Skip to Content
Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.

Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Research By Topic

Search Resources:

Research Resources


[photo - China’s Solar-Panel Boom and Bust]

How a mad dash into a burgeoning sector turned into a scramble for support.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Beth Gerstein]

The cofounder of online jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth explains how she built her business. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Computer Therapy]

The success of an innovative new therapy suggests new avenues for incorporating emotional health resources into educational systems worldwide.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Trae Vassallo, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and cofounder]

For this venture capitalist, it all comes down to connecting with people – from family to coworkers to customers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - David Dodson]

Project Healthy Children works with governments and manufacturers to bring fortified foods to people at risk.

Resource: News Article
[photo - China’s Solar-Panel Boom and Bust]

How a mad dash into a burgeoning sector turned into a scramble for support.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Beth Gerstein]

The cofounder of online jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth explains how she built her business. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Computer Therapy]

The success of an innovative new therapy suggests new avenues for incorporating emotional health resources into educational systems worldwide.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Trae Vassallo, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and cofounder]

For this venture capitalist, it all comes down to connecting with people – from family to coworkers to customers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - David Dodson]

Project Healthy Children works with governments and manufacturers to bring fortified foods to people at risk.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2011

THE END OF FUNDRAISING: Raise More Money by Selling Your Impact by Jason Saul

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

The moral legitimacy of a new market can come as much from how you sell something as from exactly what you’re selling.

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

Collectivist, group-oriented teams do better work.

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

Transformational leaders capitalize on the creativity that employees have.

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

Most health advocacy organizations do not report industry funding.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Philanthropic and social capital markets are emerging, but they need issuers, investors and intermediaries to function. There is a range of activity and structure on both sides-–from nonprofit organizations to social businesses on the sell side and donors to investors on the buy side. Put together the full spectrum and you get nonprofits and grants on one end and social businesses and investors at the other end. Where it gets tricky is in the calculation of the social or environmental return. How to calculate the extent of these impacts is a thorny problem no matter where on the financial spectrum you participate.

Resource: Blog Post

An interview with Gavin Glabaugh, long-time IT guru at the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, gives incite on where nonprofits have been and where we’re going in terms of using technology.

Resource: Blog Post

Foundations can do much more to address the economic crisis and the human toll it is taking. Instead of hoarding their assets so they can perpetuate their wealth and their power, foundation boards should be voting to pay out more in assets and better fulfilling their governance role by taking a more active role as shareholders. Foundations should be putting all their assets, including those they pay out and those they invest in the capital markets, to more productive use to address the critical and escalating social and global problems we face.

Resource: Blog Post

The Collaboration Prize competition entries prove a rich resource for non-profit mergers. A grant of $250,000 will be shared between the co-winners: The Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas and the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo. But they were not the only winners in this competition; the rest of us now get to mine the wonderful data that remains from the 644 applications submitted to the Lodestar Foundation for the competition.

Resource: Blog Post

Generation Y leaders benefit from acting their age. The key to successful next generation leadership is to be who you are, not what you think an “official” nonprofit leader looks like. Craft your own brand of leadership, and others will see you as an authentic person they can follow and trust.

 

 

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Katrina Benjamin]

Slave labor is an abject evil that many in developing nations are working to eliminate. At the same time, even if you live far from enslaved workers, slave labor creates everyday moral challenges. Today nearly all of us use items that are tainted by slave labor. In this short audio lecture, Katrina Benjamin describes the degrading conditions of enslaved people, and outlines four specific examples where slavery is a an integral part of the consumer supply chain. Benjamin describes the environmental problems associated with slavery, and suggests ways that commercial and non-profit organizations can work to eliminate slavery through cooperative social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dr. Kohl Gill]

Real time information drives improvement in workforce management from both a social responsibility and operational perspective. In this short audio lecture, Dr. Kohl Gill discusses LaborVoices, Inc., a mobile technology platform that brings transparency to supply chain management through the voices of workers. Dr. Gill believes that if supply chain executives ask the right questions and are patient with the answers, LaborVoices can help improve social-environmental performance and improve bottom lines.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Ned Breslin]

Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People, tells us where he draws his inspiration from and where he gets his perspective on social change from – punk rock. In the first episode of his “Social Disruptors” series, Ned argues that the story arc of punk, its relentless push for change, offers important insights into how social entrepreneurs operate everywhere, whether they like punk rock or not.

