Volume 8, Number 2
President Obama has initiated a number of important changes in the way that the federal government funds outside programs. One of the most important of these is the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top Fund, a pool of money that states compete for by proposing innovative K-12 educational programs. In the spring 2010 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, managing editor Eric Nee interviews Joanne Weiss, director of the $4.3 billion fund, who explains what changes she hopes the fund can achieve.
By choosing smart economic models and stabilizing political institutions, political leaders pave the way for fast and sustained development.
Grantmaking initiatives often fail when the foundation remains isolated from its grantees and the communities they both serve.
Funders are increasingly pressuring nonprofits to merge, however, mergers are not always the right path for nonprofits in financial distress.
Improving the lives of disadvantaged populations requires proven theories of change.
The world's first tuition-free online university hopes to dramatically increase access to higher education.
Rick Aubry is designing social enterprises that can succeed on a national scale.
The Extraordinaries have created a web-based platform that allows people to easily volunteer short amounts of time.
The world’s first universal cash transfer program is in Namibia and provides cash with no strings attached.
Field Report (formerly What Works)
In Rwanda, Radio La Benevolencija uses soap operas to heal ethnic tensions. Listeners who tune into a weekly show about feuding ethnic groups are more likely than non-listeners to stand up to authority and to voice their own opinions.
Volkswagen believes that doing the right thing—taking the stairs, reducing litter, and driving an eco-friendly car—can be pleasurable and desirable.
Upwardly Global places skilled immigrants in jobs worthy of their talents.
Against all odds, the Afghan Institute of Learning educates women and girls in a war-torn society.
The LEED green-building certification system is one of the fastest growing nonprofits in America.
Viewpoint (formerly First Person)
Let’s not overlook what traditional entrepreneurs contribute to society.
Funders can help grantees track their progress more effectively by helping them develop dashboards that measure key items.
Some school reformers advocate starting over, while others want to keep the same students and site. Both approaches are useful.
Guilt might move people not to relieve suffering, but to exacerbate it by rationalizing that the victims somehow deserve their plight.
When it comes to job interviews, self-presentation tactics—appearance, gestures, postures, flattery, and self-promotion—go farther than you think.
How much inequality there is in a society depends on how inheritable the wealth is, which in turn depends on the kind of wealth that it is.
Funders who want to catalyze radical innovation should make long-term grants, invest in people, and offer rich and frequent feedback.
Manufacturers in the United States are building more and more products while churning out less and less air pollution.
A recent study shows that the UK's charter (like) schools fare better than standard schools on national exams.
Books (formerly Reviews)
SMALL CHANGE: Why Business Won't Save the World by Michael Edwards
THE SPIRIT LEVEL: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett
SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
LOOKING FOR THE LIGHT: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott by Paul Hendrickson
Joanne Weiss is in charge of the federal government’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top Fund, a new program that is funding innovations in K-12 education.
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