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


Military leaders, Stanford scholars and government officials contribute to a congressional report on how the humanities factor into international relations and national security.

Resource: News Article

Scientific models suggest that major Pacific ecosystems will move hundreds of miles by 2100 as a result of climate change. The results of this research could help officials manage the potentially significant impacts – on sea creatures and humans – of marine habitat shifts.

Resource: News Article

U.S. schools are badly lagging in web connectivity; not because they aren’t connected, but because their pipes are too small.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Brenden Millstein]

There are all manner of approaches to 'green investing,' and the folks at Carbon Lighthouse — recipients of an $80,000 Social Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business — manage to combine two of them under the same roof.

Resource: News Article

James Gutierrez, MBA '05, discusses how he built Progreso Financiero, where he gets his best ideas, and the best advice he's ever received.

Resource: News Article

Military leaders, Stanford scholars and government officials contribute to a congressional report on how the humanities factor into international relations and national security.

Resource: News Article

Scientific models suggest that major Pacific ecosystems will move hundreds of miles by 2100 as a result of climate change. The results of this research could help officials manage the potentially significant impacts – on sea creatures and humans – of marine habitat shifts.

Resource: News Article

U.S. schools are badly lagging in web connectivity; not because they aren’t connected, but because their pipes are too small.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Brenden Millstein]

There are all manner of approaches to 'green investing,' and the folks at Carbon Lighthouse — recipients of an $80,000 Social Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business — manage to combine two of them under the same roof.

Resource: News Article

James Gutierrez, MBA '05, discusses how he built Progreso Financiero, where he gets his best ideas, and the best advice he's ever received.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

One-stop centers offer a safer future for victims of domestic violence.

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

A veteran social entrepreneur provides a guide to those who are thinking through the thorny question of whether to create a nonprofit, a for-profit, or something in between.

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

Social entrepreneurs have taken the hybrid model to a new level, crafting it into what is in effect a single structure that can operate as both a for-profit and a nonprofit.

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

Several social enterprises are attempting to provide eyeglasses to the 500 million to 1 billion poor people in the world who need them. Some enterprises see the provision of trained optometrists as the key to solving the problem; others are focused on cost reduction; others still are focused on technological innovations. Why haven’t any of these approaches succeeded on a large scale?

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

Nonprofits must have influential board members who connect them to the communities they serve.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Internet tech tools are mobilizing collective action and revolutionizing ways to start a revolution. 

Resource: Blog Post

“There’s no question: with public trust in CEOs and corporations at rock-bottom and the change mantra out of Washington [and Davos] and this week’s TED2009 still freshly potent, cause-wired social entrepreneurs have never had a better opportunity to boost traction globally for their Web-powered ideas.” - the author

Resource: Blog Post

The author initiates a conversation about the new role of nonprofit organizations in the current social media and/or technology revolution and invites readers to continue the discussion. 

Resource: Blog Post

The author asks whether field building need always be done in the same way.

Resource: Blog Post

As the economy continues to shrink, individuals will need to make a more conscious effort towards charitable giving. 

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Mark Kramer]

This audio interview from the Environmental Defense Fund's Future of Green Calls covers complex interactions of the philanthropy sector, socially conscientious nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses with FSG Co-Founder Mark Kramer. Kramer outlines how corporate social responsibility (CSR) acts as a lever to minimize environmental harms done by daily business activities. Also covered are how natural resources are consumed by industries and a discussion about sustainability practices.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Buzz Thompson]
Resource: Audio

Teaching is one of the most demanding and rewarding callings there is. So agree teachers and teacher advancement experts in this panel discussion. Speaking at the GS|SU Global Education Conference at Stanford, panelists talk about what their organizations are doing to support teachers, and the most successful efforts and investments aimed at recruiting, strengthening, and retaining our teacher corps.

Resource: Audio

The United States has been a global leader to medical technology innovation, however a changing investment environment and tougher regulatory requirements prove unique challenges for early stage innovators. From the 2011 Stanford Graduate School of Business Healthcare Summit, Stefanos Zenios, director of Stanford's GSB Program in Healthcare Innovation convenes a panel of health care investors who give those entrepreneurs starting out a full picture of the product development cycle and how to successfully raise capital.

