Skip to Content
Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.

Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Research By Topic

Search Resources:

Research Resources


Stanford experts are among the members of a commission issuing a new report on how to remove inequality in schools.

Resource: News Article

A study shows how the effects of "stereotype threat" can be overcome by assignments that foster a more supportive environment.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Time]

In this quarter’s column, we explore giving the gift of our time to others. It’s a fact that most Americans are feeling more time-constrained than ever. With waking hours largely consumed by work, precious minutes remain for the daily list of to-dos, including exercise, cleaning, and socializing with friends and family. For some, time has become an even more valuable resource than money.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Healthcare Reform]

A group of scholars propose a plan that could put a brake on health care spending.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Solar Panels]

SunRun's Ed Fenster discusses his business and the economics of solar power.

Resource: News Article

Stanford experts are among the members of a commission issuing a new report on how to remove inequality in schools.

Resource: News Article

A study shows how the effects of "stereotype threat" can be overcome by assignments that foster a more supportive environment.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Time]

In this quarter’s column, we explore giving the gift of our time to others. It’s a fact that most Americans are feeling more time-constrained than ever. With waking hours largely consumed by work, precious minutes remain for the daily list of to-dos, including exercise, cleaning, and socializing with friends and family. For some, time has become an even more valuable resource than money.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Healthcare Reform]

A group of scholars propose a plan that could put a brake on health care spending.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Solar Panels]

SunRun's Ed Fenster discusses his business and the economics of solar power.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

The founder of the Kashf Foundation argues that microfinance can improve the lives of Pakistan’s next generation.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

A look at what’s needed next to create the right policy environment for innovation and results.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

DO MORE THAN GIVE: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World by Leslie R. Crutchfield, John V. Kania, & Mark R. Kramer

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

The Grameen Foundation’s Bankers Without Borders initiative applies skills-based volunteering to poverty alleviation.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Foundation Source Access, the new eHarmony for family foundations, gives smaller donors access to a wide variety of innovative funding opportunities.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The opportunity has come to reframe, rethink, re-set, and re-build some of the things we take most for granted.

Resource: Blog Post

Having an effective online presence goes beyond simply having a Web site.

Resource: Blog Post

The author warns that selling a company or organization should not mean selling out as social missions will prove to contribute to long term success. 

Resource: Blog Post

Just because we now have a Black President does not mean we should take the topic of diversity off of our agenda. 

Resource: Blog Post

Group-think extends to swarms of social activism. 

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Beth Kanter]

Nonprofit management is shifting to develop a networking mindset. In this audio lecture, Beth Kanter, author and leader in social media for nonprofits, discusses how nonprofits can utilize their professional networks and develop a “network mindset.” During her presentation at the Stanford Social Innovation Review's Nonprofit Management Institute, she evaluates various tools and experiences in nonprofit management that can develop the relationships needed to create a successful network.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Ridwan Djamaluddin]

In Indonesia, warning technology exists to alert people to coming weather catastrophes like tsunamis, but too few people have access to the information. So says Ridwan Djamaluddin, Indonesia's deputy chairman for Natural Resources Development, in this university podcast. He discusses the important role of connection technology in increasing the efficiency of tools and enhancing partnerships between governments and their people. Djamaluddin spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference, hosted by Stanford.

Resource: Audio

When a group of friends went to work using social media to help pair their colleague diagnosed with leukemia with a bone marrow donor, a project they named the Dragonfly Effect was born. In this university podcast, Stanford business professor Jennifer Aaker talks about how the lessons emerging from this simple and heartfelt enterprise can apply to any group that wants to use the Internet to promote a good cause. She spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference, hosted by Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Paul Kedrosky]

Sustainable economic growth -- be it in the United States or beyond -- doesn't come through status quo thinking, it comes through connectivity, flux, and a "collision" of people and ideas. So says Paul Kedrosky of the Kauffman Foundation in this university podcast. Addressing an audience of international ministers from developing countries, and technology and NGO professionals at the USRio+2.0 Conference at Stanford, he argues for entrepreneurism as the path to innovation and growth.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Eric Dishman]

In a world in which there may not be enough capacity to take care of an increasingly older and sicker population, how may mobile and home-based technologies will be used to facilitate healthcare? That's the question explored by Eric Dishman, director of health innovation at Intel, in this university podcast. He looks at how technologies such as broadband can inexpensively support non-acute healthcare services. Dishman spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference, hosted by Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Leading an Industry Turnaround: Lessons from Government Interventions at GM and Chrysler]

How did an Obama administration task force turn around the auto industry?

Resource: Video
[Video-Dr. Marcia McNutt: Conradin von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture Series]

How a team of scientists collaborated with the government to measure damage after the catastrophic Gulf oil spill in 2010.

