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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

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[photo - Electoral College]

Stanford Pulitzer Prize winning historian Jack Rakove believes the founding fathers would agree that it’s time to change the 225-year-old Electoral College.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Innovation]

Baba Shiv explains why creativity rests on diet, exercise, and a good night's sleep.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Ocean]

A new assessment of ocean health gives the world's oceans a score of 60 out of 100. Stanford's Larry Crowder, the science director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, explains why that isn't exactly a failing grade.

Resource: News Article

“Why do people create hierarchies when they say they don’t want them? One answer is that it makes thinking much easier,” says GSB Professor Larissa Tiedens. “We produce hierarchies to make our lives easier cognitively.”

Resource: News Article
[photo - corn export]

The study, the most long-range and detailed of its kind to date, forecasts the occurrence of severe dry years during the next nine decades in Tanzania and its key trading partners.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Electoral College]

Stanford Pulitzer Prize winning historian Jack Rakove believes the founding fathers would agree that it’s time to change the 225-year-old Electoral College.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Innovation]

Baba Shiv explains why creativity rests on diet, exercise, and a good night's sleep.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Ocean]

A new assessment of ocean health gives the world's oceans a score of 60 out of 100. Stanford's Larry Crowder, the science director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, explains why that isn't exactly a failing grade.

Resource: News Article

“Why do people create hierarchies when they say they don’t want them? One answer is that it makes thinking much easier,” says GSB Professor Larissa Tiedens. “We produce hierarchies to make our lives easier cognitively.”

Resource: News Article
[photo - corn export]

The study, the most long-range and detailed of its kind to date, forecasts the occurrence of severe dry years during the next nine decades in Tanzania and its key trading partners.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Video games are good for you—and good for democracy, too. With all the talk of violence, addiction, and isolation, such an idea is not intuitive. But a recent study showed that online game communities provide access to social capital.

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

"The more money a person makes or has, the less generous, helpful, compassionate, and charitable he is toward other people,” says Paul Piff, a doctoral candidate in social and personality psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

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

In Britain, the social safety net allows people who fall into poverty to pull themselves out. Americans who become poor are more likely to stay that way.

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

Politically radical social workers didn’t expect to be working in a bank any more than white-collar bankers expected to be holding meetings in a crowded public market.

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

Private foundations are being idealized as neutral, efficient, and effective—but no one is actually monitoring their impact.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Recent surveys on giving by corporations and high-net-worth individuals look promising for the nonprofit sector. The author submits how to best obtain these resources in a competitive fundraising environment. 

Resource: Blog Post

The new United States presidential administration offers hope for decision making that puts the well-being of people and the planet at the forefront.

Resource: Blog Post

The author suggests that nonprofits seek lobbying help from corporations that are limited in the cash they can offer.

Resource: Blog Post

The author reviews Jacqueline Novogratz’s book “The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World” and draws insight from the book’s in depth presentation of social enterprise. 

Resource: Blog Post

Nonprofits should focus inward and get their organization’s fundraising strategies in order before they go “rush[ing] to grab a piece of the government’s financial bailout package.”

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Todd Park]

The Veteran's Administration, Medicare, and Medicaid make up the largest repository of public health data in the world, and now it's being made available in appropriate forms for the use of patients and innovators alike. Todd Parks, CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wants to change the fee structure of healthcare from "Fee for Service" to something more efficient, and he's freeing up information on public health so everyone can see and help design better health systems.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Daniel Kreeger]

Could it be that Defense takes the lead on climate change initiatives? An important DoD report cited climate change as a top national security concern. On this Future of Green Call, Daniel Kreeger explains how Defense is planning ways to avoid conflict over essential supplies such as clean water, resource consumption and keeping bases safe from predicted coastal flooding. Discussion also includes lessons learned from climate catastrophes and how to respond more quickly and efficiently to crisis.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Aron Cramer]
Businesses are in the business of business. But they are beginning to be in the business of doing social good as well. As companies shift to incorporate environmental, social, and welfare-based themes into business plans and products, Aron Cramer points out a trend of decreasing poverty and improving the environment as corporations look to increase both profit and human development.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Richard Migliori]
How can the healthcare industry become more sustainable in the long term? In this university podcast, UnitedHealth Group executive Richard Migliori talks about what drives innovation in his organization, and how those lessons can be applied to the industry in general. Migliori spoke at the 2011 Stanford Global Healthcare Summit.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Chris Bradford]
How can one social enterprise help transform Africa into a peaceful and prosperous continent? By developing and supporting its future leaders, says Chris Bradford in this university podcast. Speaking at the 2011 Stanford Africa Forum, Bradford discusses his personal journey to co-found African Leadership Academy and how the organization is influencing the continent's future.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Enhancing Business Education for Rural Entrepreneurs]

