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Social Innovation

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[photo - Tipping Point]

The planet may be nearing a critical threshold, beyond which environmental changes will be rapid and unpredictable, according to a study co-authored by Stanford Professor Elizabeth Hadly. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Renewable Energy]

A conversation with Stefan Reichelstein on the economics of solar power.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Predict the Oceans of the Future]

Scientists from Stanford and elsewhere joined to create a mini-lab in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The device can simulate predicted future ocean conditions – such as rising carbon dioxide levels – and their effects on ecosystems such as coral.

 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Hazelnut]

Mountain Hazelnut of Bhutan has set its sights on a triple bottom line: financial gain for investors, alleviating poverty among farm families, and restoration of an eroded, hilly landscape.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Bill Frist]

A conversation on health care innovation with former Senate majority leader and surgeon Bill Frist.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Tipping Point]

The planet may be nearing a critical threshold, beyond which environmental changes will be rapid and unpredictable, according to a study co-authored by Stanford Professor Elizabeth Hadly. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Renewable Energy]

A conversation with Stefan Reichelstein on the economics of solar power.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Predict the Oceans of the Future]

Scientists from Stanford and elsewhere joined to create a mini-lab in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The device can simulate predicted future ocean conditions – such as rising carbon dioxide levels – and their effects on ecosystems such as coral.

 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Hazelnut]

Mountain Hazelnut of Bhutan has set its sights on a triple bottom line: financial gain for investors, alleviating poverty among farm families, and restoration of an eroded, hilly landscape.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Bill Frist]

A conversation on health care innovation with former Senate majority leader and surgeon Bill Frist.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Impact Investors at Toniic aim to create an ecosystem for impact investing that mirrors the Silicon Valley way of doing deals. They know relationships are the key to keeping money moving.

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

20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century Edited by Edward P. Clapp

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

Ending poverty is beyond the reach of any single sector or actor

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

JOIN THE CLUB: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World by Tina Rosenberg

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

Could electronic reading devices catalyze a new culture of global literacy? That's the idea behind Worldreader.org, a start-up nonprofit with world-changing aspirations.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Twitter-fueled “flash causes” have been rising up from the grass roots more frequently to solve a problem for a person or group sharing a common concern. 

Resource: Blog Post

A top ten list of things to enhance your leadership in the nonprofit field.

Resource: Blog Post

In a chilly fundraising environment, recruit more volunteers.

Resource: Blog Post

Those advocating cuts in social services because there are already too many government-funded nonprofits are misguided.

Resource: Blog Post

The movement to provide capital to social enterprises is gaining momentum.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video

Of the twenty million premature or underweight babies born every year, four million will die in their first month of life. In this audio lecture from the 2011 Women in Management banquet at Stanford, Jane Chen discusses her recent efforts to change these numbers, and the personal journey that took her there. Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a nonprofit company that has developed a new low-cost, portable incubator for use in India and other parts of the developing world.

Resource: Audio
Why have American eating habits changed so drastically for the worse in the last half century? What is the appropriate role of government in mitigating these changes? Who can we hold responsible? In this audio lecture, author and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler discusses the marketing strategies of multinational food companies, the scientific realities behind these current trends, and what we might do to change them.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Donald Shriber]

Successes in global health, such as the eradication of small pox or lowering the rate of infant mortality, take an integrated approach, one that brings countries and agencies together to address the scope and intensity of these problems. In this audio lecture from the 2011 Global Health Series, Donald Shriber of the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) speaks about the agency's role in strengthening health systems through partnerships, innovation, and policy.

Resource: Audio

Despite falling to number 49 on the list of countries ranked by life expectancy, the United States still spends roughly twice as much on health care per capita as other top-ranked nations. In this panel discussion, Dr. David Shern and Father Larry Snyder discuss the role of the voluntary sector in this period of necessary reform, and what their organizations specifically are doing to improve the quality of American lives.

