Live discussions of important social innovation topics

Our on-demand SSIR Live! webinars are offered every 4-6 weeks, and feature the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s most provocative and important topics. Webinars are available for purchase on-demand 12 months after the date of the live event.

Design Thinking to Drive Organizational Strategy

November 10, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Nadia Roumani & Paul Brest

This webinar is the second in a two-part series on Design Thinking for Social Change.

Do you want to improve the strategic effectiveness of your organization? Do you want to enhance your and your team’s ability to make critical decisions? Do you want to achieve greater clarity on which aspect of a complex problem your organization should tackle? Do you want to make sure that your organization has a clear, precise theory of change? Design thinking—a human-centered method for tackling complex problems—provides a powerful framework for pursuing work in the social sector. Social problems exist within intricate systems that involve multiple feedback loops. Design thinking, combined with traditional strategic planning processes, can help social sector organizations develop approaches that target those systems on the basis of sound evidence. This webinar is for social sector practitioners who want to use design thinking in order to improve organizational decision-making and to hone their organization’s vision, values, and strategy.

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Design Thinking

Design Thinking to Solve Social Problems

October 20, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Nadia Roumani

This webinar is the first in a two-part series on Design Thinking for Social Change.

Do you want to ensure that your organization is targeting problems that are truly worth solving? Do you want to find ways to identify creative solutions to those problems? Do you want to maximize the impact that you can make with the resources that you have at your disposal? Design thinking—a human-centered method for tackling complex problems—provides a powerful framework for pursuing work in the social sector. Social problems exist within intricate systems of stakeholders. Design thinking can help social sector organizations better understand the needs, motivations, and behaviors of those stakeholders. This webinar is for social sector practitioners who want to use design thinking in order to achieve greater focus, improve their creativity, and facilitate collaboration within and outside their organizations.

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Valuing Frontline Work

September 23, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Lehn Benjamin, Katya Fels Smyth, Maria Peña, & Jesús Gerena

Over the past two decades, funders and policymakers have put more pressure on nonprofit organizations to pursue and achieve measurable outcomes. The increasing focus on performance-driven frameworks such as “pay for success” and “social return in investment” signals that such pressure will only grow more intense. For nonprofit professionals, that trend raises troubling questions: What if the ways that your organization makes a difference in people’s lives are not easily measured through conventional performance metrics? What if the logic model of your organization does not fully account for the value that you deliver through direct work with beneficiaries? Funders and policymakers also face a quandary: What if the performance data that you receive do not adequately capture the effectiveness of the nonprofits that you fund? This webinar will be of interest to nonprofit practitioners whose organizations provide direct services to marginalized groups. The webinar will also be highly relevant to funders, consultants, evaluators, and other professionals who support organizations that engage in such work.

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Related Story: Programs Aren’t Everything

Overcoming the Overhead Myth

September 2, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jacob Harold, Ann Goggins Gregory, & Jan Masaoka

A dangerous myth prevails among funders that overhead can be used as a proxy for efficiency. In fact, research shows that under-investing in administrative overhead is often linked with poor performance by nonprofits. Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard dubbed this process “the nonprofit starvation cycle” in the eponymous Stanford Social Innovation Review article. This webinar is for nonprofit executives who wish to invest in administration and who need strategies for communicating to funders the true costs of running their organization; funders who are interested in evaluating their grantees for efficacy and for rethinking operational costs as opportunities for investment; and all social sector professionals who are interested in understanding and spreading awareness about the dangers of under-investing in overhead.

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Related Story: Overcoming the Overhead Myth

Corporations and NGOs: Empowering Women Globally

July 21, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Marissa Wesely, Dina Dublon, Daniel Jae-Won Lee, & Muadi Mukenge

This webinar is part of a two-webinar package on Advancing Women.