Resource: Audio

Environmental sustainability is essential to business today. In this audio lecture, Alex Cummings of Coca Cola relates how his company aims to double its business in a decade by improving packaging and supply chain logistics through social entrepreneurship. Cummings relates stories of using organic material in plastic bottles and empowering one-woman distribution companies in rural Africa. He describes strategic partnerships to strengthen corporate citizenship in local communities, using renewable resources and recycling projects to enhance international development.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Andy Ruben]

The production and consumption of consumer products carries implications for environmental sustainability, efficient use of inputs, and corporate social responsibility in today’s markets. In this talk, social entrepreneur and sustainability expert Andy Ruben shares his vision for supply chain innovation and sustainable consumerism, through the lens of both individual products and system-wide change.

Resource: Audio
[Video-The Global Tobacco Epidemic: Robert Proctor]

How did the global tobacco epidemic start? And what can we learn from it?

Resource: Video
[Video-Pharmaceutical Innovation ]

What can pharmaceutical companies do to contribute to global health?

Resource: Video
[Video-How the Food Industry Is Impacting Global Health: David Kessler]

Why has American obesity increased so dramatically in the past four decades? How can this trend be reversed?

Resource: Video
[Video-Reengineering Aid: Sir Richard Feachem ]

What impact has aid had on health in developing countries? Has it had an impact?

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
[photo - Katie Hill]

Solutions for those facing the tradeoff between economic development and environmental sustainability are related in this audio lecture. International development spurs demand for energy in emerging markets, which increases the risk of climate change. As a result, there is an urgent need for environmental sustainability. Katie Hill discusses how companies can push through this tradeoff. Hill compares the economic challenges manufacturers face with energy in emerging markets with the challenges faced in the U.S.. The contrast poses a compelling argument for the use of renewable energy in factories and supply chains around the world.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Marcia Stepanek]

Social media strategy is essential for nonprofit management. In this audio lecture from the Social Media on Purpose conference, presented by Stanford Social Innovation Review and Tides, journalist and new media strategist Marcia Stepanek discusses a framework for developing social media strategies for nonprofits or social mission organizations. By sharing specific examples and presenting an outline, Stepanek demonstrates the value of social media for nonprofit management.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Katrina Benjamin]

Slave labor is an abject evil that many in developing nations are working to eliminate. At the same time, even if you live far from enslaved workers, slave labor creates everyday moral challenges. Today nearly all of us use items that are tainted by slave labor. In this short audio lecture, Katrina Benjamin describes the degrading conditions of enslaved people, and outlines four specific examples where slavery is a an integral part of the consumer supply chain. Benjamin describes the environmental problems associated with slavery, and suggests ways that commercial and non-profit organizations can work to eliminate slavery through cooperative social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dr. Kohl Gill]

Real time information drives improvement in workforce management from both a social responsibility and operational perspective. In this short audio lecture, Dr. Kohl Gill discusses LaborVoices, Inc., a mobile technology platform that brings transparency to supply chain management through the voices of workers. Dr. Gill believes that if supply chain executives ask the right questions and are patient with the answers, LaborVoices can help improve social-environmental performance and improve bottom lines.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Ned Breslin]

Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People, tells us where he draws his inspiration from and where he gets his perspective on social change from – punk rock. In the first episode of his “Social Disruptors” series, Ned argues that the story arc of punk, its relentless push for change, offers important insights into how social entrepreneurs operate everywhere, whether they like punk rock or not.

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 - KickStart]

KickStart was founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps — branded “MoneyMaker Pumps” — that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. Since its inception, KickStart had sold more than 180,000 MoneyMaker pumps. Despite these encouraging sales figures, the company still faced the critical questions that confronted every social enterprise: What was the actual impact of the product on the people it was intended to help? This mini-case study describes how the KickStart team developed a rigorous yet realistic approach to measuring and understanding the impact of its interventions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PlayPumps]

Trevor Field, a retired British businessman and outdoor advertising executive, was deeply moved when he observed women and and girls in rural villages of South Africa shouldering the daily burden of collecting water. When he became aware  of a technology that was meant to serve as both a children's merry-go-round and community water pump, he founded Roundabout Outdoor to manufacture, install, and maintain the product known as PlayPump. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Ken Shotts]

