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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE: How to Solve the World’s Toughest Problems by Paul C. Light
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.
Social network and professional network combined: a low-income neighborhood works together to meet the needs of the community in an environmentally responsible way.
Social intrapreneurs—change agents already working deep within business—are the answer for business’s woes.
Authors Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith explain how to harness the power of social media to achieve social change in their book The Dragonfly Effect.
Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murty, two of India’s best known executives, share their experiences in leadership and management with current MBA students during a visit to campus as the first Denning Distinguished Fellows in Global Business and the Economy.
Venture capitalist John Doerr doesn’t believe the world’s population will change its wasteful ways in time to stop global warming, he told an overflow audience at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. But, ever the optimist, he urged MBA students to make it a priority.
Patagonia Inc. founder and owner Yvon Chouinard offered his Stanford audience a slew of counterintuitive business practices that have helped make his apparel company a success.
Former Vice President Al Gore kicked off the 2005 Net Impact conference at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the largest annual gathering in the world for MBA students and young professionals focused on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, international development, and environmental management.
More than 50 panel discussions ranging from green buildings to California's stem cell research initiative engaged 1,600 attendees at the 2005 Net Impact Conference, held at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Microlending in leprosy colonies frees residents from poverty, shame, and isolation.
Play this online game and learn social innovation strategies to solve global crises.
Over the past decade or so, the term social entrepreneur has become a fashionable way of describing individuals and organizations that, in their attempts at large-scale change, blur the traditional boundaries between the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. But let’s not overlook what traditional entrepreneurs contribute to society.
Designing social enterprises that can succeed on a national scale
Development experts have long known that educating girls is one of the surest ways to improve life for everyone in poor countries. Yet the path to school has not been smooth for many girls—especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past 17 years, however, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) has delivered high-quality education to millions of girls across 35 African countries. The secret to FAWE’s scale and impact, say its leaders, is its flexibility.
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.
The White House is about to announce the creation of the Office of Social Innovation.
This blog is the last of Marcia Stepanek’s coverage of the Skoll World Forum 2009 at Oxford University.
Reporting from the 6th annual Skoll World Forum for social innovation
“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
Responsible investing begins in local, underserved communities. In this education podcast, CEO Martin Eakes talks about how his organization, Self-Help, has provided almost $6 billion in financing to more than 60,000 homebuyers, small businesses, and nonprofits, and how it is serving thousands of low-income families through retail credit union branches. Eakes' presentation is an inspiring rallying cry for redirecting resources to those who can benefit the most. His talk is part of a discussion sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation.
A critical aspect of international development and the restoration of the global economy involves fostering entrepreneurship. In this panel discussion at a conference convened by the Hoover Institute at Stanford, experts and entrepreneurs discuss what it takes to create social and educational environments in the United States and abroad that support innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. They consider what opportunities the world crisis has opened up for major transformations in every sector of the economy.
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.
Jane Chen, MBA '08, has a vision of a place “babies no longer die from being cold, where people no longer die from preventable causes. And where every person has the ability to choose [his or her] own fate.”
What if games were used to solve real-world problems?
How can we design for the ripple effect so that small acts of goodness trigger big ones?
Social entrepreneurship requires conscious leadership, says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in this University podcast. Delivering a talk sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Mackey issues a clarion call for nothing less than "conscious capitalism," arguing that business can indeed serve more than the almighty dollar. He discusses his own company's challenges in the social enterprise arena.
When Priya Haji put her mind to helping reduce global poverty, social entrepreneurship took a quantum leap. In this university podcast, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, the plucky founder of World of Good shares how she created a social enterprise that now empowers women in communities around the world by helping them sell their artisan goods in stores and online. She talks about strategies for using educated consumer choice and inspiring business competition to do good.
When you begin to wonder - Am I in the right job? - it may be time to try social enterprise on for size. In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Tom Tierney shares how he threw caution - and a big salary - to the wind when he first decided to found the Bridgespan Group. He talks about his challenges, fears, and ultimately, triumphs in establishing this organization dedicated to helping nonprofits and philanthropy achieve breakthrough results.
Equity Bank, a microfinance services provider, experienced a remarkable turnaround in the early 1990s. What strategy did the CEO pursue to accomplish such a feat?
Two social ventures collaborated with each other to help expand one’s solar energy services from southern Brazil into the Amazon region. The case highlights the core factors that led to the project’s ultimate outcome.
