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Social entrepreneurs' innovations

Last updated: 05 January, 2011
N S Soundar Rajan

The Stanford Social Innovation Review (www.ssireview.org/) is a part of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the Stanford University.

web watch ‘SSI Review’ shares insights  with people willing to improve the lot of the world.Its mission is to share insights and practical experiences with those who find improving the lot of the world is dear to them. Away from any pre-defined political ideology, SSI Review strikes a balance between the pragmatic and the intellectual, brokers conversations, asks hard questions, disseminates the fruits of rigorous research, and presents real-life case studies related to social innovation.

The SSI Review can be browsed by categories which include Social Innovations, Microfinance, Emissions Trading, Charter Schools, Socially Responsible Investing, Cause Marketing, Philanthropy, Foundations, Altruism, Online Giving, Non-profits, Non-profit Management, Social Entrepreneurship, Fundraising, Social Return on Investment, Non-profit Leadership, Board Governance, Non-profit Organisations, Business, Socially Responsible Business,  Social Enterprises, B Corporation, Global Issues, Education, Poverty, Health, Environment, Human Rights, Arts, Civil Society, and Religion & Culture.

Full access to online content is restricted to paid subscribers. However, for the the social entrepreneur, there are a number of very interesting articles to read, podcasts to hear, blog content to browse, for free. Many of the articles can be downloaded too. Among the current eye-catching articles are:


*What’s Next: Curling Up with E-Readers - Could electronic reading devices catalyse a new culture of global literacy?

*The Dragonfly Effects, by Jennifer Aaker & Andy Smith. It is all about ways to use the social media for social change.

*The Power of Persuasion, by Robert B Cialdini. It makes aware of how to influence to work in fundraising.

*Disseminating Orphan Innovations, by Susan H Evans & Peter Clarke. It reveals how a great deal of time and money is invested in trying to create social innovations, but scant attention is paid to the challenges of spreading successful ones to other locations.

*Micro-Savings: Are We There Yet? by Reeta Roy, president and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. It highlights the role of micro-savings as powerful development tools. In an another article, ‘The Power of Voices’, Reeta Roy throws light on the achievement and service of Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) in Andhra Pradesh. This NGO, over the last forty years, has been helping vulnerable women and families to develop their talents, become productive, and change lives — their own, and those of others in their communities.
The Social Innovation Conversations (podcasts) are co-hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Managing Editor Eric Nee. Among them are:

*‘The Emerging Social Impact Market,’ which argues that the time has come for a social impact market — one that fosters innovation and collaboration across the governmental, business, and non-profit sectors to maximise scarce resources and spread solutions.

*Colin Sabol, in ‘The World’s Water Infrastructure Challenge’, talks about water and waste water systems in many parts of the world which are facing a significant infrastructure gap.

*‘The Podcast Creating a World Without Poverty’ features Muhammad Yunus. In this audio interview, the Nobel Peace Prize winner talks about how he founded Grameen Bank.

*Jeffrey D Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and a professor at Columbia University, in his podcast  ‘Financial Crisis and a Changing Business World’, points out  how the financial crisis is shaping international relations and countries’ paths toward economic development.

*Stanford Professor Hayagreeva Rao, in his podcast ‘Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation,’ presents the idea of market rebels — those that create radical innovations by challenging pre-existing cultural norms.

*In her podcast, ‘A Social Enterprise to Reduce Hunger in India,’ Madhu Sridhar talks about Akshaya Patra, an innovative social enterprise, a food programme that is changing the face of education in India.

*Priya Haji, in her podcast ‘Creating a Social Enterprise,’ talks about how she created a social enterprise that now empowers women in communities around the world by helping them sell their artisan goods in stores and online.

*Siddharth Kara, in his podcast ‘Inside the Business of Modern Sex Slavery,’ tracks down how a woman or child is trafficked for sexual exploitation, every 60 seconds. In the podcast, the former investment banker and executive uses theoretical economics and business analysis to propose measures that could eradicate sex trafficking by undermining the profitability of illegal activities associated with the crime.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is published once a quarter. The main audience is non-profit executives, grant making executives, social entrepreneurs, government officials, corporate executives, and academics concerned with social, environmental, and community issues. A recent list compiled by Change.org counted the Stanford Social Innovation Review's first issue as one of the top 10 moments of the decade