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




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


Spring 2015

Volume 13, Number 2

The spring 2015 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review features two articles about social enterprises that went through difficult times, and what one can learn from their experiences. The first, “Cause for Reflection,” is about a “philanthropub” in Washington, D.C., that failed. The second, “Entrepreneurship and Ebola,” is about an ethically sourced apparel company in Liberia that is struggling to survive amidst the Ebola outbreak.

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Human Rights

Empowering Women at the Grassroots

In many parts of the world, corporations today are cultivating partnerships with locally rooted organizations that promote a multi-faceted approach to women’s empowerment. Includes magazine extras.



Disruption for Good

Rapid advances in technology are changing philanthropy in fundamental ways—making it potentially more rational, effective, collaborative, transparent, and democratic.

Co-Creation in Government


Co-Creation in Government

Bringing innovation to the public sector is famously difficult. But efforts that open up the public sector value chain to multiple stakeholders can deliver impressive results.



Using Economic Forces to Conserve Nature

Conservationists are devising new ways to strategically use financial incentives—such as conservation easements—to preserve nature.


What's Next


Economic Development

An Incubator for Labor

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



The Barber Will See You Now

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


Nonprofit Management

Leveling the Internship Field

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


Technology & Design

Data Game

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


Field Report


Socially Responsible Business

Entrepreneurship and Ebola

Creating an ethically sourced apparel company in West Africa is hard enough, but when Ebola strikes, the challenges become almost insurmountable.



Engaging Teens

A financial literacy program created by the Charles Schwab Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America has reached a half million teens.

By Corey Binns | 2


Bursaries for Girls

The relatively simple act of providing African girls with the money they need to stay in school has achieved significant results.


Case Study


Social Entrepreneurship

Cause for Reflection

The story of Cause, a “philanthropub” that closed 14 months after it opened, offers vital lessons for aspiring social entrepreneurs. Includes magazine extras.




Social Entrepreneurship

The Embedded Enterprise

To reach base-of-the-pyramid markets, entrepreneurs need to align their business models with customers’ lives.

By Ted Ladd | 1


Adventures in Adaptation

One funder’s willingness to shift course strategically has been crucial to sustaining a decade-long education initiative.



School for Scaling

A highly focused effort in Kenya to treat worm infections in children delivers lessons on how to expand a proven program.


Board Governance

Training in Progress

A program at Credit Suisse helps high-level employees—and valued clients—to master the art of nonprofit board service.




Individual Giving

If It Does Good, Feel It

Benefiting emotionally from altruistic behavior doesn’t lessen—indeed, it increases—other people’s regard for that behavior.

By Adrienne Day


A “Value Added” Evaluation

Teachers who help boost students’ test scores also have a notable impact on students’ long-term outcomes.

By Adrienne Day

Impact Investing

Sharing the Stage

The example of venture philanthropy in Europe shows how old and new forms of practice can coexist.

By Adrienne Day


Ends and Means

In the way that people think about end-of-life care, moral and economic motives converge and commingle.

By Adrienne Day


Economic Development

Past Isn’t Always Prologue

For policy makers today, earlier efforts to promote local community organizing yield relatively few lessons.

Reviewed By Michael Weinstein

Economic Development

A More Perfect Union?

New ideas on how to empower US workers involve breaking free of current labor law.

Reviewed By Thomas A. Kochan


Uncertain Legacy

Can the history of a century-old foundation amount to more than the sum of its grants?

Reviewed By Peter Frumkin

Technology & Design

Misdiagnosing Science

A survey of obstacles to innovation focuses erroneously on the supposed caution of university-based scientists.

Reviewed By Maryann Feldman

Last Look

Human Rights

Becoming a Woman

A growing number of Maasai in Kenya are ending female circumcision and replacing it with other coming-of-age rituals.