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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
By 1998, thousands of people had contracted HIV and hepatitis C from Canada’s tainted blood supply. To restore the supply and the public’s trust, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments of Canada created a new organization, Canadian Blood Services. Despite the public health tragedy that it inherited, Canadian Blood Services rebuilt Canadians’ faith in the nation’s blood supply by infusing transparency into its structure, culture, and operations. —By Moe Abecassis, David Benjamin, & Lorna Tessier
Health care workers can now collect medical data on their cell phones and better track deadly diseases.
LeapFrog helps bring insurance to the world's poor.
Paying people to practice safe sex.
LivingGoods sends its version of Avon ladies—white-uniformed “health promoters"—knocking on doors in hundreds of Ugandan communities.
In order to control rising costs of drug developments, pharmeceutical companies may have to begin looking overseas, where a strong emphasis on life science research is held. In addition, drug companies must begin to look to devote more of their R&D budgets to treating more common diseases. Victoria Hale, founder, CEO, and chairwoman of OneWorld Health, has created a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to address the needs of 90 percent of the world's people, many who do not receive treatment for preventable diseases because of the high costs of medicine.
Stanford GSB Associate Professor Alan Sorenson researched why certain insurance companies get better rates for hospital services than others. His findings suggest that it is not the size of the insurance company that is most important, but rather its ability to take their business elsewhere.
The Stanford GSB's fourth-annual health care and biotech conference addressed issues of healthcare affordability. Speaker Ken Dollens, CEO of Guidant, professed the need for transparency and consumer choice in the health and health insurance industries to ensure customers are getting the best quality services and products. Mike Kaplan, MBA '92, partner at Three Arch Partners, echoed the need to publish information on medical outcomes, advocating the concerns of the consumer as a driving force behind innovation and equality.
The question "Will biotechnology create value?" was explored in-depth at the Stanford GSB's biotechnology conference. It often takes even large biotechnology firms years to bring a successful product to market, leaving smaller firms struggling to survive. Speakers suggest strategies such as mergers and simple patience as counteractions to the long waiting period for biotech development.
Three Stanford health policy experts tackle the challenge of making healthcare affordable; they suggest creating a health care "exchange" that offers a variety of plans, as well as the creation of a federal agency to monitor these exchanges and the rates offered. The planners believe that a variety of options will allow consumers to choose the plan that tailors best to their medical and financial needs.
A formerly homeless man tells what he most wanted for Christmas when he was on the streets. —By Wes Browning
How one nonprofit uses an NFL team’s celebrity to improve poor children’s eyesight - and life chances. —By Melinda Tuan & Fay Twersky
How Merck and the WHO have sustained a fragile balance
of power in their battle against river blindness.
Michael Kremer and Rachel Glennerster argue that the creation and dissemination of vaccines that target neglected diseases would be the most efficacious means of addressing the spread of infectious and parasitic diseases in the developing world.
Social media is helping people self-assemble for social action.
A look at how community advisory committees are faring in the health field.
The beginnings of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) were fraught with uncertainty. Initially surviving entirely on donations, it has since earned back two pennies for every one it has spent on welfare activities, and is today the largest, self-reliant international NGO, employing more than 97,000 people. In this audio lecture, Fazle Hasan Abed reminisces about the organization's humble beginnings and shares the organization's achievements.
Nurturing a fledgling nonprofit takes dedication, focus, and maybe even a few miracles. In this audio lecture, Van Jones offers a compelling look at life in the nonprofit sector, sharing his own story and some key tips for making a real difference. Collaboration, communication, tenacity, integrity, and irrational exuberance are just a few of the qualities needed to grow a good idea into a sustainable force for social progress.
In 1982, ophthalmologist Oliver Foot founded Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, a unique mobile teaching facility housed in a DC-10 jet aircraft. In this audio interview With Globeshakers host Tim Zak, he discusses how his organization brings dedicated eye care professionals to the developing world to restore eyesight through surgery and other treatments.
DaVita is the largest independent provider in the United States of dialysis services to people with chronic kidney failure. In 2000, DaVita was being investigated by the SEC and sued by shareholders. In this audio lecture recorded at Bridging the Gap, the Stanford 2005 Net Impact conference, Kent Thiry explains how building community and shared values bumped DaVita's market capitalization to $3 billion and turned it into a leader in its field.
In the early 1990s, Cheryl Dorsey got a fellowship from Echoing Green to launch the Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit that provides basic medical and outreach services to at-risk residents of inner-city Boston neighborhoods. Now president of Echoing Green, Dorsey talks with Globeshakers host Tim Zak in an audio interview about the challenge of building on the impressive track record of one of the world's leading investors and supporters of worldwide social change.
