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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Do we just care about those in our immediate surroundings?
THE DESIGN OF BUSINESS: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin
What role do women have to play in a booming social sector?
THE SILENT LANGUAGE by Edward T. Hall
For a d.School course called “Design for Extreme Affordability,” Jane Chen and three of her classmates developed a low-cost baby incubator tailored to the needs of the developing world. That incubator—a reusable heating pouch—became the Embrace Infant Warmer, and ultimately launched Embrace and Embrace Innovations, a joint social enterprise promoting child and maternal health across the globe.
Jake Harriman,'08, explains how rejecting conventional wisdom about financing a nonprofit helped him turn his vision into a real intervention.
Professor Frank Flynn looks at the difference between “happiness” and “meaning” in life –– and how these two concepts relate to being prosocial.
The symposium was the culmination of massive open online course about retirement and pensions.
Game theory shows why "discretionary" spending programs lead to more self-interested behavior by politicians than "mandatory" spending programs.
Xenophobia and altruism may have evolved hand in hand.
Toxic environments knock impoverished kids’ systems out of kilter.
SSIR Managing Editor Eric Nee spoke with Escuela Nueva’s president Vicky Colbert about her efforts to change the way children are educated.
Former president Bill Clinton chronicles how ordinary citizens are helping to solve our big problems. Review by Paul Collier
In virtually every for-profit industry, success hinges on producing more goods or services at a lower cost without compromising quality. But increasing productivity can work in the nonprofit world, too, as an examination of three healthy nonprofits shows. —By Alex Neuhoff & Robert Searle
Many nonprofits may be reluctant to play an advocacy role because they believe they lack the resources or know-how, or because they fear they might put their foundation, corporate or public funding at risk. But advocacy work can make a big difference in shaping the public policies that affect nonprofits and their clients. Recent research shows investment in nonprofit advocacy and community organizing yields a big return in benefits for underrepresented constituencies.
Mario Morino, chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, opines that nothing is more important for the long-term strength of our nation than driving greater levels of innovation across and between all sectors of our economy—for-profit, nonprofit, and public. Expounding on an colleague's anecdote that innovation is like a coral reef, Morino connects the metaphor to the dot.com boom in Silicon Valley as an example of a healthy innovation ecosystem. The solution for long-term social and economic success in America lies in a national strategy of combined efforts across all regions, disciplines and walks of life—similar to the combined efforts needed to create a coral reef.
Fundraising professionals play instrumental roles at nonprofit organizations but get less pay and support than they need and deserve. The way a charity’s fundraising staff treats donors is more important than any other factor in determining whether givers give to a particular charity, according to Adrian Sargeant, Robert F. Hartsook Professor of Fundraising at the Center on Philanthropy. So if they expect to be more successful in their fundraising, nonprofits will need to increase their investment in fundraising, particularly in paying and supporting the work of their fundraisers and closing the pay gap between men and women.
“For social benefit organizations to truly “work” we all need to be part of the design, the process, the success.” -Hildy Gottlieb
“Merge Minnesota: Nonprofit Merger as an Opportunity for Survival and Growth” published by MAP for Nonprofits proves a useful source of information about the merging process of nonprofits.
Now, more than ever, nonprofit leaders need to know how to maximize their social impact. Center for Social Innovation researcher Heather McLeod Grant shares some of the groundbreaking research explored in her coauthored book Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. Drawing on her extensive study of nonprofit leaders and organizations, Grant reveals that success isn't just about "nonprofit management," but about creating larger systemic change. She shares three of the six practices for making such transformation possible.
"Once in a very rare while in history there is a fundamental pattern change. We're in one of those right now," says Bill Drayton in this audio lecture. Before our eyes the social sector is transforming to adopt the business sector's entrepreneurial architecture, where productivity and innovation are absolutely essential. Drayton explains how he sees the merging of pieces from both worlds as the way social entrepreneurs will flourish.
Amory Lovins continues his discussion on environmental sustainability through a focus on energy efficiency in transportation. In this University podcast, he presents the business case for lighter, more slippery vehicles and criticizes automobile manufacturers for not fully embracing the radical changes necessary to transform the commercial transportation industry.
"The United States can break its dependency on oil by 2040." So says Amory Lovins, who discusses in this audio lecture the strategy outlined in his book, Winning the Oil Endgame, through which the country can eliminate its use of oil and have a much stronger economy. Most significantly, this plan does not rely on big government programs, but leans primarily on the for-profit business sector to lead the way.
Many countries that should be thriving are dragged into poverty and strife by the burden of corruption. The loss goes far beyond the sums that change hands dishonestly; the true price must take the ensuing opportunity costs into account. In this audio lecture, Peter Eigen describes strategies that can be used by companies, governments, and citizens to break the cycle of corruption and lift themselves to more efficient, fair, and honest dealings.
Impact investing: is it actually investing? Or is it venture philanthropy by another name?
Stanford GSB alum ('08) founded Nuru International to maximize local leadership to drive sustainable change.
A panel on the the importance of mainstreaming and investing in green chemistry for the future of energy and the environment.
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.
Better design integration and materials innovation can lead to big energy and cost savings, and rapid return on investment, particularly in the automotive and housing industries. Amory Lovins, one of America's most influential energy speakers, offers some profitable business-led solutions to climate, oil, and nuclear proliferation problems in this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio lecture. Lovins offers strategies to reduce US oil dependence through a menu of renewable and fossil fuel types.
In 2006, Stanford's Graduate School of Business students Scott Raymond and Katherine Boas took a service learning trip to Thailand and Cambodia. The result? A program that helps to alleviate poverty in Thailand that is now being duplicated at microlending organizations around the world.
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.
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.
How can innovation be harnessed in the healthcare sector? In this panel discussion, professionals discuss new products and ventures they've been involved in to impact the biotechnology field. Topics range from laser film recorders to support tools for companies that break down barriers, to improving social health. The discussion was part of the 2011 Healthcare Summit, held at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Comprehensive health care insurance reform was a perennial goal of the Democratic Party. Although reform efforts had persistently ended in failure, proponents of reform saw a new window of opportunity after the 2008 Presidential election.This case reviews the public, legislative, and political battle following President Obama's forum on health care reform. It follows the interest groups with a stake in health care policy, and the strategies that they, as well as politicians, used to promote their objectives within the context of U.S. policy making institutions.
New Obama administration goals are making this an excellent time for professionals interested in environmental sustainability. So say senior government energy and technology officials in this panel discussion convened by the Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Pointing to the challenges ahead, they outline where the opportunities will lie for energy-focused entrepreneurs.
The case covers the electric vehicle industry, starting with the history of the electric car and then moving on to the forces driving the twenty-first century automotive industry toward electrification. The case discusses the challenges to mass electric vehicle adoption, such as relatively higher prices, battery longevity concerns, competition, and the internal and external demands on the automotive industry.
In August 2010 the US government closed ShoreBank, one of the country’s leading social enterprises. Why did ShoreBank fail? And what lessons can be learned from its 37-year record of innovation?