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


[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 - Issues on My Mind]

The scholar, diplomat, and businessman discusses America's role in the world.

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 - Issues on My Mind]

The scholar, diplomat, and businessman discusses America's role in the world.

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 - John Kenyon]

From the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Kenyon explains how the intersection of mobile, social, and technology is changing nonprofits. As technology becomes increasingly mobile, intimacy with technology has increased; how can we be more effective in outreach without invading personal spaces?

Resource: Audio
[photo - Doug Hattaway]

Aspirational communication requires an exciting goal, motivational language, and an urgent call to action. In this audio lecture, Doug Hattaway, president of Hattaway Communications, discusses strategies for shaping an organization’s message to maximize its impact, emphasizing simple, people-centered communication techniques.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Daniel Spitzer]

Operating a successful social enterprise requires providing meaningful economic value to people. In this audio lecture, Daniel Spitzer, founder of Mountain Hazelnuts, describes his experience creating supply chain value to develop a hazelnut farming social enterprise in Bhutan. Spitzer details how he enhances supply chains through corporate citizenship, and leverages data captured from Android phones. Spitzer describes why there is nothing is more important than people in operating a profitable business through corporate social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Rodney Mullen]

Is innovation something new, or is it built from fragments of experience that grow to become something greater? Skateboard legend Rodney Mullen is an innovator of tricks. To this day, every new skateboard trick can be attributed to Rodney’s early creations. Like most social entrepreneurs, Rodney developed something that took on a life of its own, and he found himself struggling to reconnect with the joy he originally found. Ned Breslin and Rodney discuss the struggles of being an innovator and how creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, it is a collection of experiences, teachings, and learning that come from the simple act of listening.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dara O'Rourke]

Social innovations in the supply chain have the potential for making an impact on a large scale. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and more.

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 - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Julie Dixon]

Personal connections and influence can be crucial in garnering support for an organization’s cause. In this audio lecture, Julie Dixon of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication describes how organizations can leverage supporters’ talent, resources, and participation through meaningful engagement. She suggests that organizations craft opportunities and social media policies that allow people to support a cause in the best way they can.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Marina Gorbis]

Modern technology empowers individuals to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. In this audio lecture, Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, discusses “socialstructing” — generating small contributions from each person in a wide network to accomplish large tasks, such as the creation of a global collection of crime-related data. Gorbis describes socialstructing as an alternative to some types of formal organizations in the future.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dr. James Doty]

In his speech at the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Dr. James Doty blends his own life lessons with science to explain how compassion is a crucial part of altruism, social innovation, and health. Doty questions why wealth should equate with greed and challenges the rationale behind trickle-down economics. He also criticizes an excessive obsession with the outcomes of donated funds that, while practical, can lead to reluctance to donate in the first place. How can we focus on a form of compassion without footnotes?

Resource: Audio
[photo - David Darg]

Bryn Mooser and David Darg have been on the front lines to witness war, poverty, and natural disasters. Frustrated with the traditional media’s inflexibility in providing actionable context around the news, they created a social online hub that does. RYOT connects an action with each news story so people can get involved in the world’s most pressing matters. Host Ned Breslin speaks with the RYOT founders about their plans to disrupt traditional media by allowing people to “Become the News.”

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 - 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 - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Julie Dixon]

Personal connections and influence can be crucial in garnering support for an organization’s cause. In this audio lecture, Julie Dixon of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication describes how organizations can leverage supporters’ talent, resources, and participation through meaningful engagement. She suggests that organizations craft opportunities and social media policies that allow people to support a cause in the best way they can.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Marina Gorbis]

Modern technology empowers individuals to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. In this audio lecture, Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, discusses “socialstructing” — generating small contributions from each person in a wide network to accomplish large tasks, such as the creation of a global collection of crime-related data. Gorbis describes socialstructing as an alternative to some types of formal organizations in the future.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dr. James Doty]

In his speech at the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Dr. James Doty blends his own life lessons with science to explain how compassion is a crucial part of altruism, social innovation, and health. Doty questions why wealth should equate with greed and challenges the rationale behind trickle-down economics. He also criticizes an excessive obsession with the outcomes of donated funds that, while practical, can lead to reluctance to donate in the first place. How can we focus on a form of compassion without footnotes?

Resource: Audio
[photo - David Darg]

Bryn Mooser and David Darg have been on the front lines to witness war, poverty, and natural disasters. Frustrated with the traditional media’s inflexibility in providing actionable context around the news, they created a social online hub that does. RYOT connects an action with each news story so people can get involved in the world’s most pressing matters. Host Ned Breslin speaks with the RYOT founders about their plans to disrupt traditional media by allowing people to “Become the News.”

Resource: Audio
Corner