Resource: Video
[Video-Public Management Program Oral History Panel]

In response to the historical events of the late 60's and the growing societal demands on business, the Stanford Graduate School of Business developed a pioneering vision for educating leaders who understand the world they live in and know to work across silos to accomodate the needs of both business and society. The founders of the Public Management Program share their motivations for creating the first program of the sort at a business school and why it is more relevant than ever today.

Resource: Video
[photo - Abhijit Upadhye]

McDonald's has migrated to India, and with it, a commitment to corporate social responsibility. In this university podcast, executive Abhijit Upadhye discusses how the introduction of the "golden arches" into the subcontinent over the past six years has resulted in the creation of local opportunities in the areas of agriculture and food production, storage, and transportation.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Know Your Sector]

Nonprofits in the U.S. generate $1.1 trillion every year, which is more than the entire economies of Saudi Arabia and Sweden combined. "Know Your Sector", a video created  by alum Ben Klasky (MBA '98), is intended as a resource for nonprofit employees, volunteers, and donors to better know the impact of their sector.

Resource: Video
[photo - Jake Harriman]

Nuru International is a social venture fighting to address extreme poverty, the greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation. In this audio interview, Jonathan Chang speaks with Jake Harriman, Founder and CEO of Nuru International. Harriman tells the story of his personal path to working with the rural populations of Kenya and Ethiopia. He explains his focus on solutions to poverty that consider more than strictly financial definitions as part of our ongoing Impact Innovators series.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Al Gore: Leaders Must Supply Vision, Values & Goals]

The Stanford Graduate School of Business View from the Top Series hosted former Vice President Al Gore where he spoke to over 600 students on leadership, solutions for the climate crisis, and sustainable capitalism.

Resource: Video
[photo - Sal Giambanco]

Attracting, engaging, and retaining the right talent is key to successful nonprofit management. In this audio lecture from the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Omidyar Network partner Sal Giambanco discusses how a nonprofit can build a strong team to reach its organization’s core objectives. He shares specific approaches to building a talent pipeline and maximizing productivity to enrich a nonprofit’s management strategy.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Akaya Windwood]

In an increasingly polarized and complex world, leaders can no longer afford to work in isolation. In this audio lecture from the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Rockwood Leadership Institute president Akaya Windwood discusses how we can get our movements and sectors to work together to advance the common good. Windwood discusses specific tools that we can utilize to build communities of interconnected leaders in order to make social movements more effective.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Tina Seelig]

Creativity often feels like a mystery. Struggling to unleash our creative potential can sometimes hinder us on the path to social innovation. In this audio lecture from Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Stanford Professor Tina Seelig discusses the tools and conditions each of us has that allow us to increase our creativity—our own, our team’s and our organization’s. She shares specific approaches to rethinking questions and reframing problems to unlock the path to innovation.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases

Commissioned by KaBOOM! and authored by Katherine Fulton and alumna Heather McLeod Grant of the Monitor Institute, this case study looks at the challenges KaBOOM! faced and lessons the organization learned while pioneering an online strategy to scale its impact. This strategy involves giving away the nonprofit model online for free to empower others to act on KaBoom's behalf.

Resource: Practitioner Case

Maria Yee Inc. occupies a unique position as an environmentally conscious premium household furniture maker with two direct-owned factories in China and distribution through several large U.S. retailers. This case addresses the unique challenges that an entrepreneurial company faces in reaching its full potential as a business while advancing its green strategy.

Resource: Academic Case

This case details the Tipping Point Community's attempts to quantify and grow its impact on poverty in local communities; while it was raising more than $14 million for organizations, it was still struggling to improve performance and outcomes. 

Resource: Academic Case

This case study presents new evidence on the power of social media for social good, using the example of Sameer Bhatia, whose friends created a website to help him find a bone barrow match to fight leukemia. 

 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Walter W. Powell]

Four years after HOPE Services merged with the Skills Center, everyone considered the merger a success. But as with most for-profit and nonprofit mergers, the change was not without its costs and challenges.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case details the 2006 decision by the United Kingdom to deny coverage for a new form of inhaled insulin. In doing so, it highlights the challenges to innovators in managing conflicts over the costs, benefits, and risks of new technology.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Erica L. Plambeck]

In 2007, the issue of global warming brought carbon dioxide emissions to the forefront of Americans’ minds. This paper examines some of the emerging innovations designed to reduce oil consumption.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hayagreeva Rao]

In December 2004, the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement challenged U.S. hospitals to reduce unnecessary deaths by 100,000 in the next 18 months. The case describes a campaign that incorporated lessons from politics and social activism.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David P. Baron]

Inspired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jessica and Matt Flannery experimented with micro-lending connecting Ugandan entrepreneurs to friends and family through a pilot internet trial. Kiva, the first person-to- person microlending organization was born.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

As Green as It Gets was a nonprofit economic development organization supporting small, independent producers in disadvantaged Guatemalan communities. The founder pondered how to grow and sustain the organization.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - William F. Meehan III]

