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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Microlending in leprosy colonies frees residents from poverty, shame, and isolation.
A new social enterprise incubator fills two critical gaps facing social entrepreneurs: mentoring and access to capital.
Play this online game and learn social innovation strategies to solve global crises.
Used shipping containers become health care clinics in the developing world.
Most nonprofits use social media like Facebook and Twitter as an ancillary part of what they do. A few organizations, however, are using these tools to fundamentally change the way they work and increase their social impact.
A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world's most pressing problems.
A group of economists turns to an unusual source for funding: strangers.
An Indian army vet builds business relationships across battle lines in conflict-torn Kashmir and Northeast Indian villages.
How Fundación RAP builds bridges across party lines.
Being an innovator is never easy. But tackling the needs of underserved patients and healthcare providers in developing countries can be especially difficult. The idiosyncrasies of the healthcare sector, the contextual barriers found in resource-constrained environments, and the already-difficult-to-implement innovation process, make entrepreneurship in global health time consuming, expensive, and risky.
THE BLUE SWEATER: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz Review by Pamela Hartigan
Voluntary carbon offsets allow people to invest in projects that allegedly counteract their greenhouse gas emissions. But can voluntary offsets help slow global warming? Or are offsets simply a way for guilt-ridden consumers to buy their way out of bad feelings? —By Matthew J. Kotchen
Documentary filmmakers win the chance to focus on social entrepreneurs.
Nonprofit lender Root Capital connects rural farmers and artisans with the corporations that crave their products. —By Suzie Boss
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
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.
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.
Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from 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?
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.
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.
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.
A sanctuary for baboons in Belize has been reformulated to support ecotourism. Numerous management, social, and political issues continue to limit the sanctuary’s growth.
This case describes the formation, management, and challenges of a prep school founded in a depressed urban community. It focuses on fundraising, performance measurement, faculty recruiting, growth, and managing culture.
Phyto-Riker, a pharmaceutical company in Ghana, contemplates the effects of the HIV epidemic in Africa on its business plans. It is not certain what resources will be available, and how they will be distributed.
When abalone divers were given a property right in abalone fisheries, fishery owner Roger Beattie moved from the small time to become a successful entrepreneur. He began seeking out opportunities to improve his bottom line and the local environment.
Peter O’Neill envisioned a 120-acre residential community alongside the Boise River. However, he needed to convince the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and several other agencies, that his idea would not harm the trout population.
Allied Equity Partners provided equity-related financing to minority-owned businesses. The principals knew they had to rethink their strategy to raise capital of $80 million for its third and largest fund.
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.
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.
James Gutierrez, MBA '05, discusses how he built Progreso Financiero, where he gets his best ideas, and the best advice he's ever received.
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.