Resource: Audio

Can business be a power for good? Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite, would argue yes. Virgin Unite is the nonprofit foundation of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 world-wide companies. In this audio lecture, Oelwang discusses the need to address root causes of social and environmental issues, the unsustainable nature of the growing disparity between rich and poor, and the potential to make a difference by adapting existing product and service innovations.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-10]

For Sarah Garrett, MBA '08, the service learning trip to Guatemala gave her an opportunity to get to know the first year students better, both socially and also in order to share thoughts about their service learning experiences.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-7]

MBAs Get Their Hands Dirty and Get Perspective: Tom Mercer, Class of '09, says, "We went out and picked one of the toughest plots out there ... and got our hands dirty. It was really laborious. ... We were told we had each earned about a dollar a day as workers."

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-9]

There Must Be a Better Way: "We saw their coffee operation. ... Individuals picked through their coffee beans to get the high premium quality beans. ... It made you think: There MUST be a better way," says Tom Mercer, Class of '09, of his experience in Guatemala.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's South Africa Service Learning Trip, 2008-4]

Always Staying Informed: For Logan Deans, MBA '09, seeing the generation that went through apartheid gave him a sense of its dedication to learning and to always staying informed.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's South Africa Service Learning Trip, 2008-3]

Strong Reaction to Apartheid: During the trip to South Africa, the most striking thing for Tsai, a native of Taiwan, was the legacy of apartheid.

Resource: Video
[photo - Buzz Thompson]
Resource: Audio
[Video-Using Entrepreneurial Approaches to Solve the Problems of Global Poverty]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing. Novogratz rallies the community of Stanford business graduates to be part of the new generation of innovative problem solvers.

Resource: Video
[Video-2011 Roundtable at Stanford: Education Nation 2.0]

Redefining K-12 education in America:  how can we improve our troubled school system and provide a better future for our nation's greatest resource, our kids?

Resource: Video
[Video-Conversations in Global Health with Chid Liberty]

Liberty and Justice, a for-profit, socially minded company, is creating jobs and improving health care for Liberian women

Resource: Video

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
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 - R. Bruce McKern]

India’s services sector had demonstrated that the country possessed the capacity to improve its global standing significantly. The question was whether India would capitalize on its success by addressing obstacles to growth, or miss the opportunity to enter the modern world.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Chip Heath]

In 1988, Jim Thompson founded Positive Coaching Alliance, a nonprofit focused on helping overcome negative trends in youth involving bad sportsmanship. These cases detail PCA’s efforts to raise awareness of the issues among athletes and the general public with an eye toward changing behavior.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

Practitioners and academics at a 2004 Stanford University conference discussed the field of venture philanthropy. The overview includes topics such as capacity building, relationships between grantors and grantees, and performance measurement.

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

The chief investment officer of Acumen Fund, an international venture philanthropy fund, is reviewing the performance of a portfolio organization. Against the backdrop of Acumen’s own evolution, he is trying to determine how much additional support to provide an organization that has faced similar challenges.

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

The Grove Foundation's Grove Scholars Program promotes access to vocational education and training. Key foundation personnel consider how well they have been performing toward their mission.

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

Neighborhood Health Clinic is a nonprofit health center located in an ethnically diverse, underserved, and complicated community. These cases explore the challenges that staff began to face in working together effectively and efficiently, and what course of action the executive team took to address the problems.

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

After successful litigation against tobacco companies, lawyers turned their attention to the fast-food industry and its possible connection to obesity. The case details McDonald’s response to the litigation.

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

In response to the closure of California state psychiatric hospitals, Rubicon Programs was established in 1973 to provide social services for recently deinstitutionalized individuals. In this videocase, the program’s top managers deliberate about their corporate strategy.

Resource: Academic Case

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ken Westrick became a partner in TerraMai, a company that reclaims discarded wood and sells it to consumers. In 2003, the partners embark on an ambitious growth plan.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

The Center for Blended Value is a think tank that promotes the concept of “blended value” investments. The founder wondered how to overcome the challenges associated with encouraging more foundations to adopt a value-mixing strategy of financial asset management.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Erica Plambeck]

Nature plays an important role in maintaining the flow and purity of water. Human activities often degrade the quality and/or quantity of water flowing to downstream users, but maintaining natural ecosystems, and sound conservation management by those living upstream in watersheds can help provide a clean, reliable supply of water for downstream water users. This case introduces the concept of ecosystem services and “payment for ecosystem services,” in which stakeholders pay in order to preserve or restore the ability of nature to provide these services.