The best nonprofits don’t necessarily get the most money, observed William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Philanthropy Program officer Jacob Harold and president Paul Brest in 2007. From there they started exploring how they could improve the marketplace and how donors give their money. To that effect they hired consulting firm McKinsey & Company to explore the online information marketplace for giving space at a macro level, looking at trends and opportunities. Armed with data they then tried to figure out what to do.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - KickStart]

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.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PlayPumps]

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. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Ken Shotts]

A reliable, safe, supply of drinking water is essential to the survival of communities and efforts by municipalities to improve their respective drinking water supply are prolific. This case provides an overview of the water supply issue and profiles cases where implemented programs have succeed and failed in both local Californian as well as abroad communities in Singapore and Australia.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Maternova]

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.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Cycle Beads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an intitutive, natural contraception method that could meet the needs of families that chose not to use medical or surgical alternatives. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM), a simple family planning system, as well as CycleBeads to provide a tangible tool to help women follow the method. IRH was met with resistance and this case studies examines how the strategy used by the team to overcome market resistance.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Photo: Health Reform Newspaper Clippings]

Daniel Kessler and David Brady examine the possibilities for health care reform in the 111th Congress. Analyzing the failure of Congress to pass the Clinton health plan in 1993-94, they conclude that the factors that created gridlock in the 103rd Congress are likely to have a similar impact in the present.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Photo: Prescription Drugs and Money]

The study surveys a large, national sample of American adults about their willingness to pay for health reform. David Brady and Daniel Kessler find that self-identified Republicans, older Americans, and high-income Americans are less supportive of reform.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Photo: Barack Obama]

What is the relationship between racial prejudice and reactions to President Barack Obama and his policies? Researchers Eric Knowles, Brian Lowery, and Rebecca Schaumberg find that implicit prejudice predicted a reluctance to vote for Obama, opposition to his health care reform plan, and endorsement of specific concerns about the plan.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Photo: American Flag in front of The Capitol]

After the 2004 presidential election, Republicans appeared to be in good shape in terms of their control of Congress. Researchers David Brady, Douglas Rivers, and Laurel Harbridge, investigate why voters subsequently shifted in favor of Democrats, and the short- and long-term implications of this change for party competition.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - gulf_oil_spill_source_la_times]

Consumer and environmental groups, angry over the spreading oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, are calling for a boycott of BP, the oil giant that owns the well gushing oil onto beaches and marshes. According to research by Phillip Leslie and Larry Chavis, boycotts do in fact work and they're something businesses should be concerned about.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All

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.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

The goal of this seminar is to investigate how social technology (e.g., blogs, websites, podcasts, widgets, community groups, social network feeds) can change attitudes and behaviors in ways that cultivate social change. We study the strategies and tactics used by companies and causes that have successfully catalyzed social persuasion.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Robert Burgelman]

This seminar helps participants develop strategically informed action plans that are imaginative, inspiring, and workable in highly dynamic environments. Through informed debate and the writing and presentation of position papers, participants evaluate and hone their views on the seminar's critical themes.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Rick Aubry]

This course focuses on the efforts of private citizens to create effective responses to social needs and innovative solutions to social problems. It equips students with frameworks and tools that will help them be more effective as a social entrepreneur.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - William Meehan]

This course surveys strategic, governance, and management issues facing a wide range of nonprofit organizations in an era of venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. It introduces students to core managerial issues in the nonprofit sector, such as development/fundraising, investment management, performance management and nonprofit finance.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All
[photo - Michael DeLapa]

Michael DeLapa is heavily involved in environmental, land use, and energy issues.  He has launched several non-profits in the Bay Area as well as the California Fisheries Fund.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Chari Ratwatte]

One of the first two Stanford GSB Social Innovation fellows, Chari works to provide economic opportunities to farmers in Sri Lanka.

Resource: Alumni , Fellow

Dave DeForest-Stalls wants to help kids stay out of gangs. He's providing mentorship and hip ways to keep youth on the straight and narrow.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Mark Cafferty is passionate about empowering individuals to be all they can be. He channels funds to employment and youth service programs.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Court Gould (EPNL '06)]

Court Gould is pushing for Pittsburgh to grow sustainably. He's working hard to inform decision makers about to accomplish that most effectively.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura Arrillaga]

Arrillaga created Silicon Valley Social Venture ("SV2") in partnership with Community Foundation Silicon Valley (“CFSV”), a nationally recognized public foundation that had experience working with individual donors and had established credibility within the philanthropic field. Arrillaga formed SV2 as a donor-advised fund to ensure that CFSV staff would help guide SV2 partners leverage their expertise and funding to select high-performing community organizations, thus generating the greatest social impact. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hau Lee]

Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - group membership]

Professor Frank Flynn describes how perceptions of “group membership” can influence whether others decide to help in emergency situations.   


Resource: News Article
Corner