohort at SDGC, you and your company become part of a research and practice community unlike any other!

Stanford Students

Program Structure

Participating companies begin by becoming a "Strategic Member" of the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness' Industrial Affiliates Program  ( and nominate an innovation visiting scholar to take part in the 3-month or 6-month immersive innovation experience along with a cohort of 5-10 like-minded professionals.  The SDGC-Mach49 Program is open to all Strategic Member Industrial Affiliates.  

Onboarding and Preparation 

Before joining the program, each selected member of the innovation visiting scholar cohort receives a remote orientation from Mach49 and SDGC and creates a "Challenge Statement" to guide his or her activities while in our program.

Mach49 team members and SDGC researchers review your interests and aspirations, identify specific themes of interest among the cohort, and craft a set of full-group activities that address the combined interests of the cohort.

Your Unique Silicon Valley Innovation Experience

As part of this program SDGC researchers provide access to selected classes, seminars, workshops, and informal faculty presentations, and facilitate one-on-one conversations with researchers and scholars affiliated with our Center.  An important component of this program is distributed innovation teamwork via the Metaverse.  This component is supported by Dr. Renate Fruchter, Founding Director of the Stanford Project-based Learning Lab (  Innovation visiting scholars are welcomed on the Stanford campus and provided shared office space at the Yang & Yamazaki Energy & Environment Building.

Complementing SDGC events and workshops on campus, collaborators at Mach49 bring renowned Silicon Valley innovators to campus, including venture capitalists and corporate venture leaders, and host skill-building sessions on customer development with innovation visiting scholars.

A Structured Innovation Program

Individual cohort members can join us to begin their 3-month or 6-month program during any month of the year.  For cohort members interested in supporting course projects focused on sustainability and innovation, cohort members must start on September 1 of each year to being their 3-month or 6-month program.

Weekly events are planned to build personal connections with others in the cohort. (e.g. Stanford tours, happy hours, biking around campus).  Building your innovation network and fostering a community of like-minded professionals is important!  This program is structured to help you build long-lasting industry connections.

Program Outcomes

  • Building your own innovation investment thesis which covers both internal venture-building and external investments.
  • Creating an innovation action plan to test your thesis (6-month program).
  • Finding sustainability-focused business insights that are co-created with a group of Stanford students in CEE226: Life Cycle Assessment for Complex Systems (Autumn Quarter).
  • Understanding of the future of distributed innovation teamwork and emergent work practices leveraging the Metaverse.
  • Membership in an online digital community, hosted by Mach49, after conclusion of the program.