Spring 2010

Volume 8, Number 2

President Obama has initiated a number of important changes in the way that the federal government funds outside programs. One of the most important of these is the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top Fund, a pool of money that states compete for by proposing innovative K-12 educational programs. In the spring 2010 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, managing editor Eric Nee interviews Joanne Weiss, director of the $4.3 billion fund, who explains what changes she hopes the fund can achieve.

View the digital edition and download the PDF.


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Nonprofit Management

Merging Wisely

By David La Piana 8

Funders are increasingly pressuring nonprofits to merge, however, mergers are not always the right path for nonprofits in financial distress.

What’s Next


The Flattened Campus

By Suzie Boss

The world’s first tuition-free online university hopes to dramatically increase access to higher education.

Field Report

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Human Rights

Airborne Peace

By Meredith May

In Rwanda, Radio La Benevolencija uses soap operas to heal ethnic tensions. Listeners who tune into a weekly show about feuding ethnic groups are more likely than non-listeners to stand up to authority and to voice their own opinions.

Case Study

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LEED the Way

By Brandon Keim

The LEED green-building certification system is one of the fastest growing nonprofits in America.


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Which Fix?

By Justin Cohen

Some school reformers advocate starting over, while others want to keep the same students and site. Both approaches are useful.


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Global Issues

Interviewer Beware

By Alana Conner

When it comes to job interviews, self-presentation tactics—appearance, gestures, postures, flattery, and self-promotion—go farther than you think.

Civil Society

How the Danes Do It

By Alana Conner

How much inequality there is in a society depends on how inheritable the wealth is, which in turn depends on the kind of wealth that it is.


Radical Grantmaking

By Alana Conner

Funders who want to catalyze radical innovation should make long-term grants, invest in people, and offer rich and frequent feedback.

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Tech Clears the Air

By Alana Conner

Manufacturers in the United States are building more and more products while churning out less and less air pollution.


Charters Rock Exam

By Alana Conner

A recent study shows that the UK’s charter (like) schools fare better than standard schools on national exams.


Hidden Life and Art
of Marion Post
Paul Hendrickson

Bearing Witness

Review By Bill Shore

LOOKING FOR THE LIGHT: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott by Paul Hendrickson


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Joanne Weiss

By Eric Nee 2

Joanne Weiss is in charge of the federal government’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top Fund, a new program that is funding innovations in K-12 education.

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