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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Three types of leadership are needed to build a successful organization.
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.
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.
BUILDING SOCIAL BUSINESS: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus
With these seven levers, social entrepreneurs can foster change in everything from affordable housing to child welfare to poverty alleviation.
Socially minded entrepreneurship will not wane but rather will offer more and more opportunities for business-trained professionals well into the future, speakers with experience in the field told a Stanford Business School audience.
Two pioneers of the organic food industry say a growing awareness of global warming and other issues is making corporate America eager to get into markets once not taken seriously.
Gary Hirshberg, CEO of organic foods product company Stonyfield Farm, speaks about the role of business in influencing sustainability, citing the rise of organic foods as evidence of the power of the market to help solve challenging social and environmental problems.
In order to control rising costs of drug developments, pharmeceutical companies may have to begin looking overseas, where a strong emphasis on life science research is held. In addition, drug companies must begin to look to devote more of their R&D budgets to treating more common diseases. Victoria Hale, founder, CEO, and chairwoman of OneWorld Health, has created a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to address the needs of 90 percent of the world's people, many who do not receive treatment for preventable diseases because of the high costs of medicine.
John Bailey, technology director of the U.S. Department of Education, calls for more understandable data interpretation and student progress tracking. Michael Woods, CEO of LeapFrog, also advocates technology as an important tool in helping students and teachers realize their educational goals.
Inspiring change through photography.
How the Freelancers Union is modernizing the labor movement for independent workers. —By Amy Wilkinson
Maria Yee established her eco-friendly, high-end furniture company long before going green was the done thing. Two decades later, her company’s environmentally sound practices not only reflect a planet-friendly ethos, but also drive a market-friendly creative edge. Here’s how and why Yee stays green in a brown industry.
Now anyone can lend money to students.
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
Hagar was the biblical woman who became the victim of neglect and violence when she was cast out of the fold of Abraham and Sarah. In Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, thousands of "Hagars" and their children suffer poverty, trafficking, and other human rights abuses. Janet Tafel, who was invited by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, discusses how her organization, Hagar USA, helps individuals restore their lives through holistic healing, community integration, and social entrepreneurship.
Kiva has created an online marketplace that allows ordinary citizens to help specific entrepreneurs around the world to thrive with as little as $25. In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio interview, Kiva President Premal Shah discusses how the social enterprise relies on bazaar management techniques to carry out the organization's everyday functions. He describes the benefits of cost reduction and execution time and talks about the possibilities bazaar management opens for social entrepreneurship and the for-profit sector in general.
Let there be light! That's Sam Goldman's motto, and he's taking it around the world. The founder of d.light design talks with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman about how he is bringing affordable, ecologically sustainable electricity and lighting to billions who are now operating in the dark. In this audio interview, he details aspects of the design, function, marketing, and distribution of the organization's products, as well as the kind of impact the social enterprise is having in some of the most remote, poor areas.
How is New Orleans rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina? In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored presentation at the Social Enterprise Alliance 2009 Summit, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu discusses the role of tourism in the city's rehabilitation with Root Cause founder, Andrew Wolk. Landrieu details his work to found the nation's first government-run Office of Social Entrepreneurship, and emphasizes how New Orleans and the entire state are being strengthened by the development of their cultural assets.
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?
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.
Waste Concern in Bangladesh had earned an international reputation for its innovative approach to waste management in Dhaka. The organization needed to consider two opportunities to raise capital for expansion from large foreign firms.
By 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had firmly established the importance of building a knowledge base and communicating its findings to external and internal constitutencies. The foundation faced the challenge of how to effectively execute its communications.
This case, part two in a two-part series, explores the challenge of distribution, particularly for nonprofit entities seeking to bring their products and services to hard-to-reach places around the world.
The Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund provides Silicon Valley donors with philanthropic experience and education to empower their giving, and awards capacity-building grants to nonprofits. The fund’s leadership wondered how to improve the partner consulting program to better leverage partner expertise, and how to engage partners in grantmaking and educational activities.
Practitioners and academics at a 2004 Stanford University conference discussed the field of venture philanthropy. The overview includes topics such as capacity building, relationships between grantors and grantees, and performance measurement.
The chief investment officer of Acumen Fund, an international venture philanthropy fund, is reviewing the performance of a portfolio organization. Against the backdrop of Acumen’s own evolution, he is trying to determine how much additional support to provide an organization that has faced similar challenges.
In response to the closure of California state psychiatric hospitals, Rubicon Programs was established in 1973 to provide social services for recently deinstitutionalized individuals. In this videocase, the program’s top managers deliberate about their corporate strategy.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ken Westrick became a partner in TerraMai, a company that reclaims discarded wood and sells it to consumers. In 2003, the partners embark on an ambitious growth plan.
The Center for Blended Value is a think tank that promotes the concept of “blended value” investments. The founder wondered how to overcome the challenges associated with encouraging more foundations to adopt a value-mixing strategy of financial asset management.
PBS had asked for the strategy group Stone Yamashita Partners for help with branding. These cases detail PBS’s challenges and the organization’s need to transform its longstanding structure and change-averse culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mobius Motors manufactures and sells low-cost cars in the Kenyan market. The company strives to make the cars such that they are affordable, yet still perform well on Africa’s generally poor road networks. The company has attracted a lot of attention from development and venture financiers, and has ambitious plans to expand throughout the African continent. However, Mobius’s fleet of vehicle is still currently very small, and the company faces many strategic challenges on both the demand and the supply side of the business.
Phoenix Medical Systems was founded to manufacture an incubator designed specifically to address the needs of low-resource healthcare providers in India. Initially its founder, who also designed the device, tried selling his incubator through the few medical equipment, but found relative to the simple medical products, these companies found the incubator technically complex. Distributors' sales were willing to represent the product but did not understand how it worked. This case study looks at how Phoenix built its own direct sales force to address the problem.