Winter 2010

Volume 8, Number 1

Design thinking isn’t just for designers anymore. This process of generating, sharing, and prototyping ideas turns out to produce innovative solutions in far-flung areas not usually in the purview of designers. In the winter 2010 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, explore the exciting ways nonprofits are putting design thinking to use in such diverse fields as health care, poverty, and energy.

View the digital edition and download the PDF.


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An Ounce of Advocacy

By Alyssa Battistoni

When disaster strikes, governments often rely on nonprofits and businesses to help with relief efforts. But making up for the public sector’s shortcomings is neither an appropriate nor effective use of the private sector’s strengths.

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Social Innovations

Endowment for a Rainy Day

By Burton A. Weisbrod & Evelyn D. Asch 5

To prepare for future financial downturns, nonprofits should treat endowments as rainy day funds, not cut programs to preserve the endowment.

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Social Innovations

Helping the Poor Save More

By Dean Karlan

To enrich the bottom of the pyramid, bankers to the poor should make saving money easier by using the latest findings from economics and psychology.

What’s Next

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What’s Next: Fresh Faces at City Hall

By Suzie Boss

To halt the greying of municipal government, the City Hall Fellows program offers recent college graduates a year-long stint working on everyday challenges such as transportation, public works, and housing.

Field Report

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A Spark for Good Art

By Suzie Boss 1

During its first 10 years, Creative Capital has pumped $14 million into 324 projects from a range of artistic disciplines. But Creative Capital doesn’t just fund projects, it builds careers.

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Urban Development

Grow Your Own

By Anne Stuhldreher

Forget about luring big companies with tax incentives and subsidized space. Chris Gibbons focuses Littleton, Colorado’s efforts on growing home-town businesses.

Case Study

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Strength Through Flexibility

By Kim Jonker 1

Over the past 17 years, the Forum for African Women Educationalists has delivered high-quality education to millions of girls across 35 African countries.


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Sell the Wind

By Cathy L. Hartman & Edwin R. Stafford

What are social marketers to do when their target audience couldn’t care less about the change they want to make? Here’s how one group got everyday people to care about alternative energy.

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The Wrong Risks

By Sheela Patel 1

By paying so much attention to managing their own risks, philanthropists are no longer attending to the marginalized people who risk so much to make change happen.



Research: Shareholders Nudge Companies

By Alana Conner

What happens when large companies receive resolutions from their shareholders pressing them to take better care of the environment?

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Research: Start Them Younger

By Alana Conner

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 are an energetic, useful, yet largely overlooked pool of volunteer labor.

Global Issues

Research: Urban Emissionscapes

By Alana Conner

The mystery is over: A 10-city comparison of greenhouse gas emissions per capita pinpoints the sources of those emissions.



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Q&A: Jeff Raikes

By Eric Nee 4

Jeff Raikes takes over the Gates Foundation at a turbulent time when philanthropic resources are down and social needs are up.

Last Look

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Last Look: Dive Right In

By Jenna Nicholas

Photographer Toni Greaves recently traveled to the Czech Republic to document the work of organizations such as Sports Without Barriers, which equips disabled children to participate in sports.

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