ASU-Leonardo Initiative


This knowledge enterprise provides leadership to advance ASU's transdisciplinary art-science research,  creative practice and international profile in the field. The partnership catapults Leonardo/ISAST and its constituent publications, programs, and global network, to a new level of growth, capacity, innovation and impact. Working together, ASU-Leonardo champions the convergence of  arts, sciences, and technology for the benefit of all.

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A brief overview of Leonardo

From our beginnings in 1968,Leonardo/the International Society for Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) a 501c3 nonprofit has created opportunities for the powerful exchange of ideas among practitioners in the arts, sciences, and technology. Through publications with the MIT Press, art-sci residencies and workshops, and public programs such as our LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) series and world renowned artist-scientist residencies, Leonardo facilitates cross-disciplinary research and creative practice, to catalyze fruitful solutions for the challenges of our time. Leonardo’s cross-disciplinary approaches seek to establish sustainable environmental practices, spread global scientific and artistic literacy, create technological equity, and encourage freedom of thought and imagination. 

Learn more about Leonardo/ISAST by visiting or @LeonardoISAST 

Check out the ASU now article!

Diana Ayton Shenker

How can we become more human and more humane?

What do you get when you bring together art, science and technology? A powerful way of galvanizing people, says Diana Ayton-Shenker.

Diana Ayton-Shenker

Diana Ayton Shenker

CEO of Leonardo/ISAST (International Society of Arts, Science, Technology), Diana Ayton-Shenker, is an award-winning social entrepreneur who connects and convenes key partnerships, resources and capital for positive global impact. She serves as the Executive Director of Leonardo’s partnership with ASU, where she is Professor of Practice jointly appointed with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS), and the Herberger Institute of Design & Arts’ School for Arts, Media, & Engineering. Diana is also founding CEO of Global Momenta, philanthropic strategy and social innovation firm, and the Global Catalyst Senior Fellow at The New School, where she recently collaborated with XReality Center and her partner-husband, artist William T. Ayton, to produced New Babel, the largest A.R. (Augmented Reality) public art installation of its kind (Union Square, NYC). 

As Fast Forward Fund founder, Diana was honored by President Bill Clinton, and selected as Social Venture Network (SVN) Social Innovation Award Finalist. Named one of “25 Leading Women Changing the World” (Good Business New York), she was the Inaugural Nazarian Social Innovator in Residence (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Senior Fellow in Venture Philanthropy (Bard College), and was featured among 31 Inspiring Women in Nonprofit Management (UNC).


She held senior positions with Mercy Corps, Human Rights Watch, and P.E.N. (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), and taught at The New School, Bard College, the American University of Paris, and Hunter College of the C.U.N.Y., where she directed the first undergraduate program of Human Rights in the U.S. She has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, and many international gatherings.

Her recent book,A New Global Agenda: Priorities, Practices, & Pathways of the International Community (2018, Rowman & Littlefield), follows acclaimed previous publications, A Global Agenda: Current Issues before the U.N. (2002 – 03; and 2001 – 02 editions), Tumbalalaika: a Collection of Poems (2007),and The Challenge of Universal Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, which has been translated into all six official U.N. languages and cited in over 100 books, articles, papers and policies worldwide. In addition to producing New Babel, she has collaborated with William T. Ayton, to develop international exhibitions, including: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Art (shown at the UN in Geneva & NYC; The Peace Palace, The Hague; The U.S. Senate Rotunda, DC; National Arts Center, Ottawa; and venues in San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis, as well as in Spain, Poland, and the UK); The War Room (Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel; Chashama Gallery, NYC).