Fall 2008

Volume 6, Number 4

If you read only one article from the fall 2008 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, make it “Rediscovering Social Innovation”. In this article, the authors define social innovation and explain why it is the best way to produce lasting social change across all kinds of boundaries. In “Cultivating the Green Consumer,” find out why Americans who say they want to go green actually don’t.


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Social Innovations

Cultivating the Green Consumer

By Sheila Bonini & Jeremy Oppenheim 14

Consumers say they want to buy ecologically friendly products and reduce their impact on the environment. But when they get to the cash register, their Earth-minded sentiments die on the vine. Although individual quirks underlie some of this hypocrisy, businesses can do a lot more to help would-be green consumers turn their talk into walk.

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Social Innovations

Dialing for Development

By David Lehr 1

The world’s neediest people are using mobile phones in ways that were never intended, and with great success. With wireless technologies, Indian farmers are finding out the latest crop prices, Nigerian youth are learning how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and Peruvian citizens are reporting criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Yet dialing into these powerful tools is not always straightforward. The author explains how to make the wireless revolution ring in economic growth and prosperity for people living at the bottom of the pyramid.

Social Innovations

Money to Grow On

By William Foster 4

Certain nonprofits can take a page from business’s playbook and learn how to attract cash for expansion.

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Social Innovations

Rediscovering Social Innovation

By James A. Phills Jr., Kriss Deiglmeier, & Dale T. Miller 13

Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world. These two notions are positive ones, but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change in all of its manifestations. The authors make the case that social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this. They also explain why most of today’s innovative social solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating nonprofits, government, and for-profit businesses.

What’s Next

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Social Innovations

LivingGoods Calling

By Jennifer Roberts 3

LivingGoods sends its version of Avon ladies—white-uniformed “health promoters”—knocking on doors in hundreds of Ugandan communities.


Good TV

By Jennifer Roberts 1

Using TV as an engine for giving.


The Sun Boat

By Jennifer Roberts

Move over, Prius; here comes the Aquatanker.

Field Report

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Dropping the Ball

By Anthony Ewing

Why the Soccer Ball Project—one of the world’s first multistakeholder efforts to stop abuses of labor rights—is failing to protect workers in Pakistan.

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Monk E-Business

By Suzie Boss

LaserMonks, a multimillion-dollar enterprise, sells ink-jet cartridges and other office supplies online to support its Cistercian abbey in Wisconsin and to help others.

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Soup Kitchen Confidential

By Robert Jungerhans

To share its expertise without jeopardizing its mission, FareStart spun out a new organization.

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They’ve Got Your Back

By Chitua Alozie

The Posse Foundation sends diverse students to college together so that they can lean on each other and lead their schools.

Case Study

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Social Innovations

The Cultural Touch

By Suzie Boss

By tailoring its methods to local values and needs, Rare has slowly seeded conservation programs in 40 countries. Yet as more and more species teeter on the brink of extinction, the organization must expand quickly. Here’s how the boutique nonprofit is delivering customized Rare Pride social marketing campaigns to millions of people in the planet’s most fragile ecosystems.



After Prison

By John Irwin

Comprehensive reintegration programs will lower the U.S. recidivism rate.


Beyond CSR

By Christine Bader

How companies can respect human rights.



Catching Charisma

By Alana Conner

Charismatic people spread happiness and well-being.


Poll Position

By Alana Conner

The polling place influences voting behavior.


When Good Wins

By Alana Conner

CSR as competitive advantage

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Global Issues

Bad ’Hoods, Naughty Kids

By Alana Conner

The violence, noise, and crowding of poor neighborhoods stress kids and parents, bringing out their bad sides and breeding psychopathology.

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A Soldier’s Life for Her

By Alana Conner

The military’s better than civilian life, say minorities and women such as Marine Corps Capt. Elizabeth Okoreeh-Baah, the first woman to pilot the V-22 Osprey.



Inspiring Innovation

Review By David Bornstein



Opening the Asylum Doors

Review By Stephen P. Hinshaw

THE INSANITY OFFENSE: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens by E. Fuller Torrey


Crisis of Democracy

Review By Carl Schramm

SUPERCAPITALISM: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert Reich


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Social Innovations

Q & A: David Gergen

By James A. Phills Jr. 6

In this interview with James A. Phills Jr., the Stanford Social Innovation Review‘s academic editor, former presidential advisor David Gergen discusses his views on social innovation, why social entrepreneurs should be more engaged in politics, and how the federal government can work with and even fund social entrepreneurs.

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