A reliable, safe, supply of drinking water is essential to the survival of communities and efforts by municipalities to improve their respective drinking water supply are prolific. This case provides an overview of the water supply issue and profiles cases where implemented programs have succeed and failed in both local Californian as well as abroad communities in Singapore and Australia.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Maternova]

Maternova was founded in 2009 as a mission-driven for-profit organization with two main objectives: (1) to provided online knowledge platform that would allow health workers, innovators, and individuals working in the field to track tools and with the potential to save lives in childbirth, and (2) to bundle and sell a select number of low-cost tools to equip frontline health workers to do their jobs more effectively.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Cycle Beads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an intitutive, 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 simple family planning system, as well as CycleBeads to provide a tangible tool to help women follow the method. IRH was met with resistance and this case studies examines how the strategy used by the team to overcome market resistance.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Cycle Beads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at Georgetown's Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an initiative, natural contraception method. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM) family planning system and CycleBeads. To manufacture, sell, and distribute the product, Cycle Technologies licenses the CycleBeads product from IRH and partnered with the organization to bring it to the market. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Anacor]

Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a for-profit biotech firm that focuses on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from a unique boron chemistry platform. While performing early disease screening, Anacor discovered this platform showed activity against causative agents of several neglected bacterial and parasitic diseases. Although CEO Perry felt a responsibility to apply this technology to the neglected diseases space, this conflicts with the objectives of its investors. This mini case study describes how Perry and Eric Easom, who became the company's Program Leader for Neglected Diseases devised a plan to leverage non-dilutive funding sources to underwrite this important work.

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

Since its founding n 1980, Ashoka: Innovators fo the Public had supported the work of over 3,000 of the world's most visionary social entrepreneurs. Even at the moment of Ashoka's dynamism propelled social entrepreneurship into the mainstream, founder Bill Drayton and his colleagues embraced an even more expansive view of social change: to suggest everyone in sociey is a "changemaker." This case traces the evolution of Ashoka's mission and vision for social change, and the programmatic and organizational changes required to achieve its vision.

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. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes solar light and power products throughout the developing world. When d.light co-founders started as a student team at Stanford University, they needed a defending strategy to support the continued development of their product concept. They raised their first $10,000 from small donors. However, it did not take long for d.light to require substantially more funding in order to grow. This case study explores how the team tackled its early fund raising challenge. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - d.light]

d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise who's purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When d.light cofounders were first starting at Stanford University, they needed a strategy for gathering detailed user feedback to inform product development, which required first-hand information to be gathered in India. This cast study looks at the plan d.light developed to conduct market research and prototype feedback. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PSI]

Population Services International (PSI) was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit organization focused on improving reproductive health in developing countries using commercial marketing strategies. As part of ongoing efforts to provide critical health services in developing countries, PSI sought to address the high unmet demand for family planning in Pakistan. PSI learned that the financial incentives were low and that few providers actually had the training to counsel clients. The case study describes how PSI devised and implemented a social franchising model to rapidly address these needs and achieve scale in the target communities.

Resource: Academic Case

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 - LifeStraw]

Vestergaard Frandsen (VF) is a for-profit company that operates under a humanitarian entrepreneurship business model. The company’s leading products include PermaNet long-lasting insecticidal nets and LifeStraw water filters. VF was convinced that its LifeStraw Family product could make an immediate and significant difference in addressing the safe water needs of households in developing countries. The challenge was how to make it affordable for its target audience. While VF considered its options, CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen decided to launch an integrated campaign to help prevent the spread of malaria, diarrheal disease, and HIV in Western Kenya.Witnessing the success of the program, the Kenyan government asked VF to scale it up across the Western Province. However, identifying traditional forms of funding for point-of-use water filters at scale remained a challenge.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PATH]

In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant from 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. Several of the early Safe Water Project’s pilots involved experimenting with direct sales models for HWTS solutions. This mini-case study outlines the lessons PATH gleaned through these studies for helping its on-the-ground partners build an effective direct sales presence.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PATH]

In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant from 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 of PATH’s pilots tested a direct sales model in Kenya by making a durable safe water product — a ceramic water pot (CWP) — available through a basket of goods approach. PATH partnered vendors were enthusiastic; however consumers who generality weren't familiar with CWPs wanted to interact with the device before purchase. Vendors were unable to carry the bulky and fragile CWPs long distance. This study explores the creative solution PATH devised to address these issues.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

When Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act one year later, it limited the role of cost analysis in the work sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Despite this restriction, cost-effectiveness analysis meets important needs and is likely to play a larger role in the future.

