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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.
New research explores the impact of gay-owned businesses on anti-discrimination laws.
The symposium was the culmination of massive open online course about retirement and pensions.
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.
Bill Somerville wants foundation grantmaking to become more responsive, intuitive, and effective. Review by Peter deCourcy Hero
Pamela Hartigan and John Elkington explore the nature of social entrepreneurs and why their work matters. Review by Rick Aubry
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.
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.
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.
Where do you save the most energy and capital costs? In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins challenges Industry leaders to consider a different approach for systems analysis, and identifies four target areas where the greatest savings are to be found.
In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins discusses conservation and efficiency strategies that enable industry to eliminate waste, achieve cost savings, lower capital outlays, identify additional capacity, and increase profit. A simple commitment to new energy policies, combined with innovative design strategies and the implementation of cheaper, more powerful, and readily available technologies can provide manufacturing enterprises with a wide array of material and financial benefits.
Fazle Abed explains in this audio lecture how the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) is leading grassroots efforts to achieve the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh. He describes a multipronged strategy aimed at education, gender equality, health, environmental, economic, and political progress.
Well-designed buildings not only conserve energy and reduce costs but also create conditions for better health and wellness. In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins uses several examples to show how the right mix of materials, resources, and expertise can create structures that celebrate living.
Buildings represent an ideal opportunity for reducing energy use through clever design. In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins explores the many possibilities that building design offers us to "think outside of the box" in order to save energy. He shares numerous examples of effective design and even a few cases where smart energy design actually costs less to build, not more.
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.
Technology has increased the flow of information and made our decision-making more transparent. In this panel discussion on empathy and ethics, Bill Drayton, Mary Gordon, Keith Hammonds, Kirk Hanson, and Jill Vialet consider how empathetic ethics has to begin with individuals and can only then move into the organizations we lead and the societies we serve.
The Idea Village was launched in New Orleans by "five guys who wanted to change the world." The more modest goal of these entrepreneurs was to revitalize the city economically--a mission that became especially important when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Tim Williamson shares how his nonprofit has been helping rebuild the devastated city economically, and the progress inspired through a powerful network of talented individuals.
Coffee price fluctuations over past decades have created extreme financial crises and long-term poverty for thousands of small-scale Latin American farmers. In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio lecture, David Funkhouser of TransFair USA, details how the Fair Trade movement arose as a market-based approach to poverty alleviation and international development. He discusses Fair Trade's function to offer suppliers fair, above-market prices, and TransFair's role in supporting that movement.
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.
Technologies that reduce costs and improve care for the underserved are often the most difficult to scale up. But a handful of strategies could turn things around.
Chris West takes a businesslike approach to philanthropy, looking for ways to leverage the assets of the Shell Foundation and its corporate parent to improve the lives of low-income people in the developing world.
A new study finds that nonprofits are not becoming more commercialized.
The time is now for foundations, large and small, to engage in public policy.
Living Cities is working with five US municipalities to develop an ecosystem for solving urban problems.