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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
The moral legitimacy of a new market can come as much from how you sell something as from exactly what you’re selling.
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.
One Acre Fund feeds the world’s poor by helping them feed themselves.
The founder of the Kashf Foundation argues that microfinance can improve the lives of Pakistan’s next generation.
Chase Your Dream Skoll Advises Class of 2010 "Define your dream and chase it with as much rigor and authenticity as you can muster," entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeff Skoll advised Stanford Graduate School of Business 2010 graduates.
Project Redwood, a new venture philanthropy fund of the Stanford GSB Class of 1980, has distributed $400,000 over the past 3 years to organizations that use entrepreneurial approaches to fight poverty.
Troubled by the fact that an estimated 20,000 educated professionals leave Africa every year, Fred Swaniker, MBA '04 and Chris Bradford, MBA '05 founded the African Leadership Academy in Johannsburg, a secondary school they hope will help change the face of the continent.
Sam Goldman, MBA '07, CEO of D.light Design, finds himself running an international company whose customers are some of the poorest people in China, India, or Tanzania. The firm grew out of the Business School course Design for Extreme Affordability. Goldman talked to the Stanford Reporter.
The wealth generated by the dot-com boom of the 1990s produced a new generation of philanthropists, determined to use their capital and their business savvy to solve social problems. A decade later, have they transformed the world of philanthropy?
BUILDING SOCIAL BUSINESS: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus
Nonprofits are so busy building schools, vaccinating infants, or providing medical relief that often, they simply don’t have the time for solid social media efforts. Chris Hughes, Facebook’s cofounder, has created a solution for that: a platform called Jumo.
Social innovators are usually motivated by their personal values, yet they don’t always act on them, because they are afraid it might lead to conflict. Even when they do act, it often ends badly. To remedy this, social innovators can learn how to articulate their values consistently and act on them in a way that is likely to lead to good outcomes.
Riders for Health had won international acclaim for its novel approach to maintaining health transport vehicles in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the organization was having trouble scaling its services at its first site: Gambia. Here is how the organization won both government support and private funding for its latest innovation.
SVN conference focuses on economic justice.
SSIR publisher Perla Ni bids a fond adieu.
Challenging the business school approach to doing good.
World demand for water is likely to continue to outpace population. In this panel discussion, experts talk about how this troubling environmental sustainability issue offers a rare opportunity for cleantech entrepreneurs. Our search for sustainable water offers lessons that may help others facing similar large-scale challenges such as world demand for energy. The event was part of the MIT-Stanford Venture Lab Series.
Businesses, nonprofits and government agencies increasingly are embracing design thinking to solve social problems. The reason? Design thinking is inherently human centered. In this audio lecture, Jocelyn Wyatt, who directs social innovation projects at the design and consulting firm IDEO, describes how design thinking can be employed in the developing world to address the needs of people who consume a product or service and the infrastructure that enables it.
The nonprofit sector delivers social value and the for-profit sector delivers economic value, right? Wrong! Jed Emerson argues that value is nondivisible, whole, and blended. He invites us to think beyond philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and other limiting mindsets.
Three social-venture experts share the process and tools they use to evaluate the impact and viability of aspiring change-makers' ideas. A must hear for anyone planning to start a social or environmental enterprise.
Can businesses deliver strong returns to shareholders while also promoting the health of people and the planet? Gary Hirshberg, the phenomenally successful pioneer of the organic foods industry, utters a resounding yes.
In the year 2000 DaVita, the largest independent provider of dialysis services in the United States, was being investigated by the SEC and sued by shareholders. Kent Thiry explains how building community bumped DaVita's market capitalization to $3 billion and turned it into a leader in its field.
Creativity often feels like a mystery. Struggling to unleash our creative potential can sometimes hinder us on the path to social innovation. In this audio lecture from Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Stanford Professor Tina Seelig discusses the tools and conditions each of us has that allow us to increase our creativity—our own, our team’s and our organization’s. She shares specific approaches to rethinking questions and reframing problems to unlock the path to innovation.
