Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK)

Work with us to equip a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders with the tools to brave ethical dilemmas.

The Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK) project prioritizes applied ethics in entrepreneurship education. PEAK is a project by Stanford University in collaboration with Duke University, the University of St. Thomas, and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

It’s time to start teaching applied ethics.

The PEAK Approach

The PEAK project works to position ethics at the core of teaching and research on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The PEAK approach:

  1. Decision-making: Teach innovators to navigate real-world scenarios with principles and values.
  2. Competitive strategy: Make principled entrepreneurship core and authentic in all ventures.
  3. Purpose: Inspire and empower engineers and technologists to build and scale responsible technologies.
  4. Impact: Encourage mission-driven enterprises that embrace non-financial as well as financial KPIs.

The Challenge

Entrepreneurs and innovators influence every aspect of our lives. The effects of breakthrough technologies and disruptive enterprises cut across industries, institutions and academic disciplines.

Traditionally, entrepreneurship education and research has made ethics an afterthought, at best.

The next generation requires a robust toolkit for creating ethical solutions at scale.

Watch the Playlist
4 Videos on Applied Ethics

The Opportunity

Join us in propelling a new era of entrepreneurship education and research!

We aim to:

  • Help entrepreneurially-minded students develop their own principles and values.
  • Research the link between principles and company performance.
  • Become a beacon of principled entrepreneurship.

Change is possible. We’ve seen it happen. STVP has advanced entrepreneurship education through collaborations with educators around the globe for more than 20 years.

Learn more about this pivotal moment in entrepreneurship education.

Join the Effort

There are many ways to help as an educator, institution or student.

Contact the PEAK team at STVP to learn more.


Tom Byers

Professor, MS&E

Tom Byers

Riitta Katila

Stanford University

Riitta Katila

Vickie Gibbs

The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)

Vickie Gibbs

Jack Fuchs

Stanford University

Jack Fuchs

Laura Dunham

University of St. Thomas

Laura Dunham

Jon Fjeld

Duke University

Jon Fjeld

PEAK Fellows

PEAK Fellows is an opportunity for Stanford undergraduate and co-term students to explore what it means to develop guiding values and principles in the context of entrepreneurial businesses. It will place students who are working in technology ventures into cohorts of eight fellow students. Through readings and bi-weekly meetings, each student will define a set of principles that resonates with them. These principles will be designed to guide fellows in the future as they shape teams and seek to align their career decisions with their values. PEAK Fellows will come away with a heightened understanding of their own values, a close-knit community of peers, and the tools necessary to brave ethical dilemmas in the future.

Please contact Brooke Martin, Gopal Raman or Shreya Mantha with questions about PEAK Fellows.

Selected Courses from Stanford

  • CS 28
  • BIOE 131
    Instructor(s): Russ Altman, David Christopher Magnus
  • ENGR 148
    Instructor(s): Jack Fuchs
  • BIOE 177
    Instructor(s): Tina Seelig
  • CS 181
    Instructor(s): Allison Berke, Keith Winstein
  • MS&E 188
    Instructor(s): Pamela Hinds
  • PUBLPOL 234
    Instructor(s): Susan Liautaud
  • MS&E 234
    Instructor(s): Johan Ugander
  • ENGR 248
    Instructor(s): Jack Fuchs
  • MS&E 254
    Instructor(s): Dale Nesbitt
  • OB 363
    Instructor(s): Charles O'Reilly, Joel C. Peterson
  • MS&E 472
    Instructor(s): Ravi Belani, Tom Byers, Toby Corey, Emily Ma
  • GSBGEN 566
    Instructor(s): Mark Leslie, Peter Levine

Selected Courses from Other Schools

  • St. Thomas
    Instructor(s): John McVea, James Ebben, Alec Johnson, Casey Frid
  • St. Thomas
    Instructor(s): Stefanie Phythian, Mary Maloney, Kimberli Ishaug, Kristine Rauenhorst, James Shovein
  • Duke
    Instructor(s): Aaron Dinin
  • Duke
    Instructor(s): Aaron Dinin


Reading for Entrepreneurship Educators on Applied-Ethics
Stanford eCorner Teaching Principled Entrepreneurship
Stanford eCorner The Student Role in Shaping Entrepreneurial Ethics
National Academy of Engineering Empowering Future Engineers with Ethical Thinking (featured in The Bridge: 50th Anniversary Edition)
HBR Developing Principled Decision Makers
VentureWell 4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education
NYU Entrepreneurial Institute Ethical Entrepreneurship in Education
PacificStandard Are Elite Institutions Teaching Students the Wrong Values?
Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative Entrepreneurship Education 2.0: Redefining Value Creation – Putting Purpose Before Profit
BizEd Teaching Entrepreneurship, Cultivating Antifragility
HBR The Era of “Move Fast and Break Things” Is Over
Materials That We Use in Our Courses
Stanford eCorner Stanford Innovation Lab: The Entrepreneurship & Ethics Podcast
Stanford eCorner Article: Entrepreneurship & Ethics
Stanford eCorner Podcast: Infusing Decisions with Principles
Stanford Engineering The Future of Everything Podcast: Riitta Katila: How diversity drives innovation
Stanford eCorner Video: Tristan Harris on Making Technology Less Manipulative
AOM Insights Facing an Ethical Dilemma? Try This Approach
Stanford Insights Are You an Ethical Leader?
Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship Making the Ethical Decision
Applied Ethics Projects
Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub, a presidential initiative at Stanford University
Center for Engineering Ethics and Society, a project of the National Academy of Engineering
Ethics Unwrapped, a project from McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin
Ethics in Entrepreneurship, non-profit founded by the Theranos whistleblowers
National Ethics Project, a project from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University
Technology Ethics, a key focus area at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University
Applied Ethics Research
Technology and Innovation Management Panel Discussion: Responsible and Ethical Innovation
Applied Ethics Convenings
Duke University, Stanford University and the University of St. Thomas Conversations on Entrepreneurship and Ethics
GCEC Panel Discussion: Ethics in Entrepreneurship Education (June 26, 2020)
GCEC Panel Discussion: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; How can University E-ship Centers best Impact Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (July 31, 2020)

Listen to The Podcast
Stanford Innovation Lab: Entrepreneurship & Ethics

Stanford eCorner · Entrepreneurship & Ethics from Stanford Innovation Lab

Watch the Playlist
8 Videos for Educators To Use In Courses

Work with Us

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We are grateful for the robust collaboration from colleagues at Stanford and around the world. A very special thank you to the students who’ve worked on the PEAK project. We could not be more fired up about ushering in a new decade of entrepreneurship education that integrates applied ethics.