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[photo - Gift Giving]

In this quarter’s column, we look at a common gift-giving practice: giving away a present you don’t really want. “Regifting” is generally regarded as a taboo, but is this practice really as offensive to the original giver as people think? And is there a way to shift cultural norms so as to promote this sort of gift recycling and reduce the trashing of perfectly good items?

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vote]

A Stanford GSB student's new company could make voting decisions more like online shopping.

Resource: News Article

What would a Romney or Obama presidency mean for schools and universities? At Stanford's Education and Society Theme dorm recently, Hoover Fellow Eric Hanushek and School of Education Professor Emeritus Michael Kirst waded through the candidates' proposals.

Resource: News Article

Weaning America off fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy is the best path for the future, say Stanford researchers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Economic Impact]

A study by faculty members Charles Eesley and William Miller determined that companies founded by the university's alumni generate trillions in annual revenue and have created 5.4 million jobs.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Gift Giving]

In this quarter’s column, we look at a common gift-giving practice: giving away a present you don’t really want. “Regifting” is generally regarded as a taboo, but is this practice really as offensive to the original giver as people think? And is there a way to shift cultural norms so as to promote this sort of gift recycling and reduce the trashing of perfectly good items?

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vote]

A Stanford GSB student's new company could make voting decisions more like online shopping.

Resource: News Article

What would a Romney or Obama presidency mean for schools and universities? At Stanford's Education and Society Theme dorm recently, Hoover Fellow Eric Hanushek and School of Education Professor Emeritus Michael Kirst waded through the candidates' proposals.

Resource: News Article

Weaning America off fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy is the best path for the future, say Stanford researchers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Economic Impact]

A study by faculty members Charles Eesley and William Miller determined that companies founded by the university's alumni generate trillions in annual revenue and have created 5.4 million jobs.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

NONPROFIT SUSTAINABILITY: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka & Steve Zimmerman

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

The media introduce social movements to the masses, but how do social movements make it into the media?

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

The owner of the only certified B Corporation in Kentucky assesses the pros and cons of the certification.

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

New and valuable mHealth apps are coming out all the time. What sort of open architecture can support this wave of innovation?

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

THE FAIR SOCIETY: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice by Peter Corning

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Scared organizations are hording what they have instead of partnering with others to strengthen and streamline their operations. 

Resource: Blog Post

Wealthy philanthropists are putting off making new gifts, making estates, for the first time, the source of the majority of the year’s top donations. 

Resource: Blog Post

During these tough economic times, appeals to the heart may replace quantitative metrics in successfully appealing to donors. 

Resource: Blog Post
Resource: News Article

For philanthropy to reach it’s potential, bodies of knowledge need to “jump together.”

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Photo: Ann Bartuska]
Our planet will reach nine billion people by 2050. Are we anywhere near ready to feed that many people? In this audio lecture, Dr. Ann Bartuska of the U.S. Department of Agriculture discussed the need to connect food, water, and energy technologies to address our need for sustainable agriculture. Dr. Bartuska spoke as part of the panel "Framing the Challenges: How Can Connection Technologies Support Sustainable Development?" at the USRio+2.0 Conference at Stanford University.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Abhishek Sinha]

In a country that lacks formal financial services but contains over half a billion cell phone users, two brothers saw a unique opportunity. In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman speaks with Abhishek Sinha, co-founder of Eko India Financial Services, about their efforts to lower the barriers for end-consumers in India. As The Tech Awards 2011 laureates of the Flextronics Economic Development Award, Sinha discusses Eko India's breakthrough developments in branchless banking.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Doug McAdam]

How are engaged citizens made? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam argues that youth volunteering does not directly result in active citizens or a robust civil society. Instead, the responses to youth activism are varied and driven by historical and cultural context.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Aronson and Stachel]
What good is new energy technology if it can't be transported to the regions where it is most needed? In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman talks with Laura Stachel and Hal Aronson, co-founders of WE CARE Solar, about the international journey that led them to create one of the world's most portable solar energy systems. As The Tech Awards 2011 laureates of the Nokia Health Award, these two innovators work to bring reliable power to health care facilities all over the world.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Daniel Smith]
How can a young nonprofit organization make a tangible improvement in people's health through clean water using only the power of gravity? This was the challenge for Daniel Smith and the AguaClara team when they began work to introduce community-level drinking water treatment plants in Honduras. In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman learns from the 2011 Intel Environment Award winners about the importance of using local resources and experts to encourage horizontal learning.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Design for the Ripple Effect: How a Small Act Leads to Big Change]

How can we design for the ripple effect so that small acts of goodness trigger big ones? 

Resource: Video
[Video-We Don't Know What Makes Us Happy (But We Think We Do) ]

What makes us happy? Turns out, the ten dollars to a nonprofit is often more meaningful than the graduate degree.