In a country that lacks formal financial services but contains over half a billion cell phone users, two brothers saw a unique opportunity. In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman speaks with Abhishek Sinha, co-founder of Eko India Financial Services, about their efforts to lower the barriers for end-consumers in India. As The Tech Awards 2011 laureates of the Flextronics Economic Development Award, Sinha discusses Eko India's breakthrough developments in branchless banking.
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.
Of the twenty million premature or underweight babies born every year, four million will die in their first month of life. In this audio lecture from the 2011 Women in Management banquet at Stanford, Jane Chen discusses her recent efforts to change these numbers, and the personal journey that took her there. Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a nonprofit company that has developed a new low-cost, portable incubator for use in India and other parts of the developing world.
To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at Georgetown's Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an initiative, natural contraception method. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM) family planning system and CycleBeads. To manufacture, sell, and distribute the product, Cycle Technologies licenses the CycleBeads product from IRH and partnered with the organization to bring it to the market.
Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a for-profit biotech firm that focuses on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from a unique boron chemistry platform. While performing early disease screening, Anacor discovered this platform showed activity against causative agents of several neglected bacterial and parasitic diseases. Although CEO Perry felt a responsibility to apply this technology to the neglected diseases space, this conflicts with the objectives of its investors. This mini case study describes how Perry and Eric Easom, who became the company's Program Leader for Neglected Diseases devised a plan to leverage non-dilutive funding sources to underwrite this important work.
Since its founding n 1980, Ashoka: Innovators fo the Public had supported the work of over 3,000 of the world's most visionary social entrepreneurs. Even at the moment of Ashoka's dynamism propelled social entrepreneurship into the mainstream, founder Bill Drayton and his colleagues embraced an even more expansive view of social change: to suggest everyone in sociey is a "changemaker." This case traces the evolution of Ashoka's mission and vision for social change, and the programmatic and organizational changes required to achieve its vision.
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. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes solar light and power products throughout the developing world. When d.light co-founders started as a student team at Stanford University, they needed a defending strategy to support the continued development of their product concept. They raised their first $10,000 from small donors. However, it did not take long for d.light to require substantially more funding in order to grow. This case study explores how the team tackled its early fund raising challenge.
d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise who's purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When d.light cofounders were first starting at Stanford University, they needed a strategy for gathering detailed user feedback to inform product development, which required first-hand information to be gathered in India. This cast study looks at the plan d.light developed to conduct market research and prototype feedback.
Diagnostics for the Real World (DRW) focuses on manufacturing and commercializing technologies that addresses the unmet diagnostic needs of patients in developing countries. DRW's first product was a reliable, low-cost Chlamydia Rapid Test (CRT) that made it possible to conduct field-based screenings in remote, low-resource settings. DRW believed the CRTs were commercially attractive; however market introduction was met with stakeholder resistance and funder/consumer misalignment. This case explores the potential gap between the solution and market demand, as well as DRW's response.
Diagnostics of the Real World (DRW), a for-profit spinout from the Diagnostics Development Unit at the University of Cambridge, is focused on manufacturing and commercializing technologies created at the university that can help address the unmet diagnostic needs of patients in developing countries. DRW's first product was a reliable, low-cost Chlamydia Rapid Test (CRT) that made it feasible to conduct field- based chlamydia screenings. The team discovered that although chlamydia was a significant global health concern, its as not necessarily a top priority for nongovernmental organizations. There was also no ready-make market or large-scale demand for the CRT in developing countries. The case study describes the multi-source funding strategy DRW devised to support its operations without losing sight of its mission.
Traditional Borders (BTB), Rice 360°’s undergraduate program, challenges students to solve global health problems through real-world engineering design. By pairing students with faculty, clinicians, and mentors in developing world, BTB teams had designed an impressive portfolio for effective, low-cost medical technologies. However, the temporary nature of student teams and specialized focus of these inventions proved difficult to realize these projects in the market to create consistent solutions. This mini-case study tells the story of of BTB began working with 3rd Stone Design, a design, strategy, and development consultancy, to accelerate progress on their project DosRight Syringe Clip out of the lab and into the market.
