Stanford Social Innovation Review

Stanford Social Innovation Review specializes in strategies and ideas for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses. From public policy to corporate social responsibility Stanford Social Innovation Review includes expert opinions and information, advice columns, profiles, book reviews, and more.

Articles from Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer

A New Spin on Student Loans
EDUCATION* After borrowing his way through business school at the University of Chicago, Benny Joseph emerged with an MBA, the spark of an entrepreneurial idea, and $115,000 in debt. Even with interest rates at all-time lows, he couldn't find traditional...
Bottom-Up
Solutions to Mitigating Climate ChangeTHE DANGERS ASSOCIated with climate change can sound like a science fiction dystopia: melting Himalayan glaciers and a shrinking Greenland ice sheet; sealevel rise inundating coastal populations from Florida to Bangladesh...
Conservation as an Investment
Conservation as an Investment Review by Robert Jaquay Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature Mark R. Tercek and Jonathan S. Adams 272 pages, Basic Books, 2013Conservationists and How Business and sustainable developSociety...
Contagious Health
HEALTH CARE* A community health model that was developed in Palestine, Jordan, and Kenya has made its way to rural Kentucky, where neighbors are helping each other lose weight, exercise more often, and make better food choices. Early success of a program...
Curbing Corruption
GOVERNMENTThe wave of protests known as the Arab Spring led to the ouster of long-time rulers and spurred reform throughout the Arab world. Yet those developments haven't resulted in progress toward limiting political corruption, according to Transparency...
Diversity and Generosity
INDIVIDUAL GIVINGIn many organizations today, leaders put a premium on making their workplace more diverse. Not only does diversity promote the values of fairness and equal opportunity, it's also potentially good for the bottom line. Some studies, for...
Embracing the Paradoxes of Innovation
SUPPLEMENT TO SSIR FUNDED BY THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATIONAs the previous articles have made clear, innovation is essential to developing the breakthrough ideas and practicable solutions that contribute to social progress. The process of innovation is very...
Factoring for Change
IMPACT INVESTING* Frogtek is a social enterprise that helps small shopkeepers in Mexico and Colombia increase sales with the use of mobile apps. Its products offer significant potential to boost income at the bottom of the pyramid, but there's a catch...
Forging Ahead with Cross-Sector Innovations
We are living in a remarkable era of connectivity. People living in Seoul, Korea, for example, are becoming much more closely intertwined with people living in New York City, and finding solutions to the myriad issues we all face has become of vital...
Housing the Homeless
Common Ground has helped reduce the number of people sleeping on New York City streets by opening a dozen residential buildings for the homeless and impaired in the last four years. BY GREG BEATOASK BRENDA ROSEN TO DESCRIBE the organization she oversees...
Innovate and Scale: A Tough Balancing Act
The term social innovation captures our collective desires to find novel solutions to persistent social needs. The necessary innovations at a scale that matches the size of the problem can be enacted only by organizations. Social innovation is thus a...
Innovation for the Next 100 Years
What social innovation means to the Rockefeller Foundation and the changes the foundation is making to ensure a strong basis for innovation for the next 100 years.A centenary comes but once in the lifetime of any organization-and it's a milestone we...
Judging Success in Translational Medical Research
Getting promising drug discoveries out of university research labs and into the drug pipeline is more difficult than it should be. by robert pozenI have run large organizations but spent little time in medical labs. So when I write about translational...
Keeping Kids in School
With hard data and soft skills, Communities in Schools fine-tunes its model to reduce dropout rates. BY SUZIE BOSSWhen the school day begins at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Dalisha Phillips settles into her customary spot in the welcome room....
Labor of Love
Ai-Jen Poo, cofounder and director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, is helping to build a movement to improve the lives of 2.5 million US home care workers, by sharon lernerAi-Jen Poo's goal is "to bring dignity and respect to all workers."...
Letters
And furthermore...To solve social problems, we first need to ask: Why are we measuring what we're measuring? We need to focus on measures that will give us real information on how we can promote improvement and growth. We also need effective ways to...
Mobilizing the Masses
