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Social Innovation

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Researchers applying psychology to the realm of politics are finding that giving voters a few strategic nudges can push far more people in the direction of polls on election day.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Guilt]

Stanford GSB researchers find that how people respond to mistakes can be a "clue to who they are.”

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

GSB Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker says social media can help for-profits, nonprofits, and government organizations address a deficit of trust in our current culture.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Professor Jo Boaler]

Studies have shown that the root of the math gender gap is not differences in innate skills, but settings that undermine girls' confidence. In her research, School of Education Professor Jo Boaler has found more equitable ways to teach math.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Eric Schlosser]

Journalist-filmmaker Eric Schlosser tells students interested in food issues that critics of today’s industrial food system shouldn’t forget lower-income people.

Resource: News Article

Researchers applying psychology to the realm of politics are finding that giving voters a few strategic nudges can push far more people in the direction of polls on election day.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Guilt]

Stanford GSB researchers find that how people respond to mistakes can be a "clue to who they are.”

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

GSB Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker says social media can help for-profits, nonprofits, and government organizations address a deficit of trust in our current culture.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Professor Jo Boaler]

Studies have shown that the root of the math gender gap is not differences in innate skills, but settings that undermine girls' confidence. In her research, School of Education Professor Jo Boaler has found more equitable ways to teach math.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Eric Schlosser]

Journalist-filmmaker Eric Schlosser tells students interested in food issues that critics of today’s industrial food system shouldn’t forget lower-income people.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2010

Headline-grabbing problems like global warming and extreme poverty garner most of philanthropy’s money and energy, while less visible but no less important problems like the decline of the news media—one of the foundations of civil society—are often ignored. Without a healthy civil society, however, it becomes difficult if not impossible to solve the other, more readily apparent problems.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2010

Social intrapreneurs—change agents already working deep within business—are the answer for business’s woes.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2010

Social entrepreneurs are often reluctant to relinquish control and create strong leadership teams. Unless they make this important transition, the organizations entrepreneurs worked hard to create are unlikely to scale or have the desired impact.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2010

Clean Energy Works Portland gets consumers—and the workforce—energized about weatherization.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2010

Three types of leadership are needed to build a successful organization.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Nonprofits looking for charity should connect with baby boomers who own small businesses.

Resource: Blog Post

The economic crisis should spur nonprofits to focus on their mission and foundations to give more.

Resource: Blog Post

The recession poses an opportunity for nonprofits to tell their stories using social media as a means of fundraising.

Resource: Blog Post

The Hewlett Foundation president joins the legions of bloggers.

Resource: Blog Post

Heisman is cautiously optimistic about charitable giving in the recession.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Picture: Coffee Beans]
In Chiapas, Mexico, twelve indigenous communities have joined forces to obtain fair trade prices for their coffee under the auspices of the micro-industry Bats'il Maya. In this audio interview, COO Alberto Irezabal speaks with host Ashkon Jafari about how the co-op works to empower coffee growers, and how it is expanding to include coffee stores in Mexico City, among other innovations.
Resource: Audio

What if you could influence people to act on their best intentions? Professor Jennifer Aaker has spent most of her career researching the science of getting people to do the right thing.

Resource: Audio
The Peer Water Exchange (PWX) demonstrates how new media and peer interaction can help solve the global water and sanitation crisis by empowering communities. A platform that relies on peer review and collaboration, the PWX has managed tens of thousands of grassroots water projects in over 23 countries. Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman talks with Rajesh Shah, 2010 Intel Environmental category Tech Award winner, who conceived this social innovation.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Chong]
Catchafire is a New York City-based, for-profit social mission business that matches professionals who want to give their skills to nonprofits and social enterprises that need their help. In this audio interview, CEO and founder Rachael Chong speaks with host Ashkon Jafari about the ins and outs of the organization, from its founding, to its funding, to how it finds "matches."
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Morse]
Environmental sustainability faces a huge challenge in the developing world, as population growth and energy demand continue to cause increases in greenhouse gas emissions. In this university podcast from the 2010 Climate Policy Instruments in the Real World conference, Stanford's Richard Morse discusses carbon offsets as a way to engage the developing world in climate change improvement.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Clean Energy]

Speakers on the 2005 Clean Energy Panel discuss how wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have reached the critical mass to appear at least as recognizable slivers on the pie chart of the U.S. energy portfolio.

