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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
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2011

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.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review 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
[photo - the high price of global warming]

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.

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

Fraser Nelson, a consultant to nonprofits, gives an entertaining lesson on the why and how of nonprofit lobbying. Most nonprofits do not lobby government for a variety of reasons, but Nelson explains that it is legal, effective, and powerful. In this Stanford Social Innovation Review sponsored audio lecture, Nelson concludes with ways to get the most out of your lobbying efforts and five rules to follow.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Growth Finance for Social Entrepreneurs - Obtaining Major Funding]
Financing the growth of operations to achieve major scale is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing social entrepreneurship. This panel discussion explores the current challenges and constraints in mobilizing capital flow to compelling social enterprises. Experts cover a range of strategies and channels available to social entrepreneurs for financing growth plans, including emerging alternatives to create new asset classes (hybrid, for-profit, and for-benefit models).
Resource: Audio
[photo - Deborah Rhode ]

Businesses are not the only organizations rocked by financial scandals. Nonprofits such as the Red Cross, United Way, and many others have been hit as well. In this Stanford Social Innovation Review sponsored audio lecture, Deborah Rhode discusses the need for an ethics upgrade in the nonprofit sector, which by its do-good nature is expected to take the moral high ground. She considers typical pitfalls that nonprofits are vulnerable to, and calls for clearer rules governing transparency and accountability.

Resource: Audio
[photo - James A. Joseph]
Former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, James Joseph believes we must support those over 50 launching new careers later in life so they may continue to make significant contributions to society. In this audio lecture recorded at the Encore Career Summit, sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, Joseph reflects on what it takes to be a great leader in the second half of life. Using Nelson Mandela as a prototype, he reflects on how skills such as the ability to work with one's enemies are critical elements of the mature leader.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Marc Koska]
In India and Africa, syringes are frequently reused, despite the obvious dangers of cross infection and death. Marc Koska talks about his involvement with Star Syringe, which designed and licensed an auto-disable syringe that prevents syringe reuse. He discusses how single-use syringe adoption is progressing in India, and also talks about the activities and aims of his charity SafePoint Trust.
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
Audrey Seagraves has a passion for international development and social enterprise. In this audio interview with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman, the director of programs at World of Good talks about the creation of Fair Wage Guide software, a free tool that tells the viewer how wages being paid to any artisan worldwide compare to international wage standards.
Resource: Audio
[photo - John Mackey]

Social entrepreneurship requires conscious leadership, says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in this University podcast. Delivering a talk sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Mackey issues a clarion call for nothing less than "conscious capitalism," arguing that business can indeed serve more than the almighty dollar. He discusses his own company's challenges in the social enterprise arena.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Paul Rice]
Social entrepreneurship may be the most promising avenue for solving global problems, says Paul Rice, CEO of TransFair USA. In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Rice details his own work to establish Fair Trade. The movement has opened the U.S. market to more than 1.4 million small family farmers around the world who are now getting a fair price for their harvests and making dramatic gains in their living standards.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Priya Haji]

When Priya Haji put her mind to helping reduce global poverty, social entrepreneurship took a quantum leap. In this university podcast, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, the plucky founder of World of Good shares how she created a social enterprise that now empowers women in communities around the world by helping them sell their artisan goods in stores and online. She talks about strategies for using educated consumer choice and inspiring business competition to do good.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Investing in Green Tech]

Kleiner Perkins is greening its portfolio with an alternative energy fund.

Resource: Video
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—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.

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

Students who used the "Reading Like a Historian" curriculum outperformed their peers in traditional history classrooms, study finds.

Resource: News Article
[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 - Gratitude]

Expressions of gratitude motivate others’ prosocial behavior. When people are thanked for their efforts, they experience stronger feelings of social worth, which inspires them to engage in further helpful acts. In short, gratitude proves to be the gift that keeps on giving because it makes others feel valued.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Laurent Demuynck]

Sustainable farming requires growing enough product to sell at a reasonable price in reachable markets. Entrepreneur Laurent Demuynck hopes to increase the yield of mushrooms for Rwandan farmers, thereby making this nutritious, but expensive, food a staple in the country.

Resource: News Article
[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
Corner