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Social Innovation

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

THE FAIR SOCIETY: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice by Peter Corning

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

The political process is chaotic and often takes years to unfold, making it difficult to use traditional measures to evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy organizations. There are, however, unconventional methods one can use to evaluate advocacy organizations and make strategic investments in that arena.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The Stanford Graduate School of Business opens the Knight Management Center, a new facility of eight buildings around three quads designed to support an innovative MBA curriculum. The center is expected to achieve the highest LEED Platinum® rating for environmental sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Venture into a Panera Cares café and you’ll see the same menu and racks of freshly baked breads that are staples at the 1,400 Panera Bread restaurants across the United States. The only thing missing is the cash register. Instead, there’s a donation box where customers pay on the honor system.

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

Unless clean tech follows well-established rules of innovation and commercialization, the industry’s promise to provide sustainable sources of energy will fail.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

"No single generation has ever witnessed so much change in a lifetime," SEIU President Andy Stern told a Business School audience, and unions must be part of that change.

Resource: News Article
[photo - from a crisis emerges a laboratory of innovation]

Stanford MBA students on a service learning trip advise small businesses in New Orleans. They partner with nonprofit the Idea Village to create a model program for business students from all over the world to provide pro bono business consulting services and become part of the rebirth of the city.

Resource: News Article
[photo - spence describes developing world growth]

"There is, perhaps for the first time in history, a reasonable chance of transforming the quality of life and the creative opportunities for the vast majority of humanity," says Dean Emeritus Michael Spence, describing the report of the Independent Commission on Growth in Developing Countries, which he chaired.

Resource: News Article

Business School Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer and doctoral student Sanford E. DeVoe found that people who are used to being paid by the hour start thinking of time as a commodity almost equal to cash. And given the choice as to whether they'll take time or greenbills, they'll usually take the latter—meaning they're nearly always willing to put in more hours to get the pay.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, co-founders of D.light]

Sam Goldman, MBA '07, CEO of D.light Design, finds himself running an international company whose customers are some of the poorest people in China, India, or Tanzania. The firm grew out of the Business School course Design for Extreme Affordability. Goldman talked to the Stanford Reporter.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2010

Corporate social responsibility and transparency encourage companies to do good.

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

How can we reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

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

Inspiring change through photography.

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

City Hall Fellows Program is designed to bring eager young faces into municipal government.

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

Is it possible to make our parks a place of inspiration?

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

“Cause-related” video games don’t go far enough in helping to solve social problems.

Resource: Blog Post

It is more important for nonprofits to do their job than to focus on media coverage. 

Resource: Blog Post

Nonprofits and the taxation debate.

Resource: Blog Post

Tips for how to introduce a wiki into your organization.

Resource: Blog Post

Better practices in disaster relief involve market-orientated nonprofit organizations, or social-mission-orientated, for-profit companies, playing a more prominent role.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Hayagreeva Rao]

Do you identify as an activist, a social entrepreneur, or both? What do they have in common? In this audio lecture sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Hayagreeva Rao, explores how the joined hands of activists, or "market rebels," shape markets, and how this promotes or blocks innovation. Rao's lessons are applicable to leaders in the nonprofit and for-profit spheres, marketers, and activists who harness collective action for institutional and social change.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: David La Piana]

David La Piana has been recognized as a leading expert on nonprofit management and governance. In this audio lecture sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, La Piana presents a continuum of partnership options ranging from strategic alliance to joint ventures to full-scale mergers, all to which falls under a term he has coined as strategic restructuring. Nonprofit management leaders are finding strategic restructuring as a way to respond to the current economic conditions.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Madhu Sridhar]
Akshaya Patra USA is an innovative social enterprise, a food program that is changing the face of education in India. In this audio interview with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman, President and CEO Madhu Sridhar talks about how the enterprise grew from a small organization to a massive, well-run entity. She discusses its noble goals and its strategically oriented approaches to meeting high-volume demand at low cost.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Robert Grimm Jr. and Susannah Washburn]

Sharing emerging trends and demographics of the new volunteer workforce, Robert Grimm and Susannah Washburn of the Corporation of National and Community Service show that volunteerism has been a growth area across the nation. Recognizing the value of volunteers can be a viable approach to maximize the efficiency of an organization. The speakers call on nonprofit management professionals to take on this new momentum for service and invest in volunteers by recruiting, developing, and recognizing volunteer talent.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kriss Deiglmeier]

The blurring of lines between nonprofits, governments, and for-profit businesses have fueled contemporary social innovation. With this convergence of market and non-market practices, we find that cross-sector collaborations provide for lasting solutions to our society's most vexing social problems. In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Kriss Deiglmeier, Executive Director of the CSI, defines social innovation, bringing clarity to the term, and examines its current status in theory and practice.

