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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
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.
How a private-public-academic partnership is helping people with serious mental illnesses find and keep jobs.
The Indian higher education system centers on one test, given on one day. Avanti Fellows seeks to make the system more accessible to talented but underprivileged students.
The Tahirih Justice Center multiplies its impact by creatively using pro bono attorneys.
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.
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.
Business school is not the usual venue for discussing global warming, but Jacques Dubois, chairman of reinsurance giant Swiss Re America Holding Corp., believes that it ought to be.
Development initiatives that rely heavily on partnerships with local communities are far more likely to create sustainable value, social entrepreneurs agreed during a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation.
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
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
Manchester Bidwell Corporation replicates by adapting general strategies to local cultures. —By Suzie Boss
RAMP nurtures local inventors in India, Peru, and Indonesia. —By Aaron Dalton
Telling their stories is a powerful way for nonprofits to fundraise.
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.
An unresponsive political system has spurred the need for nonprofits.
Is “return on investment” the right measure for evaluating the work of nonprofits?
In an age of consumer surplus, where people are encouraged to shop as "retail therapy," where does environmental sustainability fit in? In this panel discussion from the Commonwealth Club of California, leaders in business, design and innovation discuss why a deeper understanding of human nature will be central to a successful 21st century business strategy.
America's primary and secondary education lags behind that of other advanced countries. In this panel discussion, hosted by the New Republic, experts argue that improving the quality of education would generate enough economic growth to pay for the entire education system itself. They suggest catching up will require cooperation, national standards, better incentives for teachers, and accountability.
Over the last decade, social entrepreneurship has exploded on the international scene, with corresponding interest in setting up funds to support social ventures. While a whole spectrum of services exists to support the financial industry, the same isn't true of the nonprofit sector. In this panel discussion, experts talk about the need for addressing the talent gap in nonprofit managemnt along with ways to lure talented youngsters to bridge this gap.
Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from them.
An interview with Professor John Roberts about his study results on the efficacy of working from home.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business View from the Top Series hosted former Vice President Al Gore where he spoke to over 600 students on leadership, solutions for the climate crisis, and sustainable capitalism.
California, the ninth largest economy in the world, recently launched a new carbon cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, leads this program that could provide a model to support other regional or national efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Hagar was the biblical woman who became the victim of neglect and violence when she was cast out of the fold of Abraham and Sarah. In Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, thousands of "Hagars" and their children suffer poverty, trafficking, and other human rights abuses. Janet Tafel, who was invited by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, discusses how her organization, Hagar USA, helps individuals restore their lives through holistic healing, community integration, and social entrepreneurship.
Kiva has created an online marketplace that allows ordinary citizens to help specific entrepreneurs around the world to thrive with as little as $25. In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio interview, Kiva President Premal Shah discusses how the social enterprise relies on bazaar management techniques to carry out the organization's everyday functions. He describes the benefits of cost reduction and execution time and talks about the possibilities bazaar management opens for social entrepreneurship and the for-profit sector in general.
Let there be light! That's Sam Goldman's motto, and he's taking it around the world. The founder of d.light design talks with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman about how he is bringing affordable, ecologically sustainable electricity and lighting to billions who are now operating in the dark. In this audio interview, he details aspects of the design, function, marketing, and distribution of the organization's products, as well as the kind of impact the social enterprise is having in some of the most remote, poor areas.
Commissioned by KaBOOM! and authored by Katherine Fulton and alumna Heather McLeod Grant of the Monitor Institute, this case study looks at the challenges KaBOOM! faced and lessons the organization learned while pioneering an online strategy to scale its impact. This strategy involves giving away the nonprofit model online for free to empower others to act on KaBoom's behalf.
This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the team’s primary objectives was to investigate sales and distribution challenges in this space. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots, the team hoped to test different models for improving customer access to these safe water products in an effort to identify scalable, sustainable, and replicable solutions. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important sales and distribution insights.
This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries.
This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.
Arrillaga created Silicon Valley Social Venture ("SV2") in partnership with Community Foundation Silicon Valley (“CFSV”), a nationally recognized public foundation that had experience working with individual donors and had established credibility within the philanthropic field. Arrillaga formed SV2 as a donor-advised fund to ensure that CFSV staff would help guide SV2 partners leverage their expertise and funding to select high-performing community organizations, thus generating the greatest social impact.
Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally—and importing fries was undesirable for both cost and availability reasons. This case describes McDonald’s India and McCain India’s efforts to optimize the MacFry supply chain by increasing local supply in a fast-growing emerging market using agronomy, farmer relationship development and value chain innovation.
The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.
In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant form the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its purpose was to evaluate how market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) products among the world's poor. One key factor to consider in constructing its pilot studies was the affordability of HWTS products. This case study describes PATH's efforts to use consumer financing as a mechanism for making HWTS produce and supplies more accessible to its target market.
To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researches at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for a intuitive, natural contraception method that could meet the needs of families that chose not to use medical or surgical alternatives. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM), a family planning system, and CycleBeads. Despite some reservations related to traditional values, IRH seized the opportunity to roll out sDM and CycleBeads in Mali, West Africa. Unfortunately, the initial launch did not go well and had trouble establishing effective delivery and support for the product. This case looks at how IRH adapted its approach to facilitate more effective implementation of CycleBeads across Mali.
d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When members of d.light moved to India to set up distribution of their product, the team quickly discovered would not be as easy as they hoped. They discovered it would be difficult to convince consumers to invest in a d.light product as the market was saturated with low-quality, solar-based lighting products. Distribution posed another challenge. This mini-case study evaluates the strategy d.light adopted to differentiate the company and establish its products as credible and trustworthy to earn the acceptance of consumers and distributors.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steve Westly reflects on his years as a public servant, including State Controller and CFO for the State of California, and his candidacy for Governor in 2006.
Using brain imaging and a video game, researchers teach girls at risk of depression how to train their brains away from negative situations.
Tokyo Electric’s manager of nuclear power, Kenji Tateiwa, MBA ’04, cites the value of cross-border sharing of crisis management knowledge through his experiences in the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami – and event that, according to Tateiwa, "almost shattered my belief in nuclear" .
Mountain Hazelnuts of Bhutan has set its sights on a triple bottom line: financial gain for investors, alleviating poverty among farm families, and restoration of an eroded, hilly landscape.