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[photo - Peter Loscher]

Siemens AG needed a new set of corporate leaders and standards to recover from one of the worst scandals in corporate history, says Peter Löscher, the CEO brought in to reform the firm.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2011

Companies that invest in their lowest-level employees are more productive and more profitable.

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

Social network and professional network combined: a low-income neighborhood works together to meet the needs of the community in an environmentally responsible way.

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

The volatile combination of profit-seeking microfinance companies, minimal competition, and vulnerable borrowers has opened up dangerous potential for exploiting the poor. The microcredit industry needs to be regulated—through policies that address transparency, high interest rates, and abusive loan recovery practices.

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

How a private-public-academic partnership is helping people with serious mental illnesses find and keep jobs.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[photo - Picture: Gary Hirshberg]

Two pioneers of the organic food industry say a growing awareness of global warming and other issues is making corporate America eager to get into markets once not taken seriously.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Kathleen McCarthy]

Many believe the foundation sector is on the cusp of a golden age. Baby boomers will soon inherit a tremendous amount of wealth and will be able to start to seriously give away their money. But even with this rosy picture, Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the City University of New York, says the future of foundations is less secure than most people think.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Romain Wacziarg]

Romain Wacziarg explores the causes of wealth and poverty in hopes of uncovering the mystery of haves and have-nots. He considers the effect politcal systems, human capital, and economic institutions have on a country's ability to improve its citizens' quality of life.

Resource: News Article

A discussion of the issues of race and class that emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina argued the disaster brought Americans out of a sense of complacency and forced them to address some long-simmering issues in society.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Luther Ragin]

Luther Ragin of the Heron Foundation argues that the prevailing model of philanthropic organizations giving away just 5 percent of their funds each year may be shortchanging charitable causes.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

From pink ribbons to Product Red, cause marketing adroitly serves two masters, earning profits for corporations while raising funds for charities. Yet the short-term benefits of cause marketing—also known as consumption philanthropy—belie its long-term costs. These hidden costs include individualizing solutions to collective problems; replacing virtuous action with mindless buying; and hiding how markets create many social problems in the first place. Consumption philanthropy is therefore unsuited to create real social change. —By Angela M. Eikenberry

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

Kiva, the first online peer-to-peer microcredit marketplace, is one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in history. But its nonprofit status was not inevitable. Here’s why Kiva chose to be a 501(c)(3), what this tax status buys the organization, and how being a nonprofit poses challenges. —By Bethany Coates & Garth Saloner

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

Manchester Bidwell Corporation replicates by adapting general strategies to local cultures. —By Suzie Boss

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

RAMP nurtures local inventors in India, Peru, and Indonesia. —By Aaron Dalton

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

The B Corp seal of approval distinguishes truly responsible businesses from mere poseurs. —By Jenna Lawrence

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

What is happening overall in philanthropic capital markets?

Resource: Blog Post

Telling their stories is a powerful way for nonprofits to fundraise.

Resource: Blog Post

We should be focused on cultivating and developing the leaders we already have in the nonprofit sector, instead of trying to attract 640,000 new ones.

Resource: Blog Post

An unresponsive political system has spurred the need for nonprofits.

Resource: Blog Post

Is “return on investment” the right measure for evaluating the work of nonprofits?

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Jeff Patrick]

MySpace, Flicker, YouTube, and Facebook are big brands and major movers in the commercial, social networking world. In this audio lecture recorded at the 2008 Nonprofit Management Institute, an event convened by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jeff Patrick of Common Knowledge shares how nonprofits can use such tools--and customize their own--to capture constituencies and raise funds. He further shows where social networking is headed so that nonprofits can begin to incorporate it into their long-term horizons.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

Research shows that spending time and money on others makes people happy--so why don't more people donate to or volunteer for nonprofits? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Stanford marketing professor Jennifer Aaker offers insights into the phenomenon. She then turns those insights into lessons in nonprofit management that organizations can use to create compelling ways for more people to give financially and personally to the causes they care about.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Diana McLain Smith]