Resource: Video
[Video-Reducing Global Poverty]

From  disease control to global climate change, innovative business people are designing sustainable solutions to promote international development and reduce global poverty. Hear how this is happening from leaders in the field.

Resource: Video
[Video-Community Foundations]

Community foundations have become an increasingly common outlet for charitable giving in the United States. In this panel discussion, led by Julie Juergens, the director of the Center for Social Innovation, community foundation leaders discuss innovative models for foundations as well as challenges faced by this sector.

Resource: Video
[Video-Corporate Environmental Footprint]

Corporations are beginning to recognize environmental stewardship as an essential part of corporate social responsibility. This panel discussion explores some of the leading corporate initiatives toward environmental sustainability.

Resource: Video
[Video-Corporate Social Responsibility Panel]

A key to assessing and expanding a company's corporate social responsibility agenda is developing appropriate reporting mechanisms both inside and outside the firm. Panelists from The Coca-Cola Co., United Technologies Corp., McDonald's Corporation, and KPMG share best practices.

Resource: Video

How do we get individuals to practice healthier habits and influence positive behavior change? The "Behavior Wizard" offers technology-based solutions in this audio lecture from the 2011 Stanford Graduate School of Business Healthcare Summit. B.J. Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, bring his insights from the tech world. In decades studying how computers and mobile apps can be used to bring about behavior change, Fogg found new applications for the health sector in promoting positive habits.

Resource: Audio
What can the for-profit market bring to K-12 education reform, and how can philanthropy help such efforts? In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, Gisèle Huff, executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation, discusses the foundation's investment strategy in this regard. She touches on lessons the organization has learned, and what the average citizen can do to raise American education standards.
Resource: Audio

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
[Video-Global Education Conference]

Business and technological innovations are pushing education everywhere to the brink of great change. What is the potential for global education today?

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 - John McMillan]

This note outlines the business climate for entrepreneurs in reform-era Vietnam around 1996. Entrepreneurs had to overcome a host of impediments in gaining access to markets, and in dealing with licensing and corruption.

Resource: Academic Case

In April 1999 the leaders of a nonprofit that acquired private land for transfer to public use met to discuss their latest internal auditors’ report. They wanted to decide how best to analyze the findings in order to explain to the board why the results did not appear as good as they actually were.

Resource: Academic Case
Multimedia Case
[photo - Image: Chip Heath]

Interplast was the first international humanitarian organization to send U.S. doctors overseas to provide free reconstructive surgery in developing countries. This case and its campanion videocase chronicle the debates that arose as the organization began to shift its focus from direct service to education.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Rick Aubry]

The community development arm of The Roberts Foundation must decide whether to continue its investment in Asian Neighborhood Design. The housing and community development organization has been experiencing operational challenges due to rapid growth.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - John McMillan]

By the mid-1990s, a few years into Vietnam’s tentative market-oriented reforms, the country’s private sector was at a crucial point. Three owner-managers discuss their initial success in such an unreceptive setting.

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

In Africa, GlaxoSmithKline had to determine how to address the AIDS crisis while maintaining business viability. The case details the interventions of Stanford business alumnus Jean-Pierre Garnier to set the public tone for the company and its worldwide operations.

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

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has approved a $110 million nursing initiative to improve patient care in hospitals. The case addresses how the Foundation can determine which grants to make under the initiative, and how it may most effectively allocate funds.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - John McMillan]

Grameen Bank lent hundreds of millions of dollars to millions of poor entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Managing Director Muhammad Yunus faced tremendous challenges brought about by political upheavals and natural disasters in this country.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - John McMillan]

This case describes events with Peruvian intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos, his network, and his interventions in affairs of the Newmont Mining Corporation. It provides an inside view of how business gets done where the rule of law is subordinated to political influence.

