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Social Innovation

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2011

A doctor describes his groundbreaking, transdisciplinary effort to design more cost-effective care models for conditions that drive a large proportion of US health spending.

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

A new Facebook app helps incoming freshmen connect—but within the closed community of their college.

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

Nuru International identifies proven poverty-reduction programs and aims to take them to scale.

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

The Peer Water Exchange manages diverse solutions and resources to fight the global water crisis.

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

In trying to improve American public schools, educators, policymakers, and philanthropists are overselling the role of the highly skilled individual teacher and undervaluing the benefits that come from teacher collaborations.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

If you want to give money to a good cause, how do you decide which organization to focus on amidst myriad choices? A new enterprise driven by Stanford MBAs, known as Philanthropedia, is making it easier for you to figure it out.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Clean Tech Energy]

Streamlining balky government permit processes or convoluted global supply chains are just some of the challenges in the "Valley of Death" faced by fledgling clean energy firms, government officials were told during a Stanford forum.

Resource: News Article

Arab nations rocked by popular uprisings in recent months face complex, precarious, and often divergent paths toward establishing democracy, says Stanford democracy expert Larry Diamond.

Resource: News Article

Public education that prepares a workforce for tomorrow's needs is the cause that most challenges her, said Penny Pritzker, JD/MBA '84, the 2011 recipient of the business school's Arbuckle Award.

Resource: News Article

A program using cell phones to get anti-malaria drugs to the rural spots that need them most is one program that has helped lower deaths from malaria in Africa Silvio Gabriel, an executive with Novartis Pharma, told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2010

A PARADISE BUILT IN HELL: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit

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

Why nonprofits should court contributions that help both themselves and society.

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

SaveTogether wants to foster the savings habit among low-income Americans.

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

A new social enterprise incubator fills two critical gaps facing social entrepreneurs: mentoring and access to capital.

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

A huge leap in the exportation of Argentinean wines can be attributed to new public-private institutions that encourage partnerships between government agencies and local industry.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

A new study says arts education should be expanded.

Resource: Blog Post

The union of Maui Youth & Family Services, Aloha House, and Malama Family Recovery Center.

Resource: Blog Post

Tips for helping nonprofits do better at recruiting Millennials and Baby Boomers.

Resource: Blog Post

Should the focus be on more fulfilling work—or higher salaries?

Resource: Blog Post

Millennial generation reps will create five technology projects that will reduce the influence of wealth and special interest groups in policymaking.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Picture: Noah Goldstein]
If you stayed in a hotel recently, you may have seen signs that encouraged you to reuse your towel in an effort to conserve resources. What drives you and others to participate in this environmentally and economically beneficial program? Professor Noah Goldstein studies the factors that motivate individuals to engage in prosocial actions using descriptive norms to design effective messages. He presents his research in this audio lecture presented by the Center for Social Innovation.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Adam Grant]

Call centers can be important in philanthropy and fundraising efforts, but they represent possibly the most challenging arena for raising money. In this university podcast, Wharton associate professor Adam Grant talks about new research on what works -- and what doesn't -- for keeping call center employees and volunteers motivated and effective.

Resource: Audio

A vicious cycle is leaving nonprofits so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations -- let alone serve their beneficiaries. In this audio lecture, Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard of The Bridgespan Group, a leading nonprofit management consulting firm, unveil the forces that deprive organizations of much-needed overhead funding. They then reveal what grantees can do to break out of this nonprofit starvation cycle, so that they can focus on the work ahead.

Resource: Audio

Many nonprofit leaders today are on the brink of burnout. Their responsibilities are mounting and their resources are dwindling. In this audio lecture, Katherine Fulton, president of the Monitor Institute, advises nonprofit professionals to slow down, in order to assess the challenges ahead. She offers five leadership tips that enable nonprofit managers to go back to fundamentals, so that they can thrive in an uncertain world.

Resource: Audio
"Every year, I say 'Never again,' but I do, and I love it." Does this sound familiar to you? Volunteer organizations enhance the quality of life, usually locally. But anyone who has been involved in a volunteer organization understands their fragility. BigTent, a platform for social groups, hosts 20,000 free, online forums with controls specifically for the needs of volunteer groups. Sheela Sethuraman talks with Laney Whitcanack, COO of BigTent.
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
[Video-Jane Chen: Crazy Enough to Change the World?]

Jane Chen (MBA '08) shares her journey to success in tackling one of the world's pressing issues -- low birth rates of premature babies around the world.

Resource: Video
[Video-Robert Sutton: Scaling Up Excellence]

Professor Sutton discusses a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint.

Resource: Video
[photo - Amandine Barthelemy - Romain Slitine]

L'économie sociale en France est un secteur à part entière qui regroupe les initiatives économiques d'utilité sociale et d'intérêt collectif. Mais peut-on tous devenir des entrepreneurs sociaux? Une étude a donc été réalisée sur les facteurs de réussite et les obstacles. Dans cet enregistrement audio, Amandine Barthelemy et Romain Slitine, experts associés de l'Institut de l'Innovation et de l'Entrepreneuriat Social, nous commentent les résultats de cette enquête et esquissent le profil type du bon entrepreneur social.