Resource: Video
[Video-Going Green, Seeing Red: Environmental Activism and Corporate Social Responsibility]

Activist movements should be analyzed against not only state but also the corporate realm, says Professor Sarah Soule.

Resource: Video
[Video-Social Entrepreneurship]

Missions of social impact and profit do not need to be opposed, say social entrepreneurs. In fact, bringing the two together in a double bottom line can create dynamic new opportunities.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool]

How can social media be leveraged as a powerful marketing tool?

Resource: Video
[photo - Michael Jones]

Technology is increasingly being used to support sustainable development, and Google is on the leading edge of that trend. In this university podcast, Google's chief technology advocate, Michael Jones, addresses an audience of international government ministers from developing countries as well as technology and NGO professionals convened by the US State Department and the Stanford Graduate School of Business on the topic. He spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference, hosted by Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Fabien Cousteau]

Climate change, over-consumption of natural resources, and pollution are all contributing to the failing health of our planet, but what can we do to more effectively promote environmental sustainability? In this university podcast, Fabien Cousteau, the third generation to carry on the tradition of deep-ocean adventure and exploration originally pioneered by his grandfather more than half a century ago, offers some solutions. He spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference at Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Tim O'Reilly]

Collective intelligence, man-machine symbiosis, real time feedback loops from sensors… Such concepts are harbingers of a new cooperation between humans and machines. In this university podcast, media expert Tim O'Reilly discusses how lessons from technology can apply to sustainable global development. He spoke at the USRio+2.0 Conference hosted at Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Maura O'Neill]

How important are science, technology, and innovation to international development? They're nothing less than critical for lifting people out of poverty, says Maura O'Neill, chief innovation officer at USAID, in this university podcast. Speaking at the USRio+2.0 Conference hosted at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, O'Neill discusses how connection technologies, in particular, can support sustainable development around the world.

Resource: Audio

Colleges and universities need an alternative to traditional data systems so that they may better manage their student prospects and information. In this Stanford university podcast, Matthew Schnittman, president of TopSchool, talks about the organization's new online software that features the latest innovations in student management software. He spoke at the Global Education Conference at Stanford.

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
[photo - Alan D. Jagolinzer]

The case discusses U.S. and international accounting guidance regarding the disclosure of contingent and environmental liabilities.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Garth Saloner]

Endeavor selects promising entrepreneurs and helps them develop and grow their businesses through mentorship and guidance. In 2007, founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg looked at the organization's expansion strategy.

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

In 2007, Congress was discussing a 40 percent increase in required fuel efficiency. The automobile industry had a choice to fight the ruling., but instead decided to focus on influencing the details of the legislation.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Garth Saloner]

By 2007, Kiva had gone through a rapid growth phase. The case recounts the debut of the first online person-to-person microfinance organization and looks at the founders' plan for future development.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Glenn R. Carroll]

Two nonprofits, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), were created in 1999 and 2000, respectively, to monitor factories around the world for sweatshop-related infractions. The two organizations had similar goals, but very different histories, strategies, and ways of operating. Their shared history has been controversial and tumultuous.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Dennis M. Rohan]

Entrepreneurs and investors will find in this note a broad overview of the energy sector in 2008, highlighting trends and market dynamics.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - James A. Phills]

Worldstock, Overstock.com’s socially responsible initiative, which marketed handicrafts produced by developing nation artisans to the United States, was suffering losses. Some stakeholders wondered if Worldstock would be shut down or spun off if the situation did not improve.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - George Foster]

The San Diego Padres’ ballpark was the first integrated sports facility/development project ever attempted. While it proved to be a huge success for the Padres, San Diego, and taxpayers, there were many obstacles that had to be overcome.

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

Banco Compartamos has been providing microloans to the poor in rural areas of Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico, since 1990. It became one of Mexico’s most successful banks. Critics, however, claim that Compartamos departed from the true spirit of microfinance.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Robert A. Burgelman]

The case covers and analyzes the major players in the electric car industry, including start-up and established automakers, battery makers, retrofitters, utility companies and the government.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Cycle Beads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at Georgetown's Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an initiative, natural contraception method. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM) family planning system and CycleBeads. To manufacture, sell, and distribute the product, Cycle Technologies licenses the CycleBeads product from IRH and partnered with the organization to bring it to the market. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Anacor]

Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a for-profit biotech firm that focuses on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from a unique boron chemistry platform. While performing early disease screening, Anacor discovered this platform showed activity against causative agents of several neglected bacterial and parasitic diseases. Although CEO Perry felt a responsibility to apply this technology to the neglected diseases space, this conflicts with the objectives of its investors. This mini case study describes how Perry and Eric Easom, who became the company's Program Leader for Neglected Diseases devised a plan to leverage non-dilutive funding sources to underwrite this important work.