In 2006, Stanford's Graduate School of Business students Scott Raymond and Katherine Boas took a service learning trip to Thailand and Cambodia. The result? A program that helps to alleviate poverty in Thailand that is now being duplicated at microlending organizations around the world.

Resource: Video
[Video-Opportunities In Environmental Area]

How do environmental challenges create growth opportunities, new markets, and innovation? Two Goldman Sachs managers discuss how their investment firm is making the financing of corporate deals contingent upon the incorporation of increasingly stringent environmental criteria.

Resource: Video
[Video-Fundamentals Are Biggest Challenge]

In his 40 years with Chevron, O'Reilly's biggest leadership challenge is communicating the fundamentals of the oil business, that energy is something that has to be produced.

Resource: Video
[Video-Fill Classrooms with Committed Teachers]

Teach For America places thousands of energetic and committed college graduates as teachers in under-resourced schools for their first jobs. Founder Wendy Kopp shares why and how she started the organization in 1980, and the progress Teach For America has been making ever since.

Resource: Video
[Video-Fox Sees Bright Future for Mexico]

Americans are mostly unaware of the enormous progress Mexico has enjoyed since a devastating collapse in the peso in 1994. Former Mexican President Vincente Fox highlights the opportunities, and also addresses the challenges, resulting from the collapse.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using People's Irrationality To Do Good]

Identifying effective obesity treatment is both a clinical challenge and a public health priority. Can monetary incentives stimulate weight loss? Leslie John presents a study that examines different economic incentives for weight loss during a 16 week intervention.

Resource: Video
[Video-A Behavioral Science Perspective on Why People Vote]

The investigation into what messaging motivates people to vote and the effectiveness of facilitating a voting plan during a presidential election.

Resource: Video
[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
[Video-Bill Gates Says Foreign Aid is Threatened, but Big Ideas Can Turn the Tide]

Just off a plane from Africa, Bill Gates visits Stanford to talk about innovation, but not the software kind. Scientists and engineers, he said, need to focus on products that help improve the lives of the world's poor even though the market directs people to help the wealthiest.

Resource: Video
[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
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 - James A. Phills]

Unitus focuses on accelerating the growth of the microfinance industry. While case A examined Unitus options to expand the capital it provides to partners, this second case reveals the decisions Unitus leaders made.

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

Circus Oz, Australia’s premier, international circus, was exploring offering the new development officer position a higher-than-normal salary. The case and its companion videocase cover the organization’s dilemmas around this, and the situation’s resolution.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David F. Larcker]

Two executives came under fire for selling a significant amount of Midway stock just weeks before a precipitous decline in the company’s share price. Regulators had to decide whether they had carried out a sophisticated form of illegal insider trading.

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

This case provides background on the technology, economic forces, and nonmarket issues that affect ethanol’s supply, distribution, and demand. It also discusses emerging innovations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

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.

Resource: Academic Case

Esquel Group, one of the world’s leading producers of premium cotton shirts, offered innovative products and services and was devoted to protecting the environment in areas in which it operated. The case describes the company’s culture and strategy.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Brian S. Lowery]

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.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Dick Allen]

Serrot, the plastics linings company, was moving into new markets. The founder faced management challenges associated with this transition, including labor and union issues.

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

In 2002, Wal-Mart came under attack for its inadequate pay and benefits, and its negative impact on local economies. This case examines the steps the company took to improve its image.

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

Ashoka was a professional organization that identified and invested in leading social entrepreneurs globally. The organization faced challenges as it updated its mission to “make things happen in a bigger way.”

