Business & Social Impact | Center for Social Sector Leadership


Jill Vialet is an accomplished social entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. She is the co-founder of Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art and the founder of Playworks, a national nonprofit committed to bringing out the best in students by leveraging the power of play. In 2006, Vialet was a Fellow at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and as a result co-founded Substantial to redesign the way that schools and districts recruit, train and support substitute teaching. She is the author of the middle grade novel, “Recess Rules,” and the nonfiction books “Why Play Works: Big Ideas Start Small” and “Substantial Classrooms: Redesigning the Substitute Teaching Experience,” which she co-authored with co-founder Amanda von Moos. Vialet is a frequent public speaker, having given talks at TEDMED, TEDxSanFrancisco, and TEDxABQ. Currently teaching at both the Haas School of Business and Stanford’s d.school, in the Spring of 2022, Vialet will be a visiting scholar at Haas, exploring the intersection of social entrepreneurship and innovation in democracy.

Expertise and Research Interests

  • Human-Centered Design
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Play and Democracy