The Keystone symposium on Stem Cells and Reprogramming brought together scientists from disparate fields of biology to focus on novel aspects of the field with the goal of accelerating research progress and encouraging new paradigms of direct conversion, epigenetic analysis, and translation of stem cell therapeutics. The meeting was paired with a symposium on Engineering Cell Fate and Function, which explored bioengineering approaches to control cellular states. The two meetings took place over the same time-frame and at the same venue and shared two joint plenary sessions. This pairing allowed exchange between scientists from the engineering field with investigators from the stem cell field and addressed major challenges for each group. For example, cellular differentiation in two dimensions has become efficient, but the next challenge is three dimensions, which is an engineering challenge. The pairing of the meetings allowed innovative ideas to emerge from the intersection of the two different fields.