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[photo - Natalie Portman]

With a presentation on microfinance, actress-turned-activist Natalie Portman kicked off the Social Innovators Speaker Series launched by the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She also called on students to take social action to alleviate poverty.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

Many businesses serving lower income communities languish because they can’t raise enough money to fund their growth. To meet their needs, a new breed of private equity investment—development investment capital—has emerged. Although this style of investing is still in its infancy, it’s already showing promise. By Beth Sirull

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder explore how clean technology is creating greener pastures for business.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2007

Peter Liu started his working life as an engineer at the oil giant Chevron Corp. The experience turned him into an avid environmentalist. Several years later, it also led him to co-found the New Resource Bank, which calls itself the nation’s first “green” commercial bank. By Caroline Said

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2007

Michael Parker pays his new Spanish tutor $17 less than he paid his old teacher in Iowa. But his new teacher in Guatemala, Yesenia Mateu Grave, takes away double her normal fee thanks to Web conferencing. By Laila Weir

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[photo - New Technology]

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. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jake Harriman]

Jake Harriman,'08, explains how rejecting conventional wisdom about financing a nonprofit helped him turn his vision into a real intervention.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Sarah Soule]

A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - crowdfunding]

A group of economists turns to an unusual source for funding: strangers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vivek Garg]

An Indian army vet builds business relationships across battle lines in conflict-torn Kashmir and Northeast Indian villages.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2003

Gretchen Daily and Katherine Ellison show how some entrepreneurs are making conservation profitable.  Review by Carl Palmer

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The long-term strength of our nation relies on the level of commitment we have toward innovation. Influx of talent, new mindset and new network technologies are the new convergence of innovation. President Obama must broaden the focus across and among the private, public, and nonprofit sectors—to seek and spark the most promising innovations whether they come from commercial or social entrepreneurs, executives or line workers, community leaders, public servants, researchers, or citizens who don’t fit into any of these categories.

Resource: Blog Post

The White House is about to announce the creation of the Office of Social Innovation. 

Resource: Blog Post

This blog is the last of Marcia Stepanek’s coverage of the Skoll World Forum 2009 at Oxford University.

Resource: Blog Post

Reporting from the 6th annual Skoll World Forum for social innovation

Resource: Blog Post

“There’s no question: with public trust in CEOs and corporations at rock-bottom and the change mantra out of Washington [and Davos] and this week’s TED2009 still freshly potent, cause-wired social entrepreneurs have never had a better opportunity to boost traction globally for their Web-powered ideas.” - the author

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Carl Bass]

Social enterprise is scaling up through digital design. In this audio lecture, Carl Bass, President and CEO of Autodesk, discusses at Social Innovation Summit 2013 the application of design to solve social problems. Bass describes how the availability of infinite computing capacity combined with people's willingness to share their knowledge of how to make things advances social entrepreneurship for everyone's betterment, and he shares examples of creative small businesses that advance social enterprise through innovation.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Chris Librie]

As early as 1947, David Packard said, “The betterment of society in not a job to be left to a few, but a responsibility to be shared by all.” Chris Librie, Senior Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at HP, discusses the company’s long standing commitment to this philosophy in this podcast. By using multiple examples of HP’s social sector success, Chris describes the company’s holistic approach to social problem solving, and expresses the company’s enthusiasm in continuing to pursue corporate social ventures.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jake Harriman]

Jake Harriman is using his military experience to revolutionize the fight against extreme poverty. After leaving his position as a Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps, Jake Harriman founded Nuru, a nonprofit aiming to bring relief to the poorest places in the world. Jake puts his venture’s focus on finding and training capable leaders in these places, rather than giving these communities quick economic fixes. Through this podcast, Jake Harriman shares his enthusiasm for combating extreme poverty and portrays his excitement for the future of his venture.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jorge Camil Starr]

Correcting education disparity is a prevalent global focus. In this audio interview, the Co-Founder and CDO of ENOVA, Jorge Camil Starr, discusses his entrepreneurial success in improving the educational sphere in Mexico. Jorge and the rest of the ENOVA team are working to bring education technology to low-income communities and equip them with the tools they need to thrive in the knowledge society.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Lieselotte Heederik]

The Nazava Water Filters team sees clean water as a basic right, not a privilege. In this audio interview, the co-founder of Nazava Water Filters, Lieselotte Heederik, discusses her company’s impact on Indonesia by creating appliances to purify water at the household level. Nazava Water Filters provides the most affordable and safest household water filters in Indonesia, which enables families to access clean drinking water without the need to boil water or use electricity. This consequently improves health, increases disposable income and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Resource: Audio
[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-Hau Lee: Value Chain Innovation in Developing Economies]

Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from them.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Entrepreneurial Approaches to Solve the Problems of Global Poverty]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing. Novogratz rallies the community of Stanford business graduates to be part of the new generation of innovative problem solvers.

Resource: Video
[photo - Kent Thiry]

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.

