Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change


Suzie Boss

Suzie Boss is a journalist and consultant from Portland, Ore., who focuses on the power of teaching and learning to improve lives and transform communities. Co-author of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, she is a regular contributor to Edutopia and is on the national faculty of the Buck Institute for Education. Her next book, on innovation in K-12 education, is scheduled for publication in spring 2012.


Crisis Tech | May. 13, 2015


Listening closely to users has enabled developers to create digital tools that support responses to the recent Ebola outbreak.

Getting Creative About Corruption | May. 13, 2015


A group in Lebanon deploys a wide range of methods—from mobile apps to street theater—to thwart bribe-taking by officials.

Text the Vote | May. 13, 2015


In a classic leapfrogging initiative, Libya has enabled its citizens to complete voter registration via digital messaging technology.

Booked for Revival | May. 13, 2015


A combination of fresh funding and e-book technology will enable publishers to give new life to out-of-print scholarly works.

Source of Opportunity | May. 13, 2015


Sama Group, a social enterprise that connects disadvantaged people with digital work, is expanding its reach to the United States.

An Incubator for Labor | Feb. 18, 2015


Through the Workers Lab, union leaders aim to nurture “audacious ideas” that might reinvent the US labor movement.

The Barber Will See You Now | Feb. 18, 2015


Researchers are exploring an unlikely venue for serving the critical health needs of African-American men.

Leveling the Internship Field | 3 | Feb. 18, 2015


In Boston, a new program will give low-income college students an alternative to toiling as unpaid interns.

Data Game | Feb. 18, 2015


To leverage data science for social good, one company is working to foster a bit of healthy competition.

Airport Buzz | Nov. 19, 2014


Amid landing strips and airline terminals, threatened bee species are finding a much-needed new habitat.

Scrappy Solutions | 4 | Nov. 19, 2014


A new regulation in Massachusetts aims to direct food waste away from landfills and toward more productive uses.

Circulating the Internet | Nov. 19, 2014


At two big-city libraries, patrons can check out a new approach to accessing a wide range of digital technology.

Taking Flight for Conservation | 1 | Nov. 19, 2014


Despite their somewhat ominous reputation, drones are proving to have a wide range of beneficial applications.

When the “Doves” Fly | Aug. 13, 2014


A Silicon Valley start-up that operates earth-orbiting imaging satellites is making them available to social innovators.

Women at the Wheel | Feb. 19, 2014


In Mozambique, an effort to train women as ambulance drivers enhances public safety and fosters opportunity.

Funding the Sun | Feb. 19, 2014


Village Power Finance gives members of nonprofit associations a novel way to pay for solar conversion projects.

Lots of Opportunity | Feb. 19, 2014


An online platform helps city governments to discover, organize, and market publicly owned property.

Bike-Sharing Goes Small | Feb. 19, 2014


Local bike-lending arrangements offer an alternative to bigger, more complex bike-sharing systems.

Citizen Chronicles | Feb. 19, 2014


A program in Alberta, Canada, showcases the way that people with disabilities contribute actively to their communities. Includes magazine extras.

Libraries as Laboratories | Nov. 20, 2013


In Accra, Ghana, social entrepreneurs are working to reinvent the public library for the 21st century.

Blurred Images, Better Futures | Nov. 20, 2013


Software from a group called Ultrasafe Ultrasound promises to make it harder to practice sex-selective abortion.

Helping Cities Remain Strong | Nov. 20, 2013


A $100 million foundation initiative aims to foster urban resilience in the face of disaster.

The Science of Donor Connection | Nov. 20, 2013


A state-of-the-art database gives nonprofit leaders a tool for building relationships with potential funders.

A Sporting Chance | Aug. 14, 2013


In troubled spots around the world, Right to Play shows how fun and games can be a serious tool for development.

Donations on Tap | 2 | Aug. 14, 2013


At a "philanthropub," a new kind of bar and restaurant, a portion of each patron's bill goes to a worthy cause.

A Fresh Approach to Food Stamps | 1 | Aug. 14, 2013


In some places, users of the US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can supplement their diet via community supported agriculture.

Crowdsourcing the Past | Aug. 14, 2013


A US National Archives program uses 21st-century technology to enlist ordinary citizens in the transcription of centuries-old documents.

An Arab Spring for Entrepreneurs? | Aug. 14, 2013


In Tunisia, the Souk At-tanmia project provides funding and technical support to budding entrepreneurs.