Resource: Academic Case

In 2009, software giant SAP funded an initiative that aims to reinforce the shea nut and butter value chain in Ghana. The program, which also involves microfinance organizations PlaNet Finance, Grameen Ghana and Maata-N-Tudu, uses microfinance, education, and information technology to improve the conditions of shea women. Since enrolling in the program, women have seen significant improvements in income. This case study examines program progress to date and makes recommendations for program improvements using a value chain development framework.

Resource: Academic Case

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

For millions of people across Africa, motorcycles can be a key to effective health care. A well-maintained fleet of vehicles and motorcycles to connect patients, medical expertise, and medicine is sometimes the most vital link in the health delivery supply chain. A new case written for the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum describes one successful program.

Resource: Academic Case

This case details the founding story of Kiva, with particular focus on the way that Jessica Jackley and Matt Flannery have stayed true to the original mission by telling authentic stories about entrepreneurs in East Africa, and how those stories have influenced lenders and fellows. 

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Alain Enthoven]

The author argues for health care reform by opening the U.S. health insurance market to competition.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Ron Howard]

In "Ethics for the Real World, " Ronald Howard and Clinton Korver explain how to master the art of ethical decision-making by identifying potential compromises in your own life; applying distinctions to clarify your ethical thinking; committing in advance to ethical principles; and generating creative alternatives to resolve dilemmas.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Brian Lowery]

Results recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shed new light on why individuals might oppose affirmative action—and offer new insights into how such policies may be more effectively framed.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Brian S. Lowery]

This paper provides evidence that individuals infer what people should have from the way inequity is described. In the reported experiment, participants give more to a subordinate actor when inequity is described in terms of “less than” rather than “more than,” and take more from a dominant actor when inequity is described in terms of “more than” rather than “less than."

Resource: Research Paper

What determines a nonprofit's engagement and lobbying activity? The authors argue that cross-sector competition and social change mission play an important role.

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 - Mulago II]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. Concentrated in rural settings in developing countries, the foundation's work is in four areas that contribute to this overarching goal. The Foundation explicitly seeks to get involved with early-stage entities in these targeted areas so that it can grow with the organizations it supports. However, one challenge of getting involved with early-stage enterprises is that they sometimes focus too narrowly on the product rather than the capacity of management and development. This case study explores how Mulago Foundation evaluates prospective investments and the factors it considers before coming funds to projects and organizations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PSI]

Population Services International (PSI) was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit organization focused on improving reproductive health in developing countries using commercial marketing strategies. Over the years, PSI broadened its mission to address family planning, child and maternal health, and HIV and AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment.  PSI opened an office in Lesotho and in 2010, a donor provided PSI/Lesotho with “a warehouse full” of female condoms (FCs) that the organization could use to help young women in the area protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. The challenge for the team was to figure out how to effectively distribute and promote the FCs since early versions of the female condom were notoriously unpopular.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Mulago Foundation]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. The Mulago team looks for investment opportunities in promising products and services that address these high-priority problems. In evaluating potential investments, the Mulago Foundation has observed how many global health innovators grapple with the choice between establishing their organizations as nonprofit or for-profit entities. This case studies Mulago Foundation's experience in the global health field and raises issues that innovators should consider as they evaluate their legal and capital structure. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Mulago Foundation]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. When it comes to making investments, one of the most important aspects of the Mulago approach is the ability of the organization to have a measurable impact. Mulago needed to develop an approach to the measurement of impact that was simple enough for an early-state, resource-constrained, organization to carry out. This mini-case study describes the five-step framework that the Foundation developed.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Michael Ugwu, CEO of iROKING]

Michael Ugwu explains the challenges, and opportunities, of building a company in Lagos.

Resource: News Article
Corner