Resource: Audio

Connecting good, effective nonprofits and other organizations that get the job done is the mission of Craigconnects, the latest enterprise of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, Newmark discusses the organization's philosophy, primary activities, and future plans.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Changing Behaviors and Changing Policies: Sheena Iyengar]

At the 2011 GSB Healthcare Summit, Sheena Iyengar, Professor of Business at Columbia University's Business School, shared her research on why people make the choices they do.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Technology to Redesign Delivery of Care: Andrew Thompson ]

Andrew Thompson, CEO of Proteus Biomedical, reveals how technology can be used to make healthcare accessible to everyone in the world at the 2011 GSB Healthcare Summit.

Resource: Video

The environmental sustainability movement has long been pushing for the development of renewable energy resources. Yet to have a significant impact in the energy market, any renewable alternative must be scalable, argues Haas School professor Severin Borenstein in this audio lecture. Speaking at the 2010 Climate Policy Instruments in the Real World conference at Stanford, he suggests where policy interventions should be focused so as to pave the way for the greater appeal of renewable technologies.

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

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the team’s primary objectives was to investigate sales and distribution challenges in this space. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots, the team hoped to test different models for improving customer access to these safe water products in an effort to identify scalable, sustainable, and replicable solutions. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important sales and distribution insights.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura Arrillaga]

Arrillaga created Silicon Valley Social Venture ("SV2") in partnership with Community Foundation Silicon Valley (“CFSV”), a nationally recognized public foundation that had experience working with individual donors and had established credibility within the philanthropic field. Arrillaga formed SV2 as a donor-advised fund to ensure that CFSV staff would help guide SV2 partners leverage their expertise and funding to select high-performing community organizations, thus generating the greatest social impact. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hau Lee]

Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Glenn Carroll]

The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PATH]

In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant form the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its purpose was to evaluate how market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) products among the world's poor. One key factor to consider in constructing its pilot studies was the affordability of HWTS products. This case study describes PATH's efforts to use consumer financing as a mechanism for making HWTS produce and supplies more accessible to its target market. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - CycleBeads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researches at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for a intuitive, natural contraception method that could meet the needs of families that chose not to use medical or surgical alternatives. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM), a family planning system, and CycleBeads. Despite some reservations related to traditional values, IRH seized the opportunity to roll out sDM and CycleBeads in Mali, West Africa. Unfortunately, the initial launch did not go well and had trouble establishing effective delivery and support for the product. This case looks at how IRH adapted its approach to facilitate more effective implementation of CycleBeads across Mali. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - d.light]

d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When members of d.light moved to India to set up distribution of their product, the team quickly discovered would not be as easy as they hoped. They discovered it would be difficult to convince consumers to invest in a d.light product as the market was saturated with low-quality, solar-based lighting products. Distribution posed another challenge. This mini-case study evaluates the strategy d.light adopted to differentiate the company and establish its products as credible and trustworthy to earn the acceptance of consumers and distributors. 

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

Ashoka was a professional organization that identified and invested in leading social entrepreneurs globally. The organization faced challenges as it updated its mission to “make things happen in a bigger way.”

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - George Foster]

The Canary Fund supports the development of methods for early cancer detection. This first case describes the choice to sponsor a high-profile racing event to raise funding and awareness.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

In the mid-2000s, drug eluting stents had been shown to significantly reduce restenosis rates and promised to be one of the most dynamic and complex segments of the medical device industry: explosive growth, product recalls, and intellectual property litigation, but also inter-industry collaboration.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

David Dodson started the septic company Green River Environmental after mixed results in his previous entrepreneurial ventures. This case tracks three difficult mangerial situations Dodson faced during his tenure as CEO and chairman of the company.

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

Minnesota Public Radio had evolved from a small public radio station to a network of 38 stations, mainly through social purpose capitalism. The founder came under criticism after creating for-profit ventures to support and build the enterprise.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - James E. Emerson]

A foundation's assets for supporting the process of social value creation should be viewed as part of the organization's overall investment strategy. This paper introduces the concept of the Unified Investment Strategy, an approach to achieving maximum social impact.

Resource: Research Paper

Stanford economists Daniel Kessler and Mark McClellan examine why hospital competition, often thought to be bad, has led to greater efficacy and efficiency in the hospital industry. They examine how costs and benefits are spread among quality quartiles in the industry, noting discrepancies in price and service for those who receive service from low-quartile hospitals, calling to question issues of equality in hospital services.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Joanne Martin]

This article briefly summarizes work documenting gender inequalities in organizations, and the ways that gender theory and research have been ignored and marginalized in organizational scholarship. It then presents the idea of revisioning, and outlines several techniques for exposing hidden gendered assumptions in ostensibly gender-neutral scholarship.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo -  J. Gregory Dees]

This seminal paper defines the term social entrepreneurship and helps shape, what was in 1998, the nascent field of social entrepreneurship.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Joanne Martin]

The paper examines micro-processes that undermine the formal power of high-ranking women in a male-dominated organization. It shows how the capacity of these women to reduce systemic causes of gender inequality is therefore more limited than it might appear.

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

This case describes the formation and operation of Leopard Capital, a “Frontier Market Private Equity Fund” from its establishment in 2007 up through the end of 2012. The case focuses on the fund’s founder, Douglas Clayton, and his history doing business in Asia and what led him to the decision to start Leopard Capital as a Cambodia- focused private equity fund, and later to expand into other frontier markets such as Mynmar, Mongolia, and Haiti. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Healthcare Reform]

A group of scholars propose a plan that could put a brake on health care spending.

Resource: News Article
[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: Innovators
[photo - Solar Panels]

SunRun's Ed Fenster discusses his business and the economics of solar power.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Ethical Behavior]

New research shows how subtle changes in language can lead to more ethical behavior.

Resource: News Article
Corner