We are happy to announce that Benedikt "Ben" Lehnert has recently joined our team. Lehnert will serve as our Entrepreneurship and Design Fellow, bringing twenty years of design expertise with him built from leadership positions at Microsoft, SAP, and Stark.
Lehnert will use his know-how to guide graduate and undergraduate student entrepreneurs through the challenges of designing viable business solutions. This summer, he is mentoring students in our eLab Accelerator program. In the fall, he will join Derek Lidow and Stephanie Landers in co-teaching the Community Project Studio: eLab course.
Landers met Lehnert at an entrepreneurial event a few years ago. Soon after, he visited Princeton's Entrepreneurial Hub and met some of Landers' eLab students. "Ben brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in entrepreneurship and design to Keller; our students are fortunate to have access to such a valuable resource," said Landers.
When asked what he looks for in budding entrepreneurs, Lehnert said, "The traits I'm looking for are Wonder: A spark of curiosity and care for the human experience, Courage: An ambition to take steps into the unknown to solve big problems in the world and Grit: A determination to make something great against many odds."
Keller's executive director Cornelia Huellstrunk is very excited to have Lehnert join the Keller team as the Center works to deepen its commitment to growing Princeton's design offerings and creating a space for collaboration and innovation beyond departments, majors, and research areas to build lasting solutions for all of society. "Ben is a terrific addition to our community of designers and innovators. We know that he will bring deep practical expertise that beautifully bridges entrepreneurship and design, two key pillars of our work," said Huellstrunk.
Excited by the opportunity to work at the intersection of science and humanities is what drew Lehnert to Princeton and the Keller Center. He believes that students must learn the value of creative leadership before becoming effective problem solvers.
"With powerful new tools and technologies, we can make major leaps for humanity, BUT only if driven by human creativity. Creativity is how we connect more deeply with what fills not only our brains but also our souls. Creativity is essential to maximizing our human potential and building a more productive society and a more fulfilling, balanced, and connected world. And academia has a hugely important role to play here," said Lehnert.