Resource: Research Paper

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) has the potential to slow health care spending growth by focusing resources on health interventions that provide the most value. In this article, we discuss issues surrounding CER and its implementation and apply these methods to a salient clinical example: treatment of prostate cancer.

Resource: Research Paper

Elections sometimes give policy makers incentives to pander, i.e., to implement a policy that voters think is in their best interest, even though the policy maker knows that a different policy is actually better for the voters. Media commentary affects voters' tendency to apply an asymmetric burden of proof to the incumbent, based on whether she pursues popular or unpopular policies.


 

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Daniel P. Kessler]

Professor Daniel Kessler of the Graduate School of Business and his co-authors examine differences in the use of health care services among young populations. They find significant variation, suggesting that spending on organization and management of health delivery systems may be warranted.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo -  Geoffrey Cohen]

Graduate School of Business Professor Geoffrey Cohen and co-authors at the University of Colorado at Boulder present research on the effectiveness of values affirmation in reducing the gender achievement gap. Their findings suggest a psychological intervention may be a useful way to address the gender gap in science performance.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All

This course explores topics such as the value of college and graduate degrees and the utilization of highly educated graduates. It also looks at issues such as faculty labor markets, careers, and workload; costs, pricing, and discounting of education; merit aid; access to higher education; sponsored research; academic medical centers; and technology and productivity.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Erica Plambeck]

Markets have tremendous potential for solving environmental problems. Through case analysis, guest speakers, and the creation of business plans in environmental entrepreneurship, students will learn to apply core business principles of finance, marketing, economics, operations, accounting, and more to the provision of environmental goods and services.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This course examines health care businesses and how they use technology (primarily biotechnology, medical technology, and information technology) to improve patient outcomes and manage costs. Through case studies, students gain an in-depth understanding of how new technologies get developed and commercialized in health care, and of how the whole health care value chain adapts to new technologies.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Garth Saloner]

This seminar will showcase successful women entrepreneurs and the challenges they encountered on the paths to success such as finding funding, dealing with different communication styles, and balancing work and lifestyle.

Seminar participants will study mini-cases, engage in panel discussions and hear from experienced entrepreneurs.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Alan Garber]

This course examines the application of cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, along with other evaluation techniques, to products and services such as medical care, whose "output" is difficult to measure. It critically reviews studies that apply cost analysis techniques to specific clinical problems.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All
[photo - Jane Chen (MBA '08)]

Jane Chen's passion for helping others has taken her on an incredible journey from doing social work in China to founding Embrace, a company that sells premature infant incubators.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jacqueline Novogratz]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Cynthia Dai]

Cynthia Dai, MBA '93, joins panel redrawing districts for state government, Congress.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Louis Boorstin]

Louis Boorstin, current Deputy Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reflects on lessons learned throughout his 15-year history tackling the global sanitation crisis.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Lee Zimmerman]

As co-owners of Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite, a social enterprise that combines environmental stewardship and socially-minded employment strategies, Lee Zimmerman and Brian Anderluh discuss keys and barriers to success, potential for scale, and opportunities for the future.

Resource: Alumni
[Video-Hau Lee: Value Chain Innovation in Developing Economies]

Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from them.

Resource: Video
[photo - John Kehoe]

TCHO, a chocolate factory in San Francisco, uses chocolate production to encourage social entrepreneurship in developing countries. In this short audio lecture, John Kehoe, VP of Sourcing and Development at TCHO, discusses the company’s complex supply chain from grower to store. Through the company’s partnership program TCHOSource, TCHO utilizes technology and innovation to work with its sourcing cooperatives around the world. The goal is to improving the growers’ livelihoods and craft while increasing quality, productivity, and sustainability.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Businesses Impact Social Policy]

New research explores the impact of gay-owned businesses on anti-discrimination laws.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Joshua Rauh]

The symposium was the culmination of massive open online course about retirement and pensions.

Resource: News Article
[photo - AP photo by Bradley C Bower]

Game theory shows why "discretionary" spending programs lead to more self-interested behavior by politicians than "mandatory" spending programs.

Resource: News Article
Corner