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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Collectivist, group-oriented teams do better work.
Transformational leaders capitalize on the creativity that employees have.
Most health advocacy organizations do not report industry funding.
Lending circles, self-help groups, and study circles are all examples of one of the oldest and most effective tools for creating personal and social change. Leveraging the potential of Circles requires a clear understanding of what they are and how they work.
The CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation and the managing director of Versant Ventures provide an introduction to innovations for better health care at lower cost.
For the movers and shakers of this world who could use some practical, cost-effective solutions for encouraging donations, volunteerism, social activism, and other responsible, caring, and pro-social behaviors, Frank Flynn reviews the latest findings. To receive Flynn's highlights, sign up for the quarterly prosocial highlight.
As the world watched, Laurence Golborne, SEP '96, found himself directing Chile's efforts to rescue 33 miners trapped below ground for '69 days. Golborne, his nation's mining minister says, it was the most intense experience of his life.
Taking from the rich and giving to the poor is the philosophy behind the aptly named Robin Hood Foundation, one of the most influential philanthropies today. Happily, the "takers" in this case are also the givers -- wealthy board members and others who have joined forces in one of the greatest extended campaigns of all time to significantly reduce poverty in New York City.
A national debate over the behavior of ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd had just made headlines. Advance publicity for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a movie about greed writ large, was picking up volume. And political pundits were arguing daily over what it meant for candidates to be perceived as either pro- or antibusiness as midterm elections approached. Stanford GSB students reflect on Wall Street's bruised reputation.
Why nonprofits should court contributions that help both themselves and society.
Studies have shown a correlation in the price of coffee and the health of children in coffee-growing regions. As parents spend more time raising their profitable crop, they neglect their children’s needs.
SaveTogether wants to foster the savings habit among low-income Americans.
MOVING POLITICS: Emotions and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS by Deborah B. Gould
Strategies for following one’s social enterprise bliss.
Arsenault shares how she has facilitated nonprofit mergers.
Africa is finding Chinese investment less demanding than that of the West.
By treating government as a potential partner, nonprofits can find ways to put its resources to productive use.
To what degree will Chinese investments in Africa add long-term value?
The financial crisis has led to finger pointing at business schools, which have spawned MBAs who have become the leaders of various prominent financial and government institutions involved in the crisis. In this audio interview, Stanford MBA student Alex Maasry talks with Garth Saloner, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, about the impact of the crisis on the GSB's curriculum and on business education more broadly.
While Wall Street's role in the financial crisis is widely discussed, the government's role is often less well understood. In this audio interview, Stanford MBA student Joy Sun talks with John Taylor, a renowned macroeconomist and professor at Stanford University, about how government regulation and policy have shaped the recovery from the economic crisis and how they may prevent similar crises in the future.
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.
As part of the annual Conradin Von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture on the Environment, Mike Volpe, MBA '13, and Jake Saper, MBA '14, lay out an argument for a US-wide carbon policy.
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.
Market practices are changing. With a focus on sustainability, corporations are moving toward operations that reduce the environmental impact of their products and services and offer an integrated bottom line. In this audio interview, part of The Future of Green series, host Neal Gorenflo speaks with Maurice Bechard of Diversey and Michael Kobori of Levi Strauss & Co. about the motivations for change and how to approach this shift.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Population Services International (PSI) was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit organization focused on improving reproductive health in developing countries using commercial marketing strategies. Over the years, PSI broadened its mission to address family planning, child and maternal health, and HIV and AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment. PSI opened an office in Lesotho and in 2010, a donor provided PSI/Lesotho with “a warehouse full” of female condoms (FCs) that the organization could use to help young women in the area protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. The challenge for the team was to figure out how to effectively distribute and promote the FCs since early versions of the female condom were notoriously unpopular.
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.
By 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had firmly established the importance of building a knowledge base and communicating its findings to external and internal constitutencies. The foundation faced the challenge of how to effectively execute its communications.
This case, part two in a two-part series, explores the challenge of distribution, particularly for nonprofit entities seeking to bring their products and services to hard-to-reach places around the world.
The Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund provides Silicon Valley donors with philanthropic experience and education to empower their giving, and awards capacity-building grants to nonprofits. The fund’s leadership wondered how to improve the partner consulting program to better leverage partner expertise, and how to engage partners in grantmaking and educational activities.
In 2002, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, dedicated to building a better future for disadvantaged children, hired a director of social investments. The director faces challenges such as how to enable the long-term sustainability of grantees, track financial and programmatic performance of investments, and resolve the tension between social investment and programmatic strategies.
India’s services sector had demonstrated that the country possessed the capacity to improve its global standing significantly. The question was whether India would capitalize on its success by addressing obstacles to growth, or miss the opportunity to enter the modern world.
This study finds that high self-esteem and positive mood affects negotiators' confidence and optimism prior to negotiations, as well as post-negotiation performance evaluations. The paper discusses the implications of these results for understanding why negotiators often fail to reach optimal agreements.
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.
How are engaged citizens made? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam argues that youth volunteering does not directly result in active citizens or a robust civil society. Instead, the responses to youth activism are varied and driven by historical and cultural context.
Team members at D-Rev - a U.S. nonprofit technology company with the mission to improve the health and incomes of people living on less than $4 per day - became interested in the problem of infant jaundice. D-Rev confirmed that jaundice was a problem in rural areas where equipment to treat the condition was virtually nonexistent. To address this issue, the D-Rev team created a prototype phototherapy solution for jaundice treatment product called Brilliance. This mini-case study examines D-Rev's strategy and approach to raise funds for a market-ready product.
The East Meets West Foundation (EMW) is an international development agency with the mission to transform the health, education, and communities of disadvantaged people in Asia. Through its Breath of Life (BOL) program, EMW provides a complete package of custom-made, low-cost medical equipment to neonatal care providers. As EMW expanded BOL in Asia, it recognized the need to develop more effective therapy for infant jaundice. EMW was interest in an infant phototherapy solution, but they did not have the design capabilities needed to develop the product and neither did its existing parters. This case study reveals how EMW addressed challenges of positioning for continued growth.
When team members at D-Rev — a U.S. nonprofit technology company — became interested in the problem of infant jaundice, they initiated a detailed assessment of the phototherapy landscapes in India and Nigeria and created a prototype for a jaundice treatment product called Brilliance. When D-Rev was ready to start thinking about taking Brilliance to market, the team carefully evaluated its own competencies and concluded that the organization’s strengths were not in product manufacturing or after-sales services and believed it should enter into a licensing agreement to accelerate Brilliance’s market penetration. The challenge was to find the right partner and structure the partnership deal effectively to ensure that D-Rev’s social impact goals would be achieved. This mini-case study explores how D-Rev identified its partner and crafted an agreement to motivate desired behavior.