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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Throughout history, acts of hatred have plagued communities and dominated media attention. The website Not In Our Town is working to combat that by broadcasting anti-hate stories and campaigns.
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.
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.
How texting became young donors’ preferred way to make charitable donations.
Science writer and author Janine Benyus urged an overflow Stanford Business School audience to look to the world of nature for ways to cool buildings, collect water in the desert, keep pipes from clogging with scale, and manage air traffic. Her speech was sponsored by the School's Center for Social Innovation.
It is not easy for an organization to merge the business acumen of the corporate sector with the conscience of nonprofits. Panelists discuss learning how to balance their double bottom lines of profits and social goals.
I know that I’m among hundreds, if not thousands, of people who feel that way, and together we form an army working toward similar ends. There can be no greater legacy than that.
The Rockefeller Foundation is staying at the forefront of new and big ideas and funding new innovation processes like crowdsourcing and collaborative competitions.
Investors screen for entrepreneurial passion when making funding decisions.
Defining what it takes to make breakthrough change. —By Paul C. Light
Kiva, the first online peer-to-peer microcredit marketplace, is one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in history. But its nonprofit status was not inevitable. Here’s why Kiva chose to be a 501(c)(3), what this tax status buys the organization, and how being a nonprofit poses challenges. —By Bethany Coates & Garth Saloner
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
With the Obama administration's focus on social enterprise as a means of solving some of our most pressing problems, the social entrepreneur has emerged as the chief change agent of our time. In this panel discussion, part of the Stanford 2009 Entrepreneurship Week, leaders of several vital organizations talk about the motivations, successes, and challenges associated with running a social enterprise. They consider what the economic downturn has meant to their missions, and they offer practical advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Kiva has created an online marketplace that allows ordinary citizens through responsible investing to help specific entrepreneurs around the world thrive with as little as $25. How did Kiva get the critical mass it needed to make its operations a go? How does it work with nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and lenders through the online format? In this talk, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Kiva President Premal Shah talks about how the organization got started, how it functions, and how it plans to grow.
MySpace, Flicker, YouTube, and Facebook are big brands and major movers in the commercial, social networking world. In this audio lecture recorded at the 2008 Nonprofit Management Institute, an event convened by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jeff Patrick of Common Knowledge shares how nonprofits can use such tools--and customize their own--to capture constituencies and raise funds. He further shows where social networking is headed so that nonprofits can begin to incorporate it into their long-term horizons.
The key to success in any team or enterprise is to develop good working relationships. In this talk, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, consultant Diana McLain Smith, author of Divide and Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict into Strength, shows how those who care about performance and relationships can simultaneously nurture both. She offers tips for seeing work relationships in new ways, and practical suggestions for enhancing them.
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?
Q&A with Stefano Zenios on his new book, Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies.
"Credibility and power don't necessarily translate into a different world," says Heidi Roizen. Sometimes entrepreneurs need to learn new skills to transfter success to another sector.
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.
Julie and her investor set up a holding company, Prospect Colleges, with which they plan to acquire and operate multiple small schools. As president of the first Prospect college, Julie faces challenges regarding ageism among her employees and whether to give in to her investor’s preference and hire an experienced COO.
The Skoll Foundation funds individuals and organizations with good ideas that can quickly grow in scale and impact. In 2002, as the leaders looked to the future, they pondered how they could act as leading social entrepreneurs themselves in terms of how they structured the foundation’s work.
With increasing pollution and congestion, European car manufacturers were concerned that governments might eventually ban cars from city centers. The producer of Swatch watches came up with the novel idea of an environmentally friendly, but stylish, super-compact car.
This note outlines the business climate for entrepreneurs in reform-era Vietnam around 1996. Entrepreneurs had to overcome a host of impediments in gaining access to markets, and in dealing with licensing and corruption.
By the mid-1990s, a few years into Vietnam’s tentative market-oriented reforms, the country’s private sector was at a crucial point. Three owner-managers discuss their initial success in such an unreceptive setting.
Grameen Bank lent hundreds of millions of dollars to millions of poor entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Managing Director Muhammad Yunus faced tremendous challenges brought about by political upheavals and natural disasters in this country.
This paper discusses how socioeconomic results are quantified with traditional financial measures. It briefly outlines the methodology used by the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund.
The Canadian nonprofit Lutherwood-CODA is engaged in a bold real estate project to develop a retirement community. Can the organization face a new level of financial risk associated with creating an assisted living center?
Abercrombie & Kent, a safari company, develops an ecotourism business in Kenya. The company must assess its challenges and future directions.
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.
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 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.
Team members at D-Rev - a U.S. nonprofit technology company with the mission to improve the health and incomes of people living on less than $4 per day - became interested in the problem of infant jaundice. D-Rev confirmed that jaundice was a problem in rural areas where equipment to treat the condition was virtually nonexistent. To address this issue, the D-Rev team created a prototype phototherapy solution for jaundice treatment product called Brilliance. This mini-case study examines D-Rev's strategy and approach to raise funds for a market-ready product.
The East Meets West Foundation (EMW) is an international development agency with the mission to transform the health, education, and communities of disadvantaged people in Asia. Through its Breath of Life (BOL) program, EMW provides a complete package of custom-made, low-cost medical equipment to neonatal care providers. As EMW expanded BOL in Asia, it recognized the need to develop more effective therapy for infant jaundice. EMW was interest in an infant phototherapy solution, but they did not have the design capabilities needed to develop the product and neither did its existing parters. This case study reveals how EMW addressed challenges of positioning for continued growth.
When team members at D-Rev — a U.S. nonprofit technology company — became interested in the problem of infant jaundice, they initiated a detailed assessment of the phototherapy landscapes in India and Nigeria and created a prototype for a jaundice treatment product called Brilliance. When D-Rev was ready to start thinking about taking Brilliance to market, the team carefully evaluated its own competencies and concluded that the organization’s strengths were not in product manufacturing or after-sales services and believed it should enter into a licensing agreement to accelerate Brilliance’s market penetration. The challenge was to find the right partner and structure the partnership deal effectively to ensure that D-Rev’s social impact goals would be achieved. This mini-case study explores how D-Rev identified its partner and crafted an agreement to motivate desired behavior.