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




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


Fall 2008

Volume 6, Number 4

If you read only one article from the fall 2008 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, make it “Rediscovering Social Innovation”. In this article, the authors define social innovation and explain why it is the best way to produce lasting social change across all kinds of boundaries. In “Cultivating the Green Consumer,” find out why Americans who say they want to go green actually don’t.

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Cultivating the Green Consumer

Consumers say they want to buy ecologically friendly products and reduce their impact on the environment. But when they get to the cash register, their Earth-minded sentiments die on the vine. Although individual quirks underlie some of this hypocrisy, businesses can do a lot more to help would-be green consumers turn their talk into walk.

By Sheila Bonini & Jeremy Oppenheim | 11

Dialing for Development

The world's neediest people are using mobile phones in ways that were never intended, and with great success. With wireless technologies, Indian farmers are finding out the latest crop prices, Nigerian youth are learning how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and Peruvian citizens are reporting criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Yet dialing into these powerful tools is not always straightforward. The author explains how to make the wireless revolution ring in economic growth and prosperity for people living at the bottom of the pyramid.

By David Lehr | 1

Money to Grow On

Certain nonprofits can take a page from business's playbook and learn how to attract cash for expansion.

By William Foster | 4

Rediscovering Social Innovation

Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world. These two notions are positive ones, but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change in all of its manifestations. The authors make the case that social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this. They also explain why most of today's innovative social solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating nonprofits, government, and for-profit businesses.

By James A. Phills Jr., Kriss Deiglmeier, & Dale T. Miller | 7

What's Next

The Green to Go Green

In Berkeley, here comes the sun.

By Jennifer Roberts

LivingGoods Calling

LivingGoods sends its version of Avon ladies—white-uniformed "health promoters"—knocking on doors in hundreds of Ugandan communities.

By Jennifer Roberts | 3

The Carrot Is Mightier Than the Stick

Rewarding the socially responsible with customers.

By Jennifer Roberts

Good TV

Using TV as an engine for giving.

By Jennifer Roberts | 1

The Giving Museum

Museum teaches about ending world hunger.

By Jennifer Roberts | 1

MBA Students Venture Out

MBA students turn their attention to social enterprise.

By Jennifer Roberts | 1

The Sun Boat

Move over, Prius; here comes the Aquatanker.

By Jennifer Roberts

Field Report


Dropping the Ball

Why the Soccer Ball Project—one of the world's first multistakeholder efforts to stop abuses of labor rights—is failing to protect workers in Pakistan.

By Anthony Ewing

Monk E-Business

LaserMonks, a multimillion-dollar enterprise, sells ink-jet cartridges and other office supplies online to support its Cistercian abbey in Wisconsin and to help others.


Soup Kitchen Confidential

To share its expertise without jeopardizing its mission, FareStart spun out a new organization.

By Robert Jungerhans

They’ve Got Your Back

The Posse Foundation sends diverse students to college together so that they can lean on each other and lead their schools.

By Chitua Alozie

Case Study


The Cultural Touch

By tailoring its methods to local values and needs, Rare has slowly seeded conservation programs in 40 countries. Yet as more and more species teeter on the brink of extinction, the organization must expand quickly. Here's how the boutique nonprofit is delivering customized Rare Pride social marketing campaigns to millions of people in the planet's most fragile ecosystems.

By Suzie Boss


After Prison

Comprehensive reintegration programs will lower the U.S. recidivism rate.

By John Irwin

Beyond CSR

How companies can respect human rights.

By Christine Bader

Go Big or Go Home

One foundation's approach to maximum impact.



Catching Charisma

Charismatic people spread happiness and well-being.

By Alana Conner

Poll Position

The polling place influences voting behavior.

By Alana Conner

Help People Do the Right Thing

Just do it...later.

By Alana Conner

When Good Wins

CSR as competitive advantage

By Alana Conner

Bad ’Hoods, Naughty Kids

The violence, noise, and crowding of poor neighborhoods stress kids and parents, bringing out their bad sides and breeding psychopathology.

By Alana Conner

Can’t Buy Me Democracy

Economics don't necessarily determine politics.

By Alana Conner

A Soldier’s Life for Her

The military's better than civilian life, say minorities and women such as Marine Corps Capt. Elizabeth Okoreeh-Baah, the first woman to pilot the V-22 Osprey.

By Alana Conner


Inspiring Innovation


Reviewed By David Bornstein

Opening the Asylum Doors

THE INSANITY OFFENSE: How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens by E. Fuller Torrey

Reviewed By Stephen P. Hinshaw

The Rise of Other Nations


Reviewed By John Kao

Crisis of Democracy

SUPERCAPITALISM: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert Reich

Reviewed By Carl Schramm



Q & A: David Gergen

In this interview with James A. Phills Jr., the Stanford Social Innovation Review's academic editor, former presidential advisor David Gergen discusses his views on social innovation, why social entrepreneurs should be more engaged in politics, and how the federal government can work with and even fund social entrepreneurs.

By James A. Phills Jr. | 6