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

These notes discuss the AIDS epidemic including history, treatment, drug pricing, and economics.

 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case details the 2006 decision by the United Kingdom to deny coverage for a new form of inhaled insulin. In doing so, it highlights the challenges to innovators in managing conflicts over the costs, benefits, and risks of new technology.

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

In 2007, the issue of global warming brought carbon dioxide emissions to the forefront of Americans’ minds. This paper examines some of the emerging innovations designed to reduce oil consumption.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hayagreeva Rao]

In December 2004, the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement challenged U.S. hospitals to reduce unnecessary deaths by 100,000 in the next 18 months. The case describes a campaign that incorporated lessons from politics and social activism.

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

Inspired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jessica and Matt Flannery experimented with micro-lending connecting Ugandan entrepreneurs to friends and family through a pilot internet trial. Kiva, the first person-to- person microlending organization was born.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

As Green as It Gets was a nonprofit economic development organization supporting small, independent producers in disadvantaged Guatemalan communities. The founder pondered how to grow and sustain the organization.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Charles O'Reilly]

The authors integrate two complementary streams of research on ‘fit’ with an organization's culture that document impacts of similarity in values and demographics.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah Soule]

The authors reexamine the relationship between protest and policy change at the agenda-setting stage of policymaking. They find that protest, issue legitimacy, and issue competition account for variation in the number of congressional hearings granted to rights issues.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah Soule]

This paper uses social movement theory to examine one way in which secondary stakeholders outside the corporation may influence organizational processes, even if they are excluded from participating in legitimate channels of organizational change.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Dale T. Miller]

This article describes six experiments that demonstrate the effect of people's tendency to infer that a familiar opinion is a prevalent one among their group. Implications for social consensus estimation and social influence are discussed.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - John Cogan]

In this paper, the authors calculate the consequences for health spending and the federal budget of an above-the-line deduction for out-of-pocket health spending. These estimates are compared to those of past researchers. Implications on tax policy are discussed.

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

New Stanford research says those with big health problems may be getting less for their money than they could — and raising prices for all.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Lucy Bernholz]

What is a “social economy” and how is it affecting leaders in nonprofit management? In this audio lecture from Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich, thought leaders in philanthropy and technology, describe what the social economy is and how it came about, the changes it has sparked, and the implications for how nonprofits are run.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Inspire]

Globally, pneumonia kills more children than any other illness. In developed countries, pneumonia and other acute respiratory conditions are treated via mechanical ventilators. In resource-constrained settings, however, ventilators are often not available because of their high cost. An approach has been used successfully, although not considered standard of care, is bubble continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAPs are low-cost and effective, but require oxygen tanks, which are expensive to transport to rural regions. in 2011, a team of Stanford students set out to design a  machine that would create the pressurized air of bubble CPAP without the cost, burden, and safety concerns with using oxygen tanks. This case explores the factors that the Inspire team members evaluated in deciding whether or not to take their prototype into development. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Respira]

To Help Address the burden of childhood asthma in developing countries, Respira Design created an asthma spacer that was produced from a single sheet of paper. The device could ship and store flat and then be transformed into a usable spacer through a series of cuts and folds. However, as a medical device, it was necessary to test the extent to which it impacted the delivery of medication and how many uses each spacer could sustain. The team also needed to study the circumstances in which the device would perform successfully. This case examines how Respira address these issues.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - William Meehan III]

 

In 2007 a group of eight friends wanted to give. With so many charities out there, the friends wanted dot know which ones were doing the most good. This case covered the history of GiveWEll—a nonprofit dedicated to bringing greater and transparency to the world of philanthropy—and the evolution of its research methodology and philosophy for identifying outstanding charities.

Resource: Academic Case
Corner