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

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
When does a house painter learn about low VOC paint? Are high-efficiency lightbulbs always better? How can you reduce package waste and still meet client expectations? How can a small business owner keep up with sustainability issues? Now Intuit and eBay have sites where small businesses share their green knowledge. Amy Skoczlas Cole, who runs eBayGreenTeam, and Rupesh Shah of IntuitGreen talk about small business and green.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Wolk]

Cross-sector collaborations are increasingly being seen as a means to foster innovation and solve entrenched social problems. In this audio lecture, Andrew Wolk, CEO of Root Cause, argues that the time has come for what he calls social impact markets. They would focus on single issues within specific geographic areas, and foster ties among government institutions, nonprofits, and businesses.

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 - Margaret L. Eaton]

Merck was grappling with how to distribute an HIV drug in limited supply. The decision team had chosen to manage distribution from one source, and was meeting to review the progress and success of its plan.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

The Skoll Foundation funds individuals and organizations with good ideas that can quickly grow in scale and impact. In 2002, as the leaders looked to the future, they pondered how they could act as leading social entrepreneurs themselves in terms of how they structured the foundation’s work.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

The Broad Education Foundation was established in 1999 to focus on K-12 public education reform. As the foundation sought to expand its reach, its ability to transition the management of its flagship investments would become increasingly important, and maintaining accountability to stakeholders would also be critical.

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

San Diego City Schools' leaders are faced with a choice: Should they continue reform efforts begun four years earlier, knowing that results so far have been mixed? Or should they modify their reform strategy?

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hau L. Lee]

With increasing pollution and congestion, European car manufacturers were concerned that governments might eventually ban cars from city centers. The producer of Swatch watches came up with the novel idea of an environmentally friendly, but stylish, super-compact car.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Ask for help]

How can a certain kind of behavior actually contributes to inequalities? Specifically, do children’s social-class backgrounds affect when and how they seek help in the classroom, thereby teasing out children’s own role in educational stratification? We consider how teachers may use such information to correct these dynamics, and thus contribute to more equal access for all children at school.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Flu Shot Reminder on Calendar]

Seasonal influenza leads to >200,000 hospitalizations and >8,000 deaths in the United States each year. The influenza vaccine is widely available at low cost and reduces mortality, morbidity, and healthcare costs. Nevertheless, many of those for whom vaccination is indicated fail to comply with CDC recommendations for vaccination. If low compliance is the result of careful calculations by individuals weighing the costs and benefits of vaccination, it may be difficult and expensive for policymakers and organizational leaders to increase vaccination rates. However, if low compliance is the result of forgetfulness or procrastination, low-cost interventions that use psychological tools may be effective at increasing vaccination rates and improving public health.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Collaborative Filtering of Medication Lists]

Evidence suggests that the medication lists of patients are often incomplete and could negatively affect patient outcomes. By predicting drugs the patient could be taking, collaborative filtering can be a valuable tool for reconciling medication lists.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Medical Expenses on tax form]

Workers who earn just below the Social Security tax threshold receive a larger tax preference for health insurance than workers who earn just above it.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - vertical integration & Medicare Reimbursement]

Health care providers may vertically integrate not only to facilitate coordination of care, but also for strategic reasons that may not be in patients’ best interests.

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

What inspires people to act selflessly, help others, and make personal sacrifices? Unusual acts of kindness—like giving something away to someone you don’t even know and getting nothing in return—happens numerous times every day, in the form of blood donation, providing online reviews, and so on. In each case, someone provides a useful good, service, or bit of advice free of charge. In academic circles, this type of giving is referred as “generalized exchange.” Generalized exchange stands in contrast to “direct exchange,” in which payments are made or reciprocity is expected. Professor Frank Flynn and colleagues, Robb Willer and Sonya Zak, looked at these unusual acts of kindness and examined whether generalized exchange systems can create more solidarity than direct exchange systems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

Mobius Motors manufactures and sells low-cost cars in the Kenyan market. The company strives to make the cars such that they are affordable, yet still perform well on Africa’s generally poor road networks. The company has attracted a lot of attention from development and venture financiers, and has ambitious plans to expand throughout the African continent. However, Mobius’s fleet of vehicle is still currently very small, and the company faces many strategic challenges on both the demand and the supply side of the business. 

Resource: Academic Case

George Shultz leads a group preparing to propose a federal tax on carbon to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption, a seemingly unlikely policy from a Republican Party statesman.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Photo: Greg Walton]
When minority students are given subtle attitude-changing strategies to encourage a sense of belonging, their GPA goes up, the achievement gap goes down, and they report better health and well-being. That was the conclusion of a study co-led by Greg Walton and discussed in this university podcast. The results suggest that social belonging is a psychological lever where targeted intervention can have broad consequences that lessen inequalities in achievement and health. Walton spoke at the Stanford Prosocial Briefing.
Resource: Audio
[photo - John Shoven]

It's true: 65 really is the new 55. Stanford economist John Shoven gives practical advice on how to save for retirement during a struggling economy, low interest rates and longer life spans.

Resource: News Article
Corner