Social Entrepreneurship Webinars

Innovative ideas for social entrepreneurs who tackle society’s problems

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.

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, will describe the use of lean experimentation both in a start-up environment (ParentsTogether) and in an established advocacy organization ( 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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Using Big Data to Predict Social Impact (Complimentary)

September 30, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jason Saul & Nolan Gasser

Evaluation has been a necessary evil for most nonprofits—expensive, time-consuming, impractical, and yet an absolute pre-requisite for funding. But is there a better way? The paradigm of evaluation is moving from retrospective, academic research studies to predictive, algorithmic measurement. With the advent of the Impact Genome Project, we have entered an era of using “big data” to predict social outcomes for most charities and social programs. The benefits of predictive data are alluring: benchmarking, better understanding of success factors, more rational resource allocation, improved results. But there are risks: How reliable are the data? Will measurement stymie innovation? Can data be misused? Join Jason Saul, founder and CEO of Mission Measurement, and Nolan Gasser, architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project, to learn how you can turn measurement into a competitive advantage for your organization. This webinar is for anyone in the social sector who wants to take control of measurement and use data to drive better outcomes.

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Raising Social Impact Money

May 13, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jonathan C. Lewis

Fundraising mystifies, if not terrifies, most social enterprise leaders. In truth, both for-profit and nonprofit fundraising is a simple, learnable skill. If you can talk, you can raise social impact money. Empower yourself! Join Jonathan C. Lewis, serial social entrepreneur and host of the Café Impact social entrepreneurship video series, to learn his fundraising tips, including the Non-Pitch Pitch, the Pre-Pitch Non-Planning Period, and the Post-Pitch Phase. This webinar is for current and aspiring social entrepreneurs and those who support them. If you consider yourself a social entrepreneur, then you must learn to raise money. In Lewis’s own words, “Your social mission deserves it. Your social venture requires it.”

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Making Social Innovation Work Inside Your Organization

February 5, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Warren Nilsson, Tana Paddock, & Marlon Parker

How can you build a capacity for innovation within your social purpose organization? Join Warren Nilsson and Tana Paddock as they discuss the theory and practice of “inscaping”—their term for the work of drawing on personal experience to generate the raw material of social change. Nilsson will present examples and insights from specific organizations that use inscaping to foster innovation “from the inside out.” Also joining the webinar is Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs, a social enterprise based in Cape Town that promotes community-driven innovation in 21 countries. This webinar is for people at nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other social purpose groups who want to create internal processes that will help to build a deep, long-lasting capacity for innovative thought and action.

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The Past and Future of Social Entrepreneurship (Complimentary)

June 11, 2013 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Roger Martin, Leticia M. Jáuregui Casanueva, Soraya Salti, & Johanna Mair

To celebrate SSIR’s tenth anniversary, the Spring 2013 issue featured more than a dozen essays on a variety of social innovation topics, including social entrepreneurship. For this complimentary webinar, we have assembled several essayists from that issue—all prominent leaders in the field of social entrepreneurship—to continue the discussion. Some of the questions that will be explored are: What have been the most significant changes in the field of social entrepreneurship in the last decade? How has the blurring of the nonprofit and for-profit sectors affected social entrepreneurship? Is the term social entrepreneur still a useful way to describe people leading social change? What will a social entrepreneur look like ten years from now? This complimentary webinar is made possible by the generous support of SSIR’s tenth anniversary sponsors.

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Nonprofit, For-profit, or Something in Between?

September 22, 2011 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jim Fruchterman

Social entrepreneurs who want to start a new venture quickly confront an important question: What type of legal structure should I create? Should I start a traditional nonprofit, a for-profit, or something in between? This is not a simple question to answer. Join veteran social entrepreneur Jim Fruchterman, founder and CEO of Benetech, as he guides you through the issues you need to consider before choosing an attorney. He emphasizes that a legal structure is simply a tool for accomplishing your goals, and explains that first a social entrepreneur must explore four basic issues: the motivation for starting the venture, the market being targeted, how capital will be raised, and what type of control is wanted. He then reviews the five basic legal structures and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of each. Fruchterman has unique insight into legal structures, having started successful and unsuccessful for-profit and nonprofit ventures.

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