Keeping Kids in School | 4 | May. 15, 2013


With hard data and soft skills, Communities in Schools fine-tunes its model to reduce dropout rates.

A New Spin on Student Loans | May. 15, 2013


Social Finance Inc. offers a network-based alternative to government-sponsored student loan programs.

Factoring for Change | May. 15, 2013


To support entrepreneurs in emerging markets, investors are drawing upon a financial tradition that dates back centuries.

Contagious Health | May. 15, 2013


A community-based program in rural Kentucky uses face-to-face social networks to promote wellness.

Overdue Credit for Nonprofits | 5 | May. 15, 2013


The American Nonprofits Federal Credit Union will provide loans and other much-needed financial services to member organizations.

Delivering Affordable Innovation | Feb. 21, 2013


D-Rev delivers affordable health care innovation to the places that need it most.

Indexing Nonprofits | Feb. 21, 2013


Donors want their money to be spent wisely, but knowing where to give can be difficult.

Poverty-Fighting Salons | Feb. 21, 2013


Can open conversations accelerate the spread of good ideas in global development?

New Ecosystem for Middle East Entrepreneurs | Feb. 21, 2013


The i2 Institute aims to catalyze hope across the Middle East.

Habitat Builds Out Its Vision | 3 | Feb. 21, 2013


In the aftermath of the US housing crisis, Habitat for Humanity is working to build not just affordable homes, but affordable communities.

New Option for Retirees | Nov. 14, 2012


State-sponsored pensions for private sector employees aim to stem US retirement insecurity.

Giving Smarter | 2 | Nov. 14, 2012


The Center for Disaster Philanthropy aims to help donors make informed, smarter giving decisions.

Room to Grow Nonprofit Innovation | Nov. 14, 2012


At Center4, small organizations will be able to pool their problem-solving strategies and resources to incubate new solutions.

All-Mobile Microfinance | Nov. 14, 2012


Kenya is about to become a world leader in mobile microfinance.

Accessible Images | Aug. 31, 2012


An open source web application draws on the wisdom of the crowds to give the blind access to images.

New App for Conscious Consumers | Aug. 15, 2012


Free2Work is a mobile app that allows shoppers to scan a product for information on human rights and other issues.

HMO for the Poor | Aug. 15, 2012


Naya Jeevan aims to bring catastrophic health coverage to millions of low-skilled workers in India and Pakistan.

Greenbacks for Green Projects | Aug. 15, 2012


Green bonds have come to the United States.

Delivering the Goods | May. 16, 2012


Entrepreneurs are setting up shop in the nation's urban food deserts.

Virtual Models for Real Issues | May. 16, 2012


Agent-based modeling—a form of computer visualization—is being used to analyze a range of public health issues.

A Lifeline for Mothers | May. 16, 2012


Merck for Mothers—a 10-year, $500 million initiative—aims to improve the odds for vulnerable women around the globe.

Coding for a Better World | May. 16, 2012


SocialCoding4Good is developing an online platform to match skilled employees from the technology sector with causes that need technical help.

Data for Change | 1 | Feb. 15, 2012


Data Without Borders matches tech-savy volunteers with organizations instead of data analysis.

Shrinking Your Plastic Footprint | 1 | Feb. 15, 2012


Getting companies to reduce their use of plastic is the focus of the Plastic Disclosure Project.

Litmus Test for Entrepreneurs | Feb. 15, 2012


The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab helps identify investment-worthy business people in developing countries.

Himalayan Hazelnuts | Feb. 15, 2012


MHV, a for-profit social enterprise, aims to make Bhutan a large-scale producer of hazelnuts.

A Win-Win for Haiti | 1 | Nov. 16, 2011


Partners in Health and Abbott Laboratories are building a new plant in Corporant, Haiti to produce a therapeutic food called Nourimanba.

Specialists’ Niche | Nov. 16, 2011


A Danish company finds jobs for people with autism.

Engineering Higher Efficiency | Nov. 16, 2011


Toyota brings its vaunted process improvement method to nonprofits.

On-Ramp for Entrepreneurs | Nov. 16, 2011


Venture for America launches two-year apprenticeships for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Trawling for Trash | Oct. 26, 2011


An EU Fisheries Commission Project pays fisherman to remove plastic debris from the Mediterranean Sea.

Retailing with Heart | 10 | May. 5, 2011


At Panera Cares cafés, there’s a donation box where customers pay on the honor system.