Liberty and Justice, a for-profit, socially minded company, is creating jobs and improving health care for Liberian women
What if visiting the doctor to get a CT scan was as fun as sailing on a pirate ship? asked Doug Dietz, veteran designer of MRI and CT scan machines. Dietz had seen the widespread anxiety of children who came into the hospital and wanted to change that negative experience.
Investors provide insight on early-stage startup fundraising and advice to those interested in starting their own ventures in healthcare.
How did the global tobacco epidemic start? And what can we learn from it?
Amidst much debate and acrimony, Congress has at last passed the Affordable Care Act -- the new health law. The law makes health coverage available to those denied health insurance by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition. In this panel discussion at Stanford, medical and public health experts consider what's strong and weak about the new measure, and how it will change our health care system.
Q&A with Stefano Zenios on his new book, Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies.
A leukemia diagnosis for Sameer Bhatia is the start of a nation-wide project to create a bone marrow registry in India. Robert Chatwani describes one family's innovative effort to create social change and, in the process, find a perfect match for Sameer.
Riders for Health is a U.K.-based nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of transportation systems for health workers in Africa. In 2007, after 11 years in existence, the organization was at a critical point and had to decide what strategies were necessary to expand.
The Kinetics and Michael J. Fox Foundations both support research on Parkinson’s disease. This first case describes the creation, mission, and strategy of the two organizations.
In 2006, AARP was one of the largest, most well-known nonprofits in the United States. However, the organization faced numerous public relations and strategic challenges.
In 2006, all major U.S. dialysis providers faced ever-diminishing margins and struggled to understand what lay ahead. Change was imminent as Medicare and Medicaid altered the reimbursement landscape, and as private payers became more restrictive.
By early 2006, PacifiCare's African American Health Solution had made significant headway in its two primary markets of Dallas and Los Angeles. Now the health insurance program had to define its purpose more clearly in the face of growing competition for the business of African Americans.
The Canary Fund supports the development of methods for early cancer detection. This first case describes the choice to sponsor a high-profile racing event to raise funding and awareness.
In the mid-2000s, drug eluting stents had been shown to significantly reduce restenosis rates and promised to be one of the most dynamic and complex segments of the medical device industry: explosive growth, product recalls, and intellectual property litigation, but also inter-industry collaboration.
Napo was developing a compound to treat diarrhea while arranging an innovative public-private partnership to distribute it in the developing world. When that partnership proved difficult to arrange, the founder had to decide whether to continue pursuing it.
Eli Lilly’s drug, Prozac, changed the way depression was treated. The case explores the history of the making of this “blockbuster” drug, and the challenges involved.
Abbott Laboratories’ new rheumatoid arthritis drug had just been approved. The team would have to carefully orchestrate every aspect of the launch to quickly establish the product in a competitive market.
KickStart was founded to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps — branded “MoneyMaker Pumps” — that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. When the first MoneyMaker pumps were brought to market, they were accepted by rural African farmers as affordable, versatile, durable, easy to maintain, and culturally appropriate. However, KickStart subsequently faced significant challenges manufacturing MoneyMaker pumps in sufficient volumes and at a reasonable cost. This mini-case study examines how KickStart addressed these challenges to established high quality, affordable manufacturing for the long term.
KickStart was founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps—branded “MoneyMaker Pumps”—that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. When KickStart was ready to launch its MoneyMaker pumps, it faced the challenge of how to effectively reach and market the products to target consumers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mali. In these regions, average farmers and their families are physically isolated and have few resources; because of this, it is likely purchasing a KickStart product may be the most expensive purchase they will ever make. Moreover, many farmers understand little about pump technology and cultural norms prevent the use of word-of-mouth sales and 'viral marketing' to promote the product.
KickStart was founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps — branded “MoneyMaker Pumps” — that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. Since its inception, KickStart had sold more than 180,000 MoneyMaker pumps. Despite these encouraging sales figures, the company still faced the critical questions that confronted every social enterprise: What was the actual impact of the product on the people it was intended to help? This mini-case study describes how the KickStart team developed a rigorous yet realistic approach to measuring and understanding the impact of its interventions.
Trevor Field, a retired British businessman and outdoor advertising executive, was deeply moved when he observed women and and girls in rural villages of South Africa shouldering the daily burden of collecting water. When he became aware of a technology that was meant to serve as both a children's merry-go-round and community water pump, he founded Roundabout Outdoor to manufacture, install, and maintain the product known as PlayPump.