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - SafePoint]

After reading a newspaper article that predicted the spread of HIV through medical syringes, Marc Koska committed himself to addressing the threat of unsafe injections. He spent nearly ten years in the field, investigating all aspect of the problem. The result was K1 Auto Disable (AD) syringe, which physically prevents reuse by locking the plunger once it has been fully depressed. Koaska shopped the product to the major syringe manufactures, but discovered the produces believe was an inadequate demand to warrant investing in the syringe. Koaska gradually convinced organizations to become customers, but the sales of the AD syringe were not growing fast enough to make an impact.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - SafePoint]

After reading a newspaper article that predicted the spread of HIV through medical syringes, Marc Koska committed himself to addressing the threat of unsafe injections. After much research, the result was K1 Auto Disable (AD) syringe, which physically prevents reuse by locking the plunger once it has been fully depressed. To help raise awareness about the dangers of needle reuse and help stimulate demand for AD syringes, Koska founded a nonprofit called the SafePoint Trust. One of SafePoint’s first activities was to launch an aggressive public awareness campaign in India. As a result of the effort, 26 states in the country switched to using only AD syringes in their public health facilities. However, the change didn't stick, which several states reverting to the use of regular syringes over time. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

Nuru International was founded as a social venture with the goal to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. This case follows founder and executive director, Jake Harriman, through the multiple HR challenges he must face in building his nonprofit organization.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - R. James Ellis]

This fictional short case sets up a hiring scenario that can be analyzed through the lens of the best practices found in E416 Note on Hiring. A CEO wants to hire a VP of Strategy and Business Development. How will he know what he is looking for and when he has found the right person?

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Condoleezza Rice]

The U.S. has pursued a number of punitive economic sanctions to isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran for its refusal to comply with international inspectors regarding its suspected nuclear weapons program. The effectiveness of these sanctions, however, has been undermined by inconsistent application, inadequate enforcement and competing financial interests from private banks and corporations.To what extent should national governments and multinational institutions restrict private sector activity in the interest of national security?

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Joanne Martin]

This paper deconstructs Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy to make visible the masculinity and masculinism embedded in it. It identifies silences in Weber's text, rejects claims about the "natural" that imply that things cannot be done another way, and rejects dichotomous thinking that denies possibilities and encourages essentialist thinking.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - David P. Baron]

The paper investigates the implications of private politics and corporate social responsibility on the strategies of rival firms when one or both is the target of an activist campaign. It also discusses implications for empirical analysis.

Resource: Research Paper

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, voters can look beyond political loyalties and carry the blame for the disaster into their next voting booth say researchers Neil Malhotra and Alexander Kuo.

Resource: Research Paper

“Ask and you shall receive” is the moral of this research. A series of studies reveals that people tend to grossly underestimate how likely others are to agree to requests for assistance. In a variety of different studies the results were generally the same. When the participants asked for help in a straight-forward manner they generally got the help they needed whether it was for directions, money or time.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Dale Miller]

This study looks at different variations of deviation from group opinion, and who is more likely to express an opinion.

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 - Kate Surman]

Kate Surman, MBA '04, Administrative Director of Strategic Operations, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, discusses how she has leveraged the Public Management and Social Innovation certificate to take her career into a new direction.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Farm to Cup - Root Capital Lending]

A grassroots student effort led by Caroline Mullen, MBA ’12, Catha Mullen, MBA ’13, and Monica Lewis, MBA ’12, now has even more impact through a merger with Pachamama Coffee Cooperative.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Robyn Beavers]

Leading a Social Innovation Study Trip lands Robyn Beavers, MBA '10, in a new industry.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jeremy Sokulsky]

Jeremy Sokulsky, MBA '04, President, Environmental Incentives, discusses how he's drawing upon the tools and training he received from the GSB to help make a difference.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Ashanthi Mathai]

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.


 

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Companies Emphasize the Environment Over Employees]

A professor of organizational behavior argues that "human sustainability" may pay off too.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Childhood Obesity Screening May Not Be That Useful]

Professor Lawrence Wein, Jeffrey S. Skoll Professor of Management Science, explains why childhood obesity screening may not be that useful.

Resource: News Article
[photo - China’s Solar-Panel Boom and Bust]

How a mad dash into a burgeoning sector turned into a scramble for support.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Beth Gerstein]

The cofounder of online jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth explains how she built her business. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Computer Therapy]

The success of an innovative new therapy suggests new avenues for incorporating emotional health resources into educational systems worldwide.

Resource: News Article
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