- Research By Topic
- Student Programs
- Executive Programs
- GSB Social Innovators
- Community Engagement
- About CSI
Skip to Content
Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
The Peer Water Exchange manages diverse solutions and resources to fight the global water crisis.
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.
The Myelin Repair Foundation is creating a process for the rapid development of new treatments and cures.
POOR ECONOMICS: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo
GLOBAL ACTION NETWORKS: Creating Our Future Together by Steve Waddell
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.
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.
Dan Reicher, executive director of Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, today testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power in a hearing on "EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations and Their Effect on American Jobs."
When oil began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico last year, scientists, engineers, and operations workers all had different ideas about what to do. The biggest lesson may have been getting these different groups to work together, Marcia McNutt of the USGS told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.
Used shipping containers become health care clinics in the developing world.
Most nonprofits use social media like Facebook and Twitter as an ancillary part of what they do. A few organizations, however, are using these tools to fundamentally change the way they work and increase their social impact.
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.
What it takes to make change in the U.S. State Department.
Most poor people start businesses because they have no other choice, not because they have a burning desire to become entrepreneurs. For these “necessity entrepreneurs,” microfranchising—that is, replicating someone else’s small business model—poses fewer risks and offers greater benefits than does creating a new business from scratch.
The union of Maui Youth & Family Services, Aloha House, and Malama Family Recovery Center.
Tips for helping nonprofits do better at recruiting Millennials and Baby Boomers.
Should the focus be on more fulfilling work—or higher salaries?
Millennial generation reps will create five technology projects that will reduce the influence of wealth and special interest groups in policymaking.
In the world of international development, microcredit has become an increasingly important means of poverty alleviation. In this audio interview, Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Ashkon Jafari talks with Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus about how he founded Grameen Bank to offer economic building tools for some of the poorest people in Bangladesh. Yunus shares lessons learned along the way, future directions, and what gets him up and motivated every day.
Amidst much debate and acrimony, Congress has at last passed the Affordable Care Act -- the new health law. The law makes health coverage available to those denied health insurance by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition. In this panel discussion at Stanford, medical and public health experts consider what's strong and weak about the new measure, and how it will change our health care system.
Can schools be turned around, and can the system change? Yes, say an experienced district and state school leader in this panel discussion during the Driving Dramatic School Improvement conference at Stanford. Navigating questions by moderator Jordan Meranus, they talk about what they are doing in Louisiana and Baltimore to radically reform schools so that more children can meet state standards and receive an excellent education.
How can you leverage the power of design thinking and psychological research with practical tools and strategies to get your social enterprise off the ground? In this university podcast, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business marketing professor Jennifer Aaker introduces the "dragonfly effect" model to illustrate how technology can be used to support business and social missions.
Twitter may be based in San Francisco, but it's used by folks in nearly every country in the world. In this university podcast, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, author Sarah Milstein shows you the ins and outs of how to use this real-time information network for your personal or business advantage. She offers tips on searching, posting, and making an impact on the world with your ideas.
Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from them.
An interview with Professor John Roberts about his study results on the efficacy of working from home.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business View from the Top Series hosted former Vice President Al Gore where he spoke to over 600 students on leadership, solutions for the climate crisis, and sustainable capitalism.
California, the ninth largest economy in the world, recently launched a new carbon cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, leads this program that could provide a model to support other regional or national efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
How a team of scientists collaborated with the government to measure damage after the catastrophic Gulf oil spill in 2010.
A breakthrough for global health: double fortified salt has been recognized as a social innovation that delivers small but crucial daily amounts of iodine and iron to individuals at a very low cost. In this audio interview, Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman talks with Venkatesh Mannar, 2010 Tech Award winner in Health, as he shares his process of bringing this innovation from lab to market, with the potential to reach billions of people worldwide.
In response to the historical events of the late 60's and the growing societal demands on business, the Stanford Graduate School of Business developed a pioneering vision for educating leaders who understand the world they live in and know to work across silos to accomodate the needs of both business and society. The founders of the Public Management Program share their motivations for creating the first program of the sort at a business school and why it is more relevant than ever today.
Les fusions et acquisitions ne sont plus des pratiques cantonnées au secteur capitaliste. Pour développer leur impact, pour venir en aide à des structures en difficulté, pour diversifier leurs interventions, certaines entreprises sociales et associations a but non lucratif se lancent dans l'aventure de la croissance externe. Avec quels succès ? Avec quels enjeux et à quel prix ?
How do we get the brightest minds to become interested in social enterprise and philanthropy in order to solve the world's most intractable problems? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Bill Gates, co-chair of his now famous foundation, calls on Stanford students to become part of the solution. He talks about his own path, pressing social challenges, and opportunities for addressing them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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—and importing fries was undesirable for both cost and availability reasons. This case describes McDonald’s India and McCain India’s efforts to optimize the MacFry supply chain by increasing local supply in a fast-growing emerging market using agronomy, farmer relationship development and value chain innovation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This seminal paper defines the term social entrepreneurship and helps shape, what was in 1998, the nascent field of social entrepreneurship.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leading a Social Innovation Study Trip lands Robyn Beavers, MBA '10, in a new industry.
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.
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.
The study, the most long-range and detailed of its kind to date, forecasts the occurrence of severe dry years during the next nine decades in Tanzania and its key trading partners.
Can monetary incentives get people to lose weight? Yes, at least in the short term, says Harvard business professor Leslie John in this university podcast. John reports on studies using lotteries and the threat of financial loss in getting people to slim their waistlines, an important step in improving health. She spoke at the Stanford Prosocial Briefing.
Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine and Engineering at Stanford University has developed 11 methods for integrating sex and gender analysis into research projects, and 14 case studies demonstrating the benefits of using them.
TeachAIDS, a nonprofit spun out of Stanford in 2009, targets its highly successful animated AIDS education software to specific cultures. Its most recent success: a national "TeachAIDS Day" in Botswana.
Family planning counseling could prove to be a cost-effective way to help minimize the number of children born HIV-positive in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests a new study by Medical School researchers, presented this week in Washington, D.C., at the International AIDS Conference.