When 3rd Stone Design, a product design, strategy, and development consultancy, licensed the DoseRight Syringe Clip out of the Rice University Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) program, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) had placed a preliminary order for 200,000 units. The DoseRight product was a simple plastic clip, inserted into the top portion of a standard oral syringe to facilitate the accurate pediatric dosing of liquid ARV medications in countries with widespread HIV/AIDs. However, 3rd Stone Design encountered problems when their prototype could not be manufactured in high volumes at an affordable price. This case study explores how 3rd Stone Design modified its product design to fulfill the CHAI order.
When a team at Stanford University accepted a challenge to design a low-cost prosthetic knee joint that could be produced locally for use in the JaipurFoot Organization's clinics across India, the students were eager to dive into the technical aspects of developing a product. However, they learned the organization already used an inexpensive joint that through research, discovered that associated emotional and psychological issues needed to be addressed in creating a better design.
In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant from 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. Several of the early Safe Water Project’s pilots involved experimenting with direct sales models for HWTS solutions. This mini-case study outlines the lessons PATH gleaned through these studies for helping its on-the-ground partners build an effective direct sales presence.
In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant from 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 of PATH’s pilots tested a direct sales model in Kenya by making a durable safe water product — a ceramic water pot (CWP) — available through a basket of goods approach. PATH partnered vendors were enthusiastic; however consumers who generality weren't familiar with CWPs wanted to interact with the device before purchase. Vendors were unable to carry the bulky and fragile CWPs long distance. This study explores the creative solution PATH devised to address these issues.
After observing too many unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by surgeries that were interrupted or canceled due to the unavailability of anesthesia, Dr. Paul Fenton designed a device called the Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM) that could deliver safe, reliable anesthesia even in the midst of a power outage. Unfortunately, Fenton was unable to convince investors to provide funding so he could further develop his innovation.
After observing too many unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by surgeries that were interrupted or canceled due to the unavailability of anesthesia, Dr. Paul Fenton designed a devices called the Universal Anesthesia Machine (UAM) that could deliver safe, reliable anesthesia even in the midst of a power outage. On of Gradian Health System's early challenges was determining how to position and market the UAM to four distinct but interconnected stakeholder groups. They were able to to get off the ground mostly through referrals, but Gradian did not consider this to be a sustainable approach. The cast study examines how Gradian developed a comprehensive marketing strategy for stimulating UAM adoption.
While enrolled in a course focused on entrepreneurship, a team of Stanford students set out to create a platform for developing-world healthcare providers that would facilitate improved information sharing bout high-impact, affordable solutions in the material and infant health space. The result was Impact Review, an online knowledge-base. When the team members graduated from Stanford, they had to determine what was next for Impact Review. This mini-case study describes how the Impact Review team explored its options and the solution it developed to ensure the sustainability of the technology.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Jessica Flannery created Kiva to connect lenders to small entrepreneurs without access to financial resources. Her goal? To alleviate poverty.
Jake Harriman starts seed projects in extremely stressed areas of the world. He works to help people lift themselves out of poverty in five years.
Daniel Grossman's Wild Planet creates toys that parents love as much as kids. His aim is to inspire learning and inventiveness.
Bruce McNamer empowers entrepreneurs in rural areas around the world to become self-sufficient. He finds helping people to help themselves a noble calling.
TCHO, a chocolate factory in San Francisco, uses chocolate production to encourage social entrepreneurship in developing countries. In this short audio lecture, John Kehoe, VP of Sourcing and Development at TCHO, discusses the company’s complex supply chain from grower to store. Through the company’s partnership program TCHOSource, TCHO utilizes technology and innovation to work with its sourcing cooperatives around the world. The goal is to improving the growers’ livelihoods and craft while increasing quality, productivity, and sustainability.
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.