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Social Innovation

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[photo - Sarah Soule]

A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - crowdfunding]

A group of economists turns to an unusual source for funding: strangers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vivek Garg]

An Indian army vet builds business relationships across battle lines in conflict-torn Kashmir and Northeast Indian villages.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Palace of Congress in Buenos Aires]

How Fundación RAP builds bridges across party lines.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Immigration]

A new study explores the evidence behind the idea that people oppose immigration because they fear losing their job.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Sarah Soule]

A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - crowdfunding]

A group of economists turns to an unusual source for funding: strangers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vivek Garg]

An Indian army vet builds business relationships across battle lines in conflict-torn Kashmir and Northeast Indian villages.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Palace of Congress in Buenos Aires]

How Fundación RAP builds bridges across party lines.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Immigration]

A new study explores the evidence behind the idea that people oppose immigration because they fear losing their job.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2011

Organizations that report on charities are increasingly collaborative.

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

The Northwest Area Foundation learns—and shares—hard lessons from a 10-year initiative.

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

Living near safe drinking water is not the same as drinking safe water.

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

The National Math and Science Initiative aims to avert the crisis in secondary school education by replicating proven programs.

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

An EU Fisheries Commission Project pays fisherman to remove plastic debris from the Mediterranean Sea.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

State, corporate and foundation giving has decreased during the economic recession.  Individual giving has increased every year despite recessions. For nonprofits to garner donations from individuals, a whole new set of capacities is required to reach potential individual donors.

Resource: Blog Post

Rosetta Thurman, author of Perspectives from the Pipeline blog, interviews Samuel Isaac Richard, an emerging, young, nonprofit leader based in Phoenix.  She shares his insights on the next generation's ability to implement social change. 

Resource: Blog Post

The giving sector can be much stronger advocates to address the symptoms and the causes of the social and global problems the economic crisis only is making worse. Fear of offending giving-sector powerbrokers, and a lack of resources, are muzzling nonprofits. But supporting nonprofit advocacy, policy and community-organizing work can yield big returns. Those are the conclusions of two new reports that underscore the need for greater investment in helping nonprofits to be stronger advocates.

Resource: Blog Post

The author interviews board chair, Frank-Paul King, about the decision to merge the three museums that now make up the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, Texas. King says it worked because "after it had been talked about on and off for a decade ... we created a vision for the Museum of Nature & Science for the next century."

Resource: Blog Post

The author details a Web that tells stories and exposes human injustice and trauma rather than gossip. She proposes this exposure will help drive the change that is needed.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Carl Bass]

Social enterprise is scaling up through digital design. In this audio lecture, Carl Bass, President and CEO of Autodesk, discusses at Social Innovation Summit 2013 the application of design to solve social problems. Bass describes how the availability of infinite computing capacity combined with people's willingness to share their knowledge of how to make things advances social entrepreneurship for everyone's betterment, and he shares examples of creative small businesses that advance social enterprise through innovation.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Mary Nichols]

Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, discusses the California cap-and-trade program and the current thinking around regional and federal carbon policy. In 2009, the house Waxman-Markey bill attempted to establish a federal cap-and-trade system in the US, but it failed in the Senate. Nonetheless, California launched its own cap-and-trade program to implement greenhouse gas emissions reductions mandated by AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The story of California’s program is told by Nichols at the Stanford Center for Social Innovation’s 2013 Conradin Von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kathy Brennan]

A critical approach to measurement, evaluation, and data collection is needed for nonprofits to expand impact in an increasingly interconnected social world. In this panel discussion at Next Generation Evaluation conference, Kathy Brennan, Patricia Bowie, and Lucy Bernholz give provocative overviews of developmental evaluation research design, shared measurement for collective impact, and the social responsibility of nonprofits employing big data for good.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Lisbeth Schorr]

Effective evaluation is about more than measuring impact—it’s about figuring out what works and why. In this panel discussion at the Next Generation Evaluation conference, Lisbeth Schorr, Fay Twersky, and Alicia Grunow discuss the implications of evaluative techniques such as shared measurement, big data, and improvement science for philanthropy and nonprofit management.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Hallie Preskill]

