Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR
Volume 6, Number 1
Traditionally, corporate social responsibility efforts serve a business’ local community. But today’s multinational corporations—headquarters in one country, manufacturing facilities in another, satellite offices in several more—are international in influence and impact. “The Responsibility Paradox,” the winter 2009 cover story of Stanford Social Innovation Review, predicts that the European Union will set the tone for product and environmental regulations, the United States will lead on governance, and international NGOs will drive human rights and labor laws.
Few microfinance institutions articulate what, exactly, their ultimate goals are and how to achieve them. If the goal of microfinance is to alleviate poverty, the authors say, then MFIs should focus on helping their clients build successful enterprises, rather than on making more and bigger loans.
Corporations that violate human rights not only inflict suffering, but also hurt their bottom line. The authors suggest five principles that corporations can follow to improve their human rights footprint.
Social entrepreneurs not only must understand the broad environment in which they work, but also must shape those environments to support their goals, when feasible. Borrowing insights from the field of ecology, the authors offer an ecosystems framework to help social entrepreneurs create long-lasting and significant social change.
Multinational corporations are in a quandary: Stakeholders are imposing higher standards than ever, but businesses are confused about what their global social responsibilities actually are.
Why Portland’s ReBuilding Center refuses to franchise, but is happy to share.
How an ecotourism company and a native community share power in Peru.
The Population Media Center mixes science with soap operas to protect public health.
How Changemakers’ “collaborative competitions” harness the wisdom of crowds.
Despite temptations to broaden its focus, the Rural Development Institute has remained single-mindedly devoted to its mission. As a result, the organization has helped 400 million poor farmers around the world take ownership of some 270 million acres of land – all on a modest budget.
Foundations need to make more of the right kinds of mistakes.
How accountability requirements hurt small, innovative programs the most.
Contrary to stereotypes, people grow more liberal and tolerant as they age.
Newspapers do a poor job of reporting on the nonprofit sector.
Workers paid by the hour are less likely to volunteer than are salaried employees.
Donors’ money isn’t going where they think it is.
When scarcity sets in, market forces can lead corporations to adopt green practices.
Why narrowing the gap between the rich and poor could alleviate many social problems.
Small-scale efforts won't solve the global warming crisis.
Jimmy Carter details his ongoing efforts to make a difference as John Q. Citizen.
From field to factory, Snyder reveals the real lives behind the making of a pair of jeans.
SSIR Managing Editor Eric Nee spoke with the X Prize Foundation’s president, Thomas Vander Ark, about how prizes can stimulate social innovation.
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