Resource: Audio

How can the Unites States get its K-12 schools out of their current crisis? In this panel, experts from various fields who are passionate about improving our kids' lives and our nation's future discuss why things are failing, what's working to make them better, and what the best options are, from teacher education to integrating technology. They spoke at the Global Education Conference at Stanford.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Opportunities in Clean Tech]

What is the future of clean tech?

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Social Media to Save Lives, Part 2 of 3]

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.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Social Media to Save Lives, Part 1 of 3]

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.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Social Media to Save Lives, Part 3 of 3]

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.

Resource: Video
[Video-Khosla: Green Tech Must First Make Economic Sense]

For Vinod Khosla, MBA '80, zero emission buildings and hybrid vehicles have broad appeal, but any climate change solution must first make economic sense in order to be truly effective.

Resource: Video
[Video-Kung Wang: Energy and Cross-Strait Relations]

Professor Kung Wang of China University of Technology discussed energy and cross-Strait relations at the "Innovations for Smart Green Cities: What's Working, What's Not, What's Next" conference.

 

Resource: Video
[Video-Cory Booker's 2012 Commencement Address]

Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, challenges Stanford graduates to be courageous, never lose faith and always work together during Stanford's 121st Commencement. He extolls lessons from his own father and grandfather through stories of hardship, hope, and humor. Booker encourages graduates to find and join their own "conspiracy of love" -- people who will help lift them up in times of need, provide a community and challenge them to go beyond what they think is possible.

Resource: Video
[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
[Video-Remedying Group Disparities in School Achievement]

Inequalities between socially marginalized and non-marginalized groups have led to poorer school and health outcomes for African Americans, Latino Americans, and other non-Asian ethnic minorities. Although many structural factors contribute to these inequalities, this study examines one psychological factor: concern about social belonging — a sense of having positive relationships with others. 

Resource: Video
[Video-The Effectiveness of Message Framing to Influence Behavior]

Most observers agree that human consumption is on a crash course with the environment. Although recycling programs have been implemented in many cities around the world, people often do not participate as often as they could. This research examines the effectiveness of messages that highlight the negative consequences of not recycling (loss frames) versus those that emphasize the positive consequences of recycling (gain frames) in influencing people's behavior.

Resource: Video
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 - Robert A. Burgelman]

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.

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

Senior executives at Wal-Mart launched the company’s new sustainability strategy in 2005. The case describes their efforts to keep environmental improvement tightly coupled with business values and profitability.

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

The X PRIZE Foundation originated as prize competitions for significant development in the exploration of outer space. Several problems faced the organization as it began to focus on fields outside of space, including whether prize competitions could work in areas such as poverty.

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

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.

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

The Acumen Fund provides modest amounts of capital, combined with business expertise, to help build enterprises that would serve the poor. The case describes the fund’s approach to helping address water resource problems in developing countries.

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

This strategy case discusses a number of challenges facing nonprofit managers. These include establishing a sustainable and self-supporting operating model, generating corporate-sector support, and managing through a financial crisis.

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

The Rural Development Institute was established in the 1970s to alleviate poverty by securing land rights for the world’s rural poor. The organization was considering whether to enter India to work for land reform.

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

In 2000, the Rural Development Institute entered India. The organization had to modify its model to address the unique aspects of the situation in that country.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - John Roberts]

Procter & Gamble’s high-end skincare brand in China had the potential to be a star. However, after two major public relations debacles, P&G had to rebuild the brand image and regain consumers’ trust.

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

Unitus focuses on accelerating the growth of the microfinance industry. This first case describes the Unitus business model for microfinance and whether or not the company should expand the capital it provides to partners through a debt or equity fund.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - JaipurKnee]

When a team at Stanford University accepted a challenge to design a low-cost prosthetic knee joint that could be produced locally for use in the JaipurFoot Organization’s clinics across India.  While Sadler and his teammates viewed their early experience with the JaipurFoot Organization as incredibly valuable, the team decided that it wanted to make its low-cost knee joint available to amputees beyond the Jaipur clinics in India. Unfortunately, they discovered significant market barriers as many amputees who would benefit from their product are treated by multiple scattered and remote clinics. This case describes how the JaipurKnee team developed a strategy to access its target market and scale up its business. 