Three evolving approaches to evaluation could change how it is used in social enterprise. In this audio lecture, Hallie Preskill, FSG managing director, opens the 2013 Next Generation Evaluation conference with examples of how leading social sector organizations are thinking about and applying evaluation. Preskill discusses in detail three new approaches to evaluation: developmental evaluation, shared measurement, and big data. She explains the trends and identifies how evaluation must evolve to optimize social enterprise efforts.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Education for Everyone]

Co-founder Andrew Ng, also the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab and an associate professor in computer science at Stanford, presented at the Leading Education By Advancing Digital (LEAD) Symposium held at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in September 2012. 

Resource: Video
[Video-James Sweeney: A Sustainable Energy System]

James Sweeney, director of Stanford's Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, discusses green cities at a Stanford GSB conference.

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
[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
[photo - Michelle Kreger]

A small stove is combating the big issues of gender inequality, physical and sexual violence, and the harmful effects toxic emissions. In this audio interview, the founder of Potential Energy, Michelle Kreger, discusses her social venture, which brings energy-efficient stoves to the people who need them most. In the interview, she explains the goal of the cook stove in minimizing the need for firewood and why this invention generates so much social benefit.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Mary Nichols]

Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, discusses the California cap-and-trade program and the current thinking around regional and federal carbon policy. In 2009, the house Waxman-Markey bill attempted to establish a federal cap-and-trade system in the US, but it failed in the Senate. Nonetheless, California launched its own cap-and-trade program to implement greenhouse gas emissions reductions mandated by AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The story of California’s program is told by Nichols at the Stanford Center for Social Innovation’s 2013 Conradin Von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Does Impact Investing Really Have Impact?]

Impact investing: is it actually investing? Or is it venture philanthropy by another name?

Resource: Video
[Video-Leadership in the War Against Extreme Poverty]

Stanford GSB alum ('08) founded Nuru International to maximize local leadership to drive sustainable change.

Resource: Video
[Video-Unleashing Green Chemistry: A Societal Need and Business Opportunity]

A panel on the the importance of mainstreaming and investing in green chemistry for the future of energy and the environment.

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 - Phoenix]

Phoenix Medical Systems was founded to manufacture an incubator designed specifically to address the needs of low-resource healthcare providers in India. When leaders from a multinational medical equipment company approached Phoenix about a licensing deal, its founder was enthusiastic about expanding the reach of the organization. Phoenix entered into a two-year contract that allowed the multinational to use its established distribution channels to sell all of the products in the Phoenix portfolio, under the Phoenix brand name, exclusively in the Indian market. Although the partnership showed great promise, unfortunately it did not turn out to be as fruitful as initially hoped. This mini-case study describes some of the challenges Phoenix faced with its new partner and how the company responded.

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

In 2010, REI considered adding photovaltaic solar panels to the roofs of some of its facilities for both financial and environmental considerations. This case discusses the company's experience with solar power generation as well as providing representative assumptions for parameters in the financial analysis.

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 - 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 - 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
Research Papers : All

There are many potential ways to reform the United States' health care malpractice system that currently adds nearly 4% to costs. Stanford Graduate School of Business political economist Daniel Kessler has surveyed the alternatives created by laws in different states and finds that "wisely chosen reforms have the potential to reduce health care spending significantly with no adverse impact on patient health outcomes."

Resource: Research Paper

By studying the outcome of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Stanford professor Wesley Hartmann and his coauthor have proved that television advertising sells products. Along the way they also found that television advertising tipped the election in favor of George Bush over Al Gore.

 

Resource: Research Paper

A brief intervention aimed at buttressing college freshmen's sense of social belonging in school was tested in a randomized controlled trial, and its academic and health-related consequences over 3 years are reported. The intervention aimed to lessen psychological perceptions of threat on campus by framing social adversity as common and transient.