With growing data on the powerful impacts of increased gender equality in various spheres, many global corporations are creating programs designed to empower women economically to improve the quality of their supply chains, enhance their access to talent, and increase the productivity of their workforce. Yet, for economic empowerment programs to create sustainable and transformative change in women’s lives—and have lasting effect for business—they need to address other underlying issues that prevent women from realizing their full potential as economic agents, including control over reproductive health, access to childcare, voice in family and community, enforceable property rights, and protection from violence. One effective way to do this is to work with a group of NGOs that corporations often overlook: grassroots women’s organizations (GWOs) that have been working for many years in complex local contexts to empower women and advance women’s rights. This webinar will explore finding the right partner, building effective partnerships, and evaluating the social and business impacts of these programs. This webinar is for corporate leaders seeking innovative ways to make their women’s empowerment programs more impactful, GWO leaders exploring paths to engage with the corporate sector, and others interested in effective models of cross-sector collaboration and/or women’s rights and empowerment issues globally.

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Related Story: Empowering Women at the Grassroots

The Rise of Gender Capitalism

July 14, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jackie VanderBrug, Sarah Kaplan, Sharon Vosmek, & Catherine Gill

This webinar is part of a two-webinar package on Advancing Women.

The world is waking up to the economic power of women. A growing number of studies have indicated that gender-inclusive companies are more successful, that women’s participation in the labor force has had measurable effects on economic growth—indeed, that women’s leadership benefits the economy and society on every level. Despite this, traditional investment opportunities—both in the for-profit and the social sector—have excluded women from access to capital and done little to further gender equity in the workplace. In recent years, a movement towards “investing with a gender lens” has emerged. This movement encourages the use of capital to deliver financial returns and improve the lives of women and girls and their communities. This webinar will focus on how gender lens can shed light on gaining access to capital for women and girls, promoting workplace equality, and creating products and services that affect the lives of women and girls. This webinar is for all social change leaders interested in learning how applying a gender lens to their work can increase social impact, and anyone in the non- or for-profit sectors who wish to design a financial system where inclusive practices and financial returns are not mutually exclusive.

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Related Story: The Rise of Gender Capitalism

Lean Experimentation for the Social Sector

June 16, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Peter Murray, Steve Ma, Palak Shah, & Justin Ruben

For nonprofits and other social purpose organizations, the work of developing, testing, and launching new programs and services for beneficiaries can be cumbersome and expensive. What if you could increase the speed and lower the cost of that process? What if you could make the work of innovation lean? In the business sector, many companies have embraced lean experimentation—a practice that reduces waste and enables rapid implementation of promising ideas. Today, an increasing number of social sector organizations are successfully using the lean method as well. Peter Murray and Steve Ma from Accelerate Change will provide a step-by-step overview of the lean experimentation process and explain how it applies to the social sector. In addition, two guest presenters will provide specific examples of using lean strategies within their organizations. Palak Shah, director of social innovations for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, will discuss lean experiments that her organization has conducted to develop mission-aligned business ventures and private-sector partnerships. Justin Ruben, cofounder of ParentsTogether and former executive director of MoveOn.org, will describe the use of lean experimentation both in a start-up environment (ParentsTogether) and in an established advocacy organization (MoveOn.org). This webinar will be of interest to leaders at social purpose organizations who are eager to improve the processes that they use to create new programs and services. Grantmakers who seek to help grantees improve the efficiency and the quality of their work will also benefit from this webinar.

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The Fundamentals of Fundraising

May 19, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by William F. Meehan III, Kim Starkey Jonker, Ernie Iseminger, & Johann Koss

Nonprofits need money—to expand their reach, to increase their impact. And they never have enough of it. At many boldly ambitious nonprofit organizations, however, leaders cease to be bold when the topic of fundraising comes up. Most nonprofit leaders, in fact, are uncomfortable with asking people for money. For that reason, it pays to learn the tried-and-true principles that guide and inspire the most effective fundraisers in the nonprofit sector. In this webinar William F. Meehan III, Kim Starkey Jonker, and Ernie Iseminger will provide actionable insight on how to overcome the challenges that cause otherwise high-performing nonprofits to stumble when it comes to raising money. They will also draw on the practical experiences of fundraising professionals—including those of Iseminger, vice president of development and external relations at Claremont McKenna College. Joining them will be Johann Koss, founder and CEO of Right to Play (and recipient of the 2013 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership), who will discuss his organization’s approach to fundraising. This webinar will be of interest to all nonprofit practitioners—executive directors and board members, directors of development and development staff members—who have a stake in boosting their organization’s capacity to generate resources in order to create sustainable impact.

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Related Story: Fundraising Is Fundamental (If Not Always Fun)