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

Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois was one of the best attended and most influential churched in the United States. It was devoted to seekers and dedicated to helping the otherwise "unchurched" towards conversion and spiritual maturity. Executive pastor, Greg Hawkins, led the church in a strategic planning process to better understand "what was happening in the hearts and minds of their existing and potential customers." This case explores Willow's decision to bring this type of research to its church and apply analytical techniques to understand the needs of the congegration. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Life Force Kiosk]

Life Force Kiosks is a nonprofit that aims to reduce preventable waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea to save lives in the most vulnerable communities. The organization developed a new model of preventing water contamination by working with existing community water vendors to purify water and clean storage containers affordably at the tap. In implementing this model, Life Force Kiosks would depend on a portion of the money collected from consumers to help underwrite the costs of the program and enable it to become sustainable on a long-term basis. Accordingly, it needed a system for tracking inventory, as well as the payments made, but corruption at the vendor Life Force Kiosks ultimately devised. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Life Force Kiosk]

Life Force Kiosks is a nonprofit that aims to reduce preventable waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea to save lives in the most vulnerable communities. The organization developed a new model of preventing water contamination by working with existing community water vendors to purify water and clean storage containers affordably at the tap. In Kenya, slums are used to bringing their water containers to locla water taps and paying water vendors to fill them. Life Force Kiosks equips these water vendors with supplies and container cleaning serves to customers for a small incremental charge. When the founder of Life Force Kiosks was ready to launch this new service, he recognized the importance of hiring people from the community to help him establish and expand his operations. This case study explores his approach to identifying and collaborating with a local team. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefan J. Reichelstein]

Environmental stewardship was part of REI's culture and corporate purpose since the company was founded. The corporate social responsibility group, which oversaw the environmental sustainabilityprogram, took the approach that social and financial objectives should not be viewed as a tradeoff and instead would lead to creative and innovative solutions.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

Some types of regulations governing disposal of electronic waste can reduce the world's mountains of devices waiting to be recycled, and also slow the rate of new product introductions says Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Erica Plambeck.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah A. Soule]

At the confluence between social movement theory and organizational studies, Sarah Soule's Contention and Corporate Social Responsibility examines protests against corporate practices and policies before 1990 and offers a framework to better understand anti-corporate social movements and their role in shaping socially responsible practices in the global economic arena.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

How nonprofits ask for support can make their potential donors more generous with both their time or money, says Professor Jennifer Aaker. The trick is to help donors develop a more giving identity -- for instance helping them see themselves as the kind of people who support a specific cause.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - A. Michael Spence]

This paper discusses key findings of the Commission on Growth and Development’s report. It identifies ways developing countries can grow and how to encourage private investment.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Joanne Martin]

Although both feminist theory and critical theory focus on social and economic inequalities, and both have an agenda of promoting system change, these fields of inquiry have developed separately and seldom draw on each other's work. This paper argues that synergies between these two fields could, and should, be explored.

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 - Daniel Grossman]

Daniel Grossman's Wild Planet creates toys that parents love as much as kids. His aim is to inspire learning and inventiveness.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Bruce McNamer]

Bruce McNamer empowers entrepreneurs in rural areas around the world to become self-sufficient. He finds helping people to help themselves a noble calling.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Josh Becker]

Josh Becker combines private, public, and government-sector solutions in addressing big social challenges. His focus is innovation.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Adam Stern]

Adam Stern's Web site lets people offset their own carbon emissions by supporting renewable energy projects. He's working to stop global warming.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Penguin]

On a trip to the continent, students and business leaders explore the impact of warming, and potential solutions.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Al Gore]

Former Vice President Al Gore describes how Corporate Social Responsibility is essential to Environmental Sustainability, as he shares his insights in the View from the Top series at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In this audio lecture, Gore addresses leadership and climate crisis solutions, providing data on population fertility management and the effects of current technology. Gore details how hyper-inequality is threatening to both Capitalism and Democracy, before suggesting alternatives for Sustainable Capitalism.

Resource: Audio
[photo - CODE2040]

Just one in 14 tech employees in Silicon Valley is black or Latino. Code2040 is working to change that.

Resource: News Article
[photo - C.B. Bhattacharya]

In this talk, visiting Stanford professor and author C.B. Bhattacharya shares his research into the importance of stakeholder-driven corporate social responsibility initiatives with members of the Stanford Center for Social Innovation community.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Myra Strober]

We've made progress, says economist Myra Strober, but the system and potential role models still sometimes fail us.

Resource: News Article
Corner