I believe a 21st century higher education needs to offer more than disciplinary knowledge—it also needs to develop students’ capacity to become catalysts and change makers—scholars who can deftly engage ambiguity, and co-create across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. We need students who can develop empathic, human-centered solutions, while also being savvy about negotiating change.
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Elizabeth is a national leader in helping universities and colleges transform their campuses around creativity, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and innovation.  

*A featured speaker at TedX and other national conferences focused on innovation in higher education

*As Founding Director, designed and launched Vanderbilt's Creative Campus Initiative and Programs in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership

*Designed and facilitated a Change Makers curriculum for the International Fulbright Scholars Lab-to-Market programs

*Founding faculty member of one the nation's first hybrid strategic design thinking MBA programs.  

*Designed and led the launch of Mount Holyoke College's Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative  

*Consultant to campuses to design and launch arts and engineering collaborations, multi-disciplinary research initiatives, campus-wide creativity initiatives, social innovation and design labs, and maker spaces.


Looking for a keynote speaker to kick-off a design thinking or creative enterprise initiative or an experienced guide to help you design and launch an entrepreneurship or social innovation lab? Are you interested in harnessing a systems approach to assessing and developing innovative leadership capacity on your campus?  Elizabeth will partner with you to develop a customized approach that meets the unique needs of your campus.  


INTRODUCING A SYSTEMS APPROACH: innovative leadership Fluency ASSESSMENT & experience design

How fluent are your students in the process of advancing innovation and entrepreneurial ideas from concept to implementation?  How well can they respond to different forms of ambiguity?  Co-create across boundaries?  

What if you could assess students' strengths and weaknesses in key 21st century innovative leadership capacities, and help students curate a customized four-year curricular and extracurricular experience that developed their fluency in these capacity areas?  

The Innovative Leadership Fluency assessment offers a new framework for systematically designing a constellation of extra curricular and curricular experiences that develop fundamental creative and leadership capacities, such as managing ambiguity, empathic listening, systems thinking, storytelling, visual thinking, improvisation, brokering ideas across boundaries, brainstorming on the fly, eliciting assumptions, integrative problem solving, design thinking, coalition building, defining problems, negotiating collective creativity, exercising change levers.  

SPOTLight: Catalyzing Innovation

Mount Holyoke College

As Embedded Practitioner in 2014-15, Elizabeth harnessed her research on women leaders and entrepreneurship to launch a social innovation lab and MHC’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.

As part of my work, she mentored 20 teams participating in the Draper Women’s Collegiate Entrepreneurship Competition at Smith College (up from 1 team in prior years). Twelve teams made it to the semi-finals, and MHC teams won 2 of the top 3 awards!

Elizabeth also worked with the Career Development Center to pilot a design thinking Career Jam, which brought together government leaders, recruiters, entrepreneurs and students around the topic of how to retain millenials in the Pioneer Valley, and offered a series of Innovative Leadership and Design Thinking workshops leading up to the Jam. 


From 2008 to 2013, Elizabeth was Founding Director of the Curb Creative Campus Initiative at Vanderbilt, where she designed and launched the nation’s first four-year undergraduate honors Scholarship program focused on creativity, innovation and the public good; a proposed minor in creative enterprise and public leadership; and a campus-wide creativity initiative, with such signature programs as the first-of-its kind Creative Practice Boot Camp for faculty, staff, and students; the Innovation Grant Program, and the Vanderbilt Story Booth and Expressive Agility project.

At the heart of her work, Elizabeth helped faculty, staff, and students forge the opportunity to produce original ideas and harness their creativity as a force for positive social change.

More specifically, she designed programs that—

•   supported course and curricular innovations, especially those that integrate media, design, creative problem solving and expression with rigorous disciplinary training;

•   encouraged people to challenge assumptions through serendipitous, out-of-the-ordinary encounters and experiences;

•   provoked non-routine conversations that bring together unexpected parties and inspire novel approaches to engaging ideas, debates, and problems;

•   illuminated extraordinary and everyday creative lives, highlighting the common creative process that threads through artistic, scientific, engineering, entrepreneurial, and design work;

•   fostered creative problem solving and the capacity of faculty, staff, and students to imagine ideas and lead others in making innovations a reality; and

•   created a community of catalysts—faculty, staff, students, and community members who thrive on making the non-routine happen in their classrooms, research, and work.


Please send an email to Elizabeth using the button, or via her email: elizabethlonglingo@gmail.com