The Rainforest Architects Workshop is the world's first course on innovation ecosystem design.

It is an exclusive, unique, three-day course in Silicon Valley, designed to transform thinking for professionals in the business of building innovation ecosystems. Each workshop will cover the spectrum of knowledge, including macro perspectives on systems thinking (environment and actors), micro focus about practical solutions (real-world tools), leadership development skills (behavior change), and real-world implementation (planning and doing).

This comprehensive workshop is offered only to Rainforest Architects, never to the general public. All Rainforest Architects start their journey in this workshop, and they have the option to attend the next advanced workshop in each future year.

The workshop features lead instructors who are considered among the world's top thinkers-and-doers in innovation ecosystems: Greg Horowitt of T2 Venture Capital, Ade Mabogunje of Stanford's Center for Design Research, and Janet Crawford of Cascadance.

Greg Horowitt

Greg Horowitt

Ade Mabogunje

Ade Mabogunje

Janet Crawford

Janet Crawford

A possible Rainforest Architects Workshop agenda might include the following topics:

PART I: Rainforest Mindset

  • Complex systems: biology, sociology, complexity, social networks
  • Knowledge economy vs. industrial economy
  • Defining innovation
  • Innovation vs. invention
  • Role of culture
  • Human nature and its impact on the innovation process
  • Trust as a currency
  • Designing innovation ecosystems for: scale, flexibility, sustainability

PART II: Rainforest Actors & Environment

  • Capital food chain: more than venture capital
  • Entrepreneurship: what is it really?
  • Intellectual property & licensing process
  • University engagement: a more holistic approach
  • Government in the innovation ecosystem
  • Trade & professional industry

PART III: Rainforest Behavior Change

  • Rules of the Rainforest
  • Zero-sum vs. positive-sum systems (“the commons”)
  • Economic v. extra-rational incentives
  • Breaking boundaries
  • Coaching entrepreneurs
  • Rainforest process & design

PART IV: Rainforest Tools

  • Core elements of your rainforest
  • Sequence your Region Genome using Rainforest Canvas
  • Regional audit of human capital
  • Rainforest Recipe
  • 3DM vs. TQM/Deming approaches

PART V: Rainforest Making -- “Ecosystem Design Session”

  • Blueprint regional innovation strategy
  • Strategic roadmap
  • Identifying resources
  • Local culture in play
  • Regulatory & fiscal environment
  • Setting some benchmarks
  • Feedback loops and actor roles

PART VI: Sharing and Feedback on your Rainforests

  • Presenting Plans
  • Peer and Mentor Feedback on Plans


  • Certificate of completion and graduation
  • Signing social contracts