- Research By Topic
- Student Programs
- Executive Programs
- GSB Social Innovators
- Community Engagement
- About CSI
Skip to Content
Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
When donor gifts are public, social approbation is reward enough.
Acknowledging employee diversity has its benefits.
Investors screen for entrepreneurial passion when making funding decisions.
DEAD AID: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo Review by Jane Wales
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.
Game theory shows why "discretionary" spending programs lead to more self-interested behavior by politicians than "mandatory" spending programs.
It’s summer. The wedding season is upon us, and many nonprofits are likewise feeling the urge to merge. But should nonprofits couple up, take the plunge, and get hitched? In this SSIR special, three articles explore whether, why, and how nonprofits should undertake mergers or other alliances. —By Kevin T. Kirkpatrick, Denise L. Gammal, & Don Haider
More and more business leaders recognize that their company’s future is increasingly intertwined with the needs and demands of society. But many executives don’t understand how to manage that changing relationship. In this article, McKinsey & Company consultants provide a model for incorporating sociopolitical issues into the strategic decision-making process. —By Scott C. Beardsley, Sheila Bonini, Lenny Mendonca, & Jeremy Oppenheim
Despite the hoopla over microfinance, it doesn’t cure poverty. But stable jobs do. If societies are serious about helping the poorest of the poor, they should stop investing in microfinance and start supporting large, labor-intensive industries. —By Aneel Karnani
Why businesspeople don’t mention values when they discuss social responsibility.
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.
For years, many believed that socially responsible investments could simply not hold up to traditional investments. In this panel discussion from the Stanford 2005 Net Impact Conference, organized by the Stanford Business School, social capital market experts dispel the myths associated with socially responsible investing, and look toward the future of what is to come as more and more funds offer social choices.
DaVita is the largest independent provider in the United States of dialysis services to people with chronic kidney failure. In 2000, DaVita was being investigated by the SEC and sued by shareholders. In this audio lecture recorded at Bridging the Gap, the Stanford 2005 Net Impact conference, Kent Thiry explains how building community and shared values bumped DaVita's market capitalization to $3 billion and turned it into a leader in its field.
Robert Langer has been referred to as "a medical pioneer in the guise of an engineer" who has revolutionized the delivery of drugs and the engineering of human tissue. In this audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Langer reveals his tenacious nature and talks about what it takes to persevere in the face of public criticism.
An area the size of Connecticut is being developed every year. That's how fast nature is being lost to concrete in the world today. In this audio lecture recorded at Bridging the Gap, the Stanford 2005 Net Impact conference, Will Rogers discusses strategies for sustainable land use in a context where the boundaries that separate land conservation from public health, housing, economic development, transit, energy-use policies, and urban design are rapidly blurring.
The corporate world is oftentimes approached for favors, but very few evolve into mutually beneficial alliances between nonprofits and private-sector companies. As described in this audio lecture, First Book's Kyle Zimmer and Disney executive Kathy Franklin explain what it takes to build a successful long-term strategic relationship.
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.
Environmental sustainability is now an imperative for supply chains, and buyers and procurement professionals have more power than ever to exert pressure on suppliers to provide green products. Businesses are also partnering with government and nonprofits to create change in this arena. How do you communicate with suppliers on environmental innovation? At the Stanford 2007 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, executives from an HMO, a government agency, and an entrepreneurial company share successes in greening the supply chains.
Social enterprise and innovation are about more than just invention. In this panel discussion, experts argue that diffusion or scaling up ideas is an integral part of making truly effective social change. Educators, nonprofit executives, and philanthropists share their perspectives about how to take innovative ideas for social change to that tipping point where they can create large-scale, lasting positive effects.
In Britain, something is happening that hasn't for 100 years. More people are becoming incredibly wealthy, not only through inheritance, but also because of their own hard work. A phenomenon on this scale has not happened since the Victorian industrialists. In this audio lecture, Philosopher Charles Handy tells his 2007 Skoll World Forum audience about entrepreneurs who put their energies into meeting some perceived social need--something that government never gets around to and that private enterprise typically doesn't see a market for.
The electronics industry is on the forefront of the movement to improve social responsibility and environmental sustainability across manufacturing and supply chains through collaboration. Industry experts gathered at Stanford for the 2007 Responsible Supply Chains Conference to discuss the business case for such collaboration, review the challenges, and explain why this industry has been particularly successful in this regard.
Nike has traveled the full range of the corporate social responsibility movement, from the campaigning days when it was a poster child for all things to do with poor working conditions through the era of multistakeholder partnerships. It has now moved into the next phase where corporate responsibility becomes part of the business model. Speaking at the Stanford 2007 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, Nike's VP for corporate responsibility, Hannah Jones, looks at the future of corporate responsibility as the focus shifts upstream.
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.
In the United States today, two-thirds of African American college undergrads are women, and they are going on to excel in business, particularly in entrepreneurship, says visiting scholar Katherine Phillips.
Jane Chen, MBA '08, is co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a nonprofit company dedicated to creating low-cost portable incubators to save the lives of low birthweight babies in developing countries. The Embrace infant warmer was launched in India in the spring of 2011 she told the annual Women in Management banquet at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
As Japan shifts from disaster relief to rebuilding, GSB alumni see opportunities for change and renewal.
What impact has aid had on health in developing countries? Has it had an impact?
Why has American obesity increased so dramatically in the past four decades? How can this trend be reversed?