Current Issue

Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR

Winter 2019

Volume 17, Number 1

There has been a dramatic increase in the number and size of private foundations around the world. Many people view the growth of big philanthropy as a positive thing, but a growing number of critics are asking whether it is undermining democracy. One of these critics is Stanford University Professor Rob Reich, author of “Philanthropy in the Service of Democracy,” the cover story in the Winter 2019 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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The Power of Letting Go

By Dan Honig 2

New research explores when top-down control works best in international development work, and when organizations should let employees in the field navigate challenges by using their own judgment.

What’s Next

Field Report

Case Study


Clean Energy by the People, for the People

By Paul Hockenos

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the “energy rebels” of Schönau, Germany, launched a grassroots revolution in the Black Forest to take control of their community’s power. Their creation, EWS, not only triggered the country’s transition to renewable energy but also demonstrated the need for grassroots democratic control of energy production.




Last Look



Finding, Funding, and Scaling

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