Resource: Research Paper

The U.S. medical malpractice liability system aims to compensate patients who are injured through the negligence of healthcare providers and to deter providers from practicing negligently. Though the system has failed to deliver on these goals, evidence from several studies suggests that wisely chosen reforms may reduce healthcare spending significantly with no adverse impact on patient health outcomes.

Resource: Research Paper

Crew members on an offshore oil rig toned down their bluster and macho behavior as an unexpected side effect of an initiative to cut down on-the-job injuries. The case study, coauthored by Debra Meyerson of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, could present a model for minimizing the effects of gender in other work settings.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
[photo - Jim Patell]

Students apply engineering and business skills to design product prototypes, distribution systems, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. The aim is to address challenges faced by the world's poor.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Roderick Kramer]

In this seminar, we explore the nature of human happiness from psychological perspectives, and how such knowledge can be applied in personal and business contexts. To illustrate the ideas discussed, we examine in detail a number of fascinating individuals, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, venture capitalist Tom Perkins, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, and the Nobel physicist Richard Feynman.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Debra Meyerson]

This course is designed to help students understand and manage human systems, exercise leadership, and work effectively with other people, specifically within the context of culturally diverse groups and organizations. The underlying premise is that diversity can present unique challenges and opportunities.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Sarah Soule]

This course focuses on women's working experiences in managerial and professional positions in business and some nonprofit organizations. Using business cases, small group work, videos, lectures, and class discussions, we examine a wide variety of career-related gender issues.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Roderick Kramer]

This course examines the lives of individuals who have contributed greatly to society, either through business, politics, arts and entertainment, or other pursuits. We take a close look, for example, at the "paths to prominence" of individuals such as Steve Jobs, Condi Rice, George Lucas, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All

Steve Westly reflects on his years as a public servant, including State Controller and CFO for the State of California, and his candidacy for Governor in 2006.

Resource: Alumni

Monte Rosen discusses founding The Essential Learning Group, a Shanghai-based, self-funded social venture that provides special education services to expats and Chinese children with autism.

Resource: Alumni

Mark Conroe is leveraging his real estate experience and decades of volunteer work to help build the San Francisco House of Hope, a supportive housing project for the homeless.

Resource: Alumni

Nonprofit executives dedicate their lives to many of society’s most intractable problems, yet are often overstretched and under-resourced. Ken Saxon speaks about founding Courage to Lead to build support and community around nonprofit executive leaders.

Resource: Alumni

Jo Ivester shares how the interactions and impact she has had as a professor complete the beautiful circle of a family legacy in education.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Michelle Kreger]

A small stove is combating the big issues of gender inequality, physical and sexual violence, and the harmful effects toxic emissions. In this audio interview, the founder of Potential Energy, Michelle Kreger, discusses her social venture, which brings energy-efficient stoves to the people who need them most. In the interview, she explains the goal of the cook stove in minimizing the need for firewood and why this invention generates so much social benefit.

Resource: Audio
[photo - New Technology]

For a d.School course called “Design for Extreme Affordability,” Jane Chen and three of her classmates developed a low-cost baby incubator tailored to the needs of the developing world. That incubator—a reusable heating pouch—became the Embrace Infant Warmer, and ultimately launched Embrace and Embrace Innovations, a joint social enterprise promoting child and maternal health across the globe. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Mary Nichols]

Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, discusses the California cap-and-trade program and the current thinking around regional and federal carbon policy. In 2009, the house Waxman-Markey bill attempted to establish a federal cap-and-trade system in the US, but it failed in the Senate. Nonetheless, California launched its own cap-and-trade program to implement greenhouse gas emissions reductions mandated by AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The story of California’s program is told by Nichols at the Stanford Center for Social Innovation’s 2013 Conradin Von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Does Impact Investing Really Have Impact?]

Impact investing: is it actually investing? Or is it venture philanthropy by another name?

Resource: Video
[Video-Leadership in the War Against Extreme Poverty]

Stanford GSB alum ('08) founded Nuru International to maximize local leadership to drive sustainable change.

Resource: Video
Corner