This strategy case discusses a number of challenges facing nonprofit managers. These include establishing a sustainable and self-supporting operating model, generating corporate-sector support, and managing through a financial crisis.
Unitus focuses on accelerating the growth of the microfinance industry. This first case describes the Unitus business model for microfinance and whether or not the company should expand the capital it provides to partners through a debt or equity fund.
Unitus focuses on accelerating the growth of the microfinance industry. While case A examined Unitus options to expand the capital it provides to partners, this second case reveals the decisions Unitus leaders made.
Ashoka was a professional organization that identified and invested in leading social entrepreneurs globally. The organization faced challenges as it updated its mission to “make things happen in a bigger way.”
David Dodson started the septic company Green River Environmental after mixed results in his previous entrepreneurial ventures. This case tracks three difficult mangerial situations Dodson faced during his tenure as CEO and chairman of the company.
Minnesota Public Radio had evolved from a small public radio station to a network of 38 stations, mainly through social purpose capitalism. The founder came under criticism after creating for-profit ventures to support and build the enterprise.
Napo was developing a compound to treat diarrhea while arranging an innovative public-private partnership to distribute it in the developing world. When that partnership proved difficult to arrange, the founder had to decide whether to continue pursuing it.
A new breed of entrepreneurs is prioritizing social impact over the creation of wealth. This video case examines the insights, aspirations, and impact of three leading social entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in distributing products and services in hard-to-reach places. It is meant to be used in conjunction with cases SI72 A and SI72 B.
KickStart was founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps—branded “MoneyMaker Pumps”—that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. When KickStart was ready to launch its MoneyMaker pumps, it faced the challenge of how to effectively reach and market the products to target consumers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mali. In these regions, average farmers and their families are physically isolated and have few resources; because of this, it is likely purchasing a KickStart product may be the most expensive purchase they will ever make. Moreover, many farmers understand little about pump technology and cultural norms prevent the use of word-of-mouth sales and 'viral marketing' to promote the product.
KickStart was founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain profitable businesses. Its first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps — branded “MoneyMaker Pumps” — that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. Since its inception, KickStart had sold more than 180,000 MoneyMaker pumps. Despite these encouraging sales figures, the company still faced the critical questions that confronted every social enterprise: What was the actual impact of the product on the people it was intended to help? This mini-case study describes how the KickStart team developed a rigorous yet realistic approach to measuring and understanding the impact of its interventions.
Trevor Field, a retired British businessman and outdoor advertising executive, was deeply moved when he observed women and and girls in rural villages of South Africa shouldering the daily burden of collecting water. When he became aware of a technology that was meant to serve as both a children's merry-go-round and community water pump, he founded Roundabout Outdoor to manufacture, install, and maintain the product known as PlayPump.
Maternova was founded in 2009 as a mission-driven for-profit organization with two main objectives: (1) to provided online knowledge platform that would allow health workers, innovators, and individuals working in the field to track tools and with the potential to save lives in childbirth, and (2) to bundle and sell a select number of low-cost tools to equip frontline health workers to do their jobs more effectively.
To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researchers at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for an intitutive, 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 simple family planning system, as well as CycleBeads to provide a tangible tool to help women follow the method. IRH was met with resistance and this case studies examines how the strategy used by the team to overcome market resistance.
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.
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.
It was the suicide of a young man that turned Vivek Garg toward using business as a means of fostering peace and reconciliation.
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.
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.
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.
Vestergaard Frandsen (VF) is a for-profit company that operates under a humanitarian entrepreneurship business model. The company’s leading products include PermaNet long-lasting insecticidal nets and LifeStraw water filters. VF was convinced that its LifeStraw Family product could make an immediate and significant difference in addressing the safe water needs of households in developing countries. The challenge was how to make it affordable for its target audience. While VF considered its options, CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen decided to launch an integrated campaign to help prevent the spread of malaria, diarrheal disease, and HIV in Western Kenya.Witnessing the success of the program, the Kenyan government asked VF to scale it up across the Western Province. However, identifying traditional forms of funding for point-of-use water filters at scale remained a challenge.
There are all manner of approaches to 'green investing,' and the folks at Carbon Lighthouse — recipients of an $80,000 Social Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business — manage to combine two of them under the same roof.