The Liberty Hill Foundation concentrates on helping community activists create lasting change in Los Angeles. BY PHUONG LYLooming five stories tall andweighing more than 600,000 tons, the pile of rubble seemed immovable. The debris, collected from freeways...
Overdue Credit for Nonprofits
NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT* Let's say you're a loan applicant with limited cash reserves and clients who are notoriously slow payers. Your odds of getting a loan approved are slim, even if you've been in business for decades.Welcome to the financial reality...
Philanthropy and Inequality
Philanthropy and Inequality Review by Robin Rogers Why Philanthropy Matters: How the Wealthy Give, and What It Will Mean for Our Economic Well-Being ZoltanJ.Acs 272 pages, Princeton University Press, 2013Philanthropy, which translates as "love of humanity,"...
Social Innovation and Resilience: How One Enhances the Other
In 1972 Bunker Roy and a small group of colleagues set up the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India. Their vision was an interesting and catalytic one, joining old and new, traditional and radical. Informed by the teachings and philosophy of...
Social Innovation Creates Prosperous Societies
Rarely has the need for new ways of thinking been more glaring. From the sluggish economic growth and financial instability of the last several years to the perennial issues of political upheaval, resource crises, hunger, poverty, and disease, people...
Stop Funding Duplicative Projects
Field scans are crucial for providing data about what has been funded and where funding gaps lie. by Christine [varepsilon]. sherryIn late summer 2009, several months before the climate change conference in Copenhagen, I was asked to moderate a three-day...
Tapping the Entrepreneurial Potential of Grassroots Innovation
The unmet needs of disadvantaged people living in developing countries pose a complex challenge for development planners, but like many challenges, it also provides an opportunity for creative communities and individuals to develop alternative approaches....
Texting for Change
A South African foundation is leading the way in creating mobile-phonebased solutions for social change, by donna brysonTHE JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA-based Praekelt Foundation, which since 2007 has been putting mobile phones to new uses in the fields...
The Fight against Human Trafficking
The knowledge, skill, and compassion of the health care community can help stop modern slavery, BY ROY AHN, ANITA MCGAHAN, WENDY MACIAS KONSTANTOPOULOS, HANNAH HARP, ELAINE ALPERT, & THOMAS F. BURKEToday, with the 150th anniversary of the signing...
The Growth of European Venture Philanthropy
Venture philanthropy is poised to grow in Europe, but not necessarily by self-identified organizations. Instead, venture philanthropy practices are being adopted by a wide variety of existing organizations, such as foundations, government agencies, and...
The Innovator's Opportunity
A great deal has been written about innovation in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, but too little attention has been paid to innovation in the public sector. In fact, many people think that the term "government innovation" is an oxymoron. . But...
The "Just Right" Future
The "Just Right" Future The Nature of the Future: Dispatches From the Socialstructed World Marina Gorbis 256 pages, Free Press, 2013Near the end of the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) held this past March, I read this tweet: "Somewhere between Musk...
The Return of Segregation
EDUCATIONIn the mid-20th century, one prominent means of effecting social change in the United States was use of the judicial system. In 1954, for instance, the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education dealt a powerful...
Unleashing Breakthrough Innovation in Government
Public sector innovators are improving government by replicating the market conditions that have long fostered breakthrough innovation in the private sector.The innovators who shake up industries the most do so by reimagining how things should look from...
Untangling the Confusion over Organizational Ethics
A wave of ethics transgressions underlines the importance of comprehensive ethics oversight for organizational success, by susan liautaudLast year, 2012, was in many regards a step forward for proponents of ethical action. Roger Gifford, the Lord Mayor...
What Makes People Mobilize?
CIVIL SOCIETYJust because there's a protest-worthy cause doesn't mean that a protest movement will, in fact, emerge. Researchers who study social movements have theorized that such mobilization tends to occur when members of a community have the right...
Why Nonprofits Should Operate Commuter Trains
The nonprofit sector has taken on the management of a wide range of heretofore government services, including parks, schools, public housing, and health care. Some portions of mass transit should be next.OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS THE US nonprofit and philanthropic...