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




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


Fall 2012

Volume 10, Number 4

New legal forms that make it easier for a business to pursue a social mission, such as benefit corporations and low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs), are growing in popularity. But according to “The Truth About Ben & Jerry’s”—a critical look at the sale of the popular ice cream company featured in the fall 2012 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review—you don’t need a new legal form to do good. In fact, it’s possible for a regular old C corporation to pursue the same social mission as one of the new types of corporations.

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Measuring Social Impact

Broader Evidence for Bigger Impact

Defining credible evidence has polarized into two camps that must be brought together to tackle social problems effectively.



Climate Science as Culture War

The public debate around climate change is no longer about science—it’s about values, culture, and ideology.



Innovation Is Not the Holy Grail

It is time to move from innovation as an ideology to innovation as a process.


Socially Responsible Business

The Truth About Ben and Jerry’s

Contrary to myth, the sale of Ben & Jerry’s to corporate giant Unilever wasn’t legally required.


What's Next

Technology & Design

Accessible Images

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


Technology & Design

New App for Conscious Consumers

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



HMO for the Poor

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


Impact Investing

Greenbacks for Green Projects

Green bonds have come to the United States.


Field Report


Socially Responsible Business

Bettering the Used Book Business

Better World Books has found a way to make a profit and donate more than $11 million for literacy programs and libraries worldwide.



Holding the Line in Oregon

Oregon’s land-use policies have preserved farmland and led to smart urban growth.


Socially Responsible Business

Banking on Low-Income Families

The Center for Community Self-Help provides financial services to those who can’t afford to live without them.


Case Study


Economic Development

Sexually Transmitted Altruism

DKT International, founded by one of the largest erotica distributors in the United States, provides contraceptives to approximately 50 million people a year in the developing world.

By Greg Beato | 2



Social Entrepreneurship

Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling

Open innovation enables behaviors that lay the groundwork for scale.


Economic Development

Rethinking Global Development Goals

The successors to the Millennium Development Goals must take advantage of the power of NGOs, companies, and technologically enabled citizens.



Creating Value Through Uncommon Alliances

The US State Department is redefining diplomacy and development.


Measuring Social Impact

A GPS for Social Impact

Root Capital and Acumen Fund propose a system for program evaluation that is akin to GPS.




Urban Development

The New Chinese Underclass

Due to the rapid growth of its cities, China's middle class is growing—but so is its urban poor.



Getting Volunteers in the Door

What are the biggest factors that affect recruiting nonprofit volunteers?

By Roberta Kwok

Economic Development

Unequal Market Access

Markets can promote economic development, as long as they are inclusive.



Prairie Portfolio

Economists are using a tool familiar to the financial industry to analyze climate change outcomes for conservationists.


Economic Development

Changing Savings Habits

Can financial education in grade school have long-term effects?





Branding Social Change?

Can "movement marketing"—a means for companies to connect with consumers through social media—really lead to positive social change?

Reviewed By Peter Manzo

Technology & Design

I, You, We

Researchers from Pew and NetLab examine how the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking are radically changing our lives.

Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

Social Entrepreneurship

Suggestive Evidence

Why do some people, systems, and societies bounce back from adversity and other don't?

Reviewed By Timothy Ogden | 1

Civil Society

A Market (Rather Than Civil) Society

Michael Sandel's latest book takes up the question: What are the moral limits of the marketplace?

Reviewed By Rob Reich



Nonprofit Management

Roundtable on Collective Impact

A discussion of the ways in which growing numbers of communities are aligning resources and pulling together to create significant change on a community problem.

By Eric Nee & Michele Jolin

Last Look



Fight for the Future

The nonprofit Fight for Peace uses boxing to create a dialogue with hard-to-reach urban youth.