The key to success in any team or enterprise is to develop good working relationships. In this talk, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, consultant Diana McLain Smith, author of Divide and Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict into Strength, shows how those who care about performance and relationships can simultaneously nurture both. She offers tips for seeing work relationships in new ways, and practical suggestions for enhancing them.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Hau Lee]

Companies can indeed make money while operating in socially responsible and environmentally friendly ways. It just takes what supply chain expert Hau Lee calls the Triple-A approach--having agility, adaptability, and alignment. Closing the Stanford 2008 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, Lee describes how small to mid-sized companies in China, India, and Israel boosted profits while shrinking waste and pollution and providing a fair workplace for employees.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Randy Wang]
If you had to design a system to improve the quality of education in distant underprivileged schools, where would you begin? You might first step away from the problem and ask: What is the simplest "system" that could work in the real world? In this audio interview with host Sheela Sethuraman, Randy Wang describes his motivation to create Digital StudyHall, a collection of mundane technologies that have dramatically improved long distance education. He also talks about his progress and goals.
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 - Rolf Papsdorf]
The unique advantages of zinc air fuel cells have been harnessed as an environmental sustainability measure to deliver reliable, renewable, and affordable electricity to rural communities off the grid. In this audio interview, Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman talks with 2009 Tech Award winner Rolf Papsdorf to find out how his company, Alternative Energy Development Corporation, combines sound economics, customer service, and social responsibility to tangibly improve the lives of people around the world.
Resource: Audio
[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
[Video-Going Green, Seeing Red: Environmental Activism and Corporate Social Responsibility]

Activist movements should be analyzed against not only state but also the corporate realm, says Professor Sarah Soule.

Resource: Video
[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
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

In December 2000, New Schools Venture Fund was debating the role it should play in helping a for-profit investee, LearnNow, attract new capital. Should New Schools, a public charity seeking to improve K-12 education, be investing in for-profit ventures?

Resource: Academic Case

In December 2000, New Schools Venture Fund was debating whether, as a public charity seeking to improve K-12 education, it should be investing in for-profit ventures. Part B of the case provides an update on how New Schools Venture Fund is approaching these questions.

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

By the end of 1993, the San Francisco Symphony faced a shift in its financial fortunes, with forecasts predicting annual budget shortfalls. The executive committee must develop a strategy for the symphony that balances its financial needs and its artistic commitments and aspirations.

Resource: Academic Case

Mark Alsentzer, an investor in Earth Care, took over leadership of the business when it got into trouble in 1996. He focused on a two-pronged strategy to invest in research to speed up the manufacturing process to turn plastic into lumber, and to increase product recognition.

Resource: Academic Case

How does one think systematically about innovations in philanthropy? Innovations explored include endeavors such as the professional foundation and federated community campaigns, as well as modern innovations such as charitable giving funds, e-philanthropy, and venture philanthropy.

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
[photo - IDRI]

The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) was founded by immunologist Steve Reed in 1993 as a nonprofit global health research center. The institute was distinguished by its emphasis on the practical end goal of getting its products to market. To accomplish this, IDRI drew on distinct competencies of diverse collaboration. IDRI needed a substantial, ongoing stream of funding in order to continue realizing results. However, as a nonprofit, they could not tap into venture capital funding like private firms. These funding constraints made sustaining the company challenging and limited its strategic growth. This case study describes how Reed devised a model to create a for-profit development arms to commercialize select IDRI vaccine.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - KickStart]

Fisher and Moon founded KickStart to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain their own profitable businesses. The organization’s 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. The KickStart team believed that to be sustainable, its products had to be affordable and enable farmers to realize return on their investment within a relatively short period. This mini-case study explores this approach and how KickStart structures its business to provide enduring solutions.

Resource: Academic 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 - Professor Jo Boaler]

Studies have shown that the root of the math gender gap is not differences in innate skills, but settings that undermine girls' confidence. In her research, School of Education Professor Jo Boaler has found more equitable ways to teach math.

Resource: News Article
[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
Corner