Fall 2011

Volume 9, Number 4

In the fall 2011 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review we bring you an in-depth report—“Too Good to Fail”—on what had been one of America’s oldest and most important social enterprises, ShoreBank Corp., and the events that led to its recent collapse. Long before anyone coined terms like shared value, blended value, or double bottom line, the people at ShoreBank were busy building a for-profit company that doggedly pursued a social mission.

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Civic Engagement

Circles of Change

By Tracy A. Thompson 6

Lending circles, self-help groups, and study circles are among the oldest and most effective tools for creating personal and social change.

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Sourcing Locally for Impact

By Ethan B. Kapstein & René Kim

By mapping a company’s relationship to the economy in which it operates, businesses can do much to advance their strategic objectives and advance local economic growth.

What's Next

Field Report

Case Study

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Social Enterprise

Too Good to Fail

By James E. Post & Fiona S. Wilson 9

In August 2010 the US government closed ShoreBank, one of the country’s leading social enterprises. Why did ShoreBank fail?


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Partnering for a Cure

By Scott Johnson 1

The Myelin Repair Foundation is creating a process for the rapid development of new treatments and cures.


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Cadaver Commerce

By Jessica Ruvinsky

The moral legitimacy of a new market can come as much from how you sell something as from exactly what you’re selling.



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Chris West

By Johanna Mair 1

Chris West leverages the assets of the Shell Foundation and its corporate parent to improve the lives of low-income people in the developing world.


Innovating for More Affordable Health Care

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Government 2.0

By Carleen Hawn

Thanks to Todd Park, a federal agency has discovered that health care organizations can think more like nimble startups than like lumbering giants.

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