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

Since its founding n 1980, Ashoka: Innovators fo the Public had supported the work of over 3,000 of the world's most visionary social entrepreneurs. Even at the moment of Ashoka's dynamism propelled social entrepreneurship into the mainstream, founder Bill Drayton and his colleagues embraced an even more expansive view of social change: to suggest everyone in sociey is a "changemaker." This case traces the evolution of Ashoka's mission and vision for social change, and the programmatic and organizational changes required to achieve its vision.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - d.light]

d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes solar light and power products throughout the developing world. When d.light co-founders started as a student team at Stanford University, they needed a defending strategy to support the continued development of their product concept. They raised their first $10,000 from small donors. However, it did not take long for d.light to require substantially more funding in order to grow. This case study explores how the team tackled its early fund raising challenge. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - d.light]

d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise who's purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When d.light cofounders were first starting at Stanford University, they needed a strategy for gathering detailed user feedback to inform product development, which required first-hand information to be gathered in India. This cast study looks at the plan d.light developed to conduct market research and prototype feedback. 

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

Lofty principles matter much less than we think in determining our moral behavior says Professor Benoît Monin. We're more likely to be guided by whether we feel we are a good or bad person or whether we feel others around us are good or bad.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - S. Christian Wheeler]

One benefit of knowing you're in the minority is a clearer sense of self, says marketing Professor S. Christian Wheeler. Business organizations, which have been shown to improve their decision making when diverse ideas are present, may therefore want to think about more structured ways for encouraging naysayers to speak up.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - baron]

Social pressure plays a major role in determining corporate strategy and performance according to an award-winning paper coauthored by Professor David Baron. The researchers find that social pressure and social performance reinforce each other, greater social pressure is associated with lower financial performance, and financial and social performance are largely unrelated.

Resource: Research Paper

Managers and marketers can motivate consumers to participate in environmental conservation programs by telling them how the majority of other people behaved in the same situation. Researchers specifically studied how to ask hotel guests whether or not they wanted to reuse their towels during the course of a stay. The study highlights the benefits of employing social science research and theory—rather than business communicators’ hunches, lay theories, or best guesses—in crafting persuasive messages. Guests given a description : "the majority guests in this hotel asked to reuse their towels," were 9% more likely to make the same decision than guests who were simply asked to "help save the environment" with no information on comparative behavior. Guests were motivated even further when the description matched their social demographic even more closely. They were even more likely to reuse their towels when told the majority of people staying in their room in the past had done so.

Resource: Research Paper

Preset actions on forms, web pages and other materials — called defaults — have strategic importance that can make vital differences. They are far too important to delegate responsibility for setting them to programmers or form designers. If you want people to do something in the future, ask them to agree to it now, with an opt-out clause for the future by presetting the default. Giving a preset opt-in choice yields far more positive results than asking users to check a box.

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

Ruth Bolan is giving voice to indigenous peoples of the Pacific Island. She funds documentaries that bring their culture and challenges to millions of viewers.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Mary Margaret Sloan fires up young people by placing them in environmental service jobs around the country. Her goal is to train the next generation of conservation leaders.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Federico Lozano]

Federico Lozano is working to alleviate poverty by connecting poor, semi-skilled laborers from the developing world with jobs in the developed world.

Resource: Fellow

Robert Keith and Carl Palmer are restoring and protecting ecologically important properties in the West. They're earning market-rate returns for their effort.

Resource: Alumni

Sam Goldman is bringing cutting-edge technologies to rural families all over the world. His passionate goal is to help them improve their standard of living.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Ned Breslin]

Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People, tells us where he draws his inspiration from and where he gets his perspective on social change from – punk rock. In the first episode of his “Social Disruptors” series, Ned argues that the story arc of punk, its relentless push for change, offers important insights into how social entrepreneurs operate everywhere, whether they like punk rock or not.

Resource: Audio

Being an innovator is never easy. But tackling the needs of underserved patients and healthcare providers in developing countries can be especially difficult. The idiosyncrasies of the healthcare sector, the contextual barriers found in resource-constrained environments, and the already-difficult-to-implement innovation process, make entrepreneurship in global health time consuming, expensive, and risky. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Happy Money]

In this column I explore the idea that many of the ways we spend money are prosocial acts — and prosocial expenditures may, in fact, make us happier than personal expenditures. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton discuss evidence for this in their new book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. These behavioral scientists show that you can get more out of your money by following several principles — like spending money on others rather than yourself. Moreover, they demonstrate that these principles can be used not only by individuals, but also by companies seeking to create happier employees and more satisfying products.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Glenn Carroll]

The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PATH]

In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant form the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its purpose was to evaluate how market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) products among the world's poor. One key factor to consider in constructing its pilot studies was the affordability of HWTS products. This case study describes PATH's efforts to use consumer financing as a mechanism for making HWTS produce and supplies more accessible to its target market. 

Resource: Academic Case
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