Maternova was founded in 2009 as a mission-driven for-profit organization with two main objectives: (1) to provided online knowledge platform that would allow health workers, innovators, and individuals working in the field to track tools and with the potential to save lives in childbirth, and (2) to bundle and sell a select number of low-cost tools to equip frontline health workers to do their jobs more effectively.
Seasonal influenza leads to >200,000 hospitalizations and >8,000 deaths in the United States each year. The influenza vaccine is widely available at low cost and reduces mortality, morbidity, and healthcare costs. Nevertheless, many of those for whom vaccination is indicated fail to comply with CDC recommendations for vaccination. If low compliance is the result of careful calculations by individuals weighing the costs and beneﬁts of vaccination, it may be difﬁcult and expensive for policymakers and organizational leaders to increase vaccination rates. However, if low compliance is the result of forgetfulness or procrastination, low-cost interventions that use psychological tools may be effective at increasing vaccination rates and improving public health.
Evidence suggests that the medication lists of patients are often incomplete and could negatively affect patient outcomes. By predicting drugs the patient could be taking, collaborative ﬁltering can be a valuable tool for reconciling medication lists.
Workers who earn just below the Social Security tax threshold receive a larger tax preference for health insurance than workers who earn just above it.
Health care providers may vertically integrate not only to facilitate coordination of care, but also for strategic reasons that may not be in patients’ best interests.
Young companies trying to enter parts of the health care industry by focusing on helping patients stay healthy and allowing safety net providers to use their resources have a hard time attracting venture capital funds that focus more on traditional profit. A recent article by two Stanford Graduate School of Business researchers argues that it's time to change this pattern.
The two-quarter Elective Course series provides lectures from a diverse group of faculty that expose students to the practical aspects of technology invention and development. The class features a presentation or discussion from one of the guest speakers or faculty. Students work in small project teams in the Biodesign prototyping lab or bench space, collaborating with the fellows of the program.
The purpose of this class is to provide students with the economic tools and the institutional and legal background to understand how markets for health care products and services work. The class utilizes case studies, lectures, and visits from individuals in the industry.
This course examines health care businesses and how they use technology (primarily biotechnology, medical technology, and information technology) to improve patient outcomes and manage costs. Through case studies, students gain an in-depth understanding of how new technologies get developed and commercialized in health care, and of how the whole health care value chain adapts to new technologies.
This course examines the application of cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, along with other evaluation techniques, to products and services such as medical care, whose "output" is difficult to measure. It critically reviews studies that apply cost analysis techniques to specific clinical problems.
Vision care is something that is practically taken for granted in the United States, but that’s not the case throughout much of the world. Some 300 million around the globe suffer from correctable vision loss, leading, as Ashanthi Mathai, MBA '04, says, “to people accepting their vision impairment and adjusting their lives around it.” The result? A lower quality of life, restricted job options, and even further economic distress.
Jane Chen's passion for helping others has taken her on an incredible journey from doing social work in China to founding Embrace, a company that sells premature infant incubators.
Caring for aging parents is a challenge many face, yet there is no clear path or pattern for how to manage this stage of life. Karen Routt shares her expertise at the nexus between technology and caring for the elderly.
With a high-tech background, an MBA, and an M.D., Dr. Patty Einarson has a unique perspective on the intersection of technology, business and medicine. She leverages this knowledge by contributing to math/science education in the public schools, encouraging the kids of today to become future innovators.
Mark Cafferty is passionate about empowering individuals to be all they can be. He channels funds to employment and youth service programs.
After observing too many unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by surgeries that were interrupted or canceled due to the unavailability of anesthesia, Dr. Paul Fenton designed a device called the Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM) that could deliver safe, reliable anesthesia even in the midst of a power outage. Unfortunately, Fenton was unable to convince investors to provide funding so he could further develop his innovation.
While enrolled in a course focused on entrepreneurship, a team of Stanford students set out to create a platform for developing-world healthcare providers that would facilitate improved information sharing bout high-impact, affordable solutions in the material and infant health space. The result was Impact Review, an online knowledge-base. When the team members graduated from Stanford, they had to determine what was next for Impact Review. This mini-case study describes how the Impact Review team explored its options and the solution it developed to ensure the sustainability of the technology.
Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine and Engineering at Stanford University has developed 11 methods for integrating sex and gender analysis into research projects, and 14 case studies demonstrating the benefits of using them.
TeachAIDS, a nonprofit spun out of Stanford in 2009, targets its highly successful animated AIDS education software to specific cultures. Its most recent success: a national "TeachAIDS Day" in Botswana.
Family planning counseling could prove to be a cost-effective way to help minimize the number of children born HIV-positive in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests a new study by Medical School researchers, presented this week in Washington, D.C., at the International AIDS Conference.