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Social Innovation

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Why mere potential can be more impressive than actual achievement.

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

Why mere potential can be more impressive than actual achievement.

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
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
[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
[photo - Jay Deady]
How can technology can be used to help minimize some of the greatest bottlenecks in today's healthcare systems? In this university podcast, Jay Deady, CEO of Awarepoint Corporation, talks about how his company's software solutions provide enterprise awareness within hospitals, lowering costs and enhancing efficiency in the acute care environment. Deady spoke at the Stanford Healthcare Summit.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Andrew Thompson]
Resource: Audio
[photo - Barry, Rulisa, Stansfield, Moncure, Nyonator]

Major gaps exist between what health resources are available in the developing world and what is needed. In this panel discussion, global health professionals describe their successes in improving health outcomes in Ghana, Rwanda, and India. They provide examples of how technological and social innovations can be integrated with limited resources. Michele Barry, Director of Global Health Programs in Medicine at Stanford leads this discussion at the 2011 Stanford Graduate School of Business Healthcare Summit.

Resource: Audio
Africa represents a promising frontier for many global entrepreneurs. In this university podcast, Thomas Gibian, chairman of Emerging Capital Partners, discusses his experiences developing a private equity business focused on Africa, and how it has changed over the years. Speaking at the Stanford Africa Forum, he points to areas of future growth for those interested in investing in the African continent.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-2]

From Bean to Cup-of-Coffee Complex: Students first thought the coffee supply chain was boring. The more they experienced Guatemala, the more they realized the story was far more complex.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-1]

On a service learning trip to Guatemala, John Joseph, MBA '08, and classmates visited small producers right up to the Starbucks' organization, as well as NGOs like As Green As It Gets.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-6]

Environment and the Supply Chain: MBA student Tom Mercer, Class of '07, got a chance to see different views on the supply chain from varied perspectives: the corporate perspective (Starbucks), as well as those of individual coffee farmers.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-11]

The trip to Guatemala gave Sarah Garrett, MBA '08, the opportunity to discover where that cup of coffee that she enjoys daily comes from, seeing the whole process from the farmer growing the beans to the final step of getting that cup of coffee from the servers at Starbucks.

Resource: Video
[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-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 - 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 - Myra Strober]

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

Resource: News Article
[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
Corner