Resource: Audio
[Video-The Next Social Leaders]

Social entrepreneur veteran Laura Scher and more recent entrants, Kirsten Gagnaire and Jenny Shilling Stein, offer advice on what it takes to create a successful for-profit or nonprofit organization with a social purpose. 

Resource: Video
[photo - Kirsten Gagnaire, Jenny Shilling Stein, Laura Scher]
In this panel discussion, social entrepreneur veteran Laura Scher and more recent entrants, Kirsten Gagnaire and Jenny Shilling Stein, offer advice on what it takes to create a successful for-profit or nonprofit organization with a social purpose. The key components, they agreed, are a strong leader, a clear social mission, consistency, and focus.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Christine Kawakami, Sally Osberg, Russ Hall]
A new generation of innovative philanthropists is helping to transform charitable giving. This panel discussion highlights the philosophy of three young, but outstanding, organizations in the strategic philanthropic field. Panelists emphasize the targeted use of wealth to address specific social challenges.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Dean Kamen]

Dean Kamen has literally changed the world by turning breakthrough ideas into practical products. In this audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Kamen discusses the power of technology to change society. He also talks about what it takes to persevere in the face of public and professional resistance toward inventions and technology that can actually make people's lives better.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found

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 - 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
[photo - Phoenix]

Phoenix Medical Systems was founded to manufacture an incubator designed specifically to address the needs of low-resource healthcare providers in India. When leaders from a multinational medical equipment company approached Phoenix about a licensing deal, its founder was enthusiastic about expanding the reach of the organization. Phoenix entered into a two-year contract that allowed the multinational to use its established distribution channels to sell all of the products in the Phoenix portfolio, under the Phoenix brand name, exclusively in the Indian market. Although the partnership showed great promise, unfortunately it did not turn out to be as fruitful as initially hoped. This mini-case study describes some of the challenges Phoenix faced with its new partner and how the company responded.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Mulago Foundation]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. When it comes to making investments, one of the most important aspects of the Mulago approach is the ability of the organization to have a measurable impact. Mulago needed to develop an approach to the measurement of impact that was simple enough for an early-state, resource-constrained, organization to carry out. This mini-case study describes the five-step framework that the Foundation developed.

Resource: Academic 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
Research Papers : All
[photo -  J. Gregory Dees]

This seminal paper defines the term social entrepreneurship and helps shape, what was in 1998, the nascent field of social entrepreneurship.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
[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 - 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 - Jane Wei]

This course explores the challenges and opportunities related to social entrepreneurship. Students study nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid organizational forms, and examine issues from a variety of perspectives, including that of entrepreneur, CEO, funder, and board member.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jim Patell]

Students apply engineering and business skills to design product prototypes, distribution systems, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. The aim is to address challenges faced by the world's poor.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Debra Meyerson]

This course is designed to help students understand and manage human systems, exercise leadership, and work effectively with other people, specifically within the context of culturally diverse groups and organizations. The underlying premise is that diversity can present unique challenges and opportunities.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All
[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 - BAPAR]

It was the suicide of a young man that turned Vivek Garg toward using business as a means of fostering peace and reconciliation.

Resource: Student
[photo - Jeff Skoll]

The March/April edition of Stanford magazine features a profile of alumnus Jeff Skoll, one of only 20 people who've ever given away $1 billion. He hopes to engage everyone in the planet's survival by leveraging the power of Hollywood.

 

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Yohei Iwasaki (MBA '10)]

Yohei Iwasaki and mOasis are enabling farmers to grow more crops from less water and to cultivate previously underutilized land, producing a sustainable environment that significantly reduces food and water shortages.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jane Chen (MBA '08)]

Jane Chen's passion for helping others has taken her on an incredible journey from doing social work in China to founding Embrace, a company that sells premature infant incubators.

Resource: Alumni
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Impact Investors at Toniic aim to create an ecosystem for impact investing that mirrors the Silicon Valley way of doing deals. They know relationships are the key to keeping money moving.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[photo - Picture: Shea]

Got a great business idea? Consider taking it to Chile, where the government is now offering $40,000 grants and one-year visas to help early-stage entrepreneurs develop their companies, through a program called Start-Up Chile. In this audio interview, Stanford Social Innovation correspondent Ashkon Jafari talks with Nicolas Shea, innovation advisor to the Chilean minister of economy, about the program's genesis, goals, and progress so far.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Nelson]

Giving things away for the prize people are willing to pay sounds like corporate suicide. In this audio lecture sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, Leif Nelson shows it's a pathway to corporate citizenship, increased revenue, and an enhanced company image. He walks us through field experiments he conducted at major theme parks manipulating various aspects of the purchasing experience for souvenir action photos.

Resource: Audio
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

In the arena of social enterprise, a California collaboration is creating a high yield. In this university podcast, executives Diane Del Signore and Maisie Greenwalt share how Community Alliance with Family Farmers and Bon Appétit Management Company have partnered to create a local distribution system to get locally grown products into institutional settings. They also talk about efforts to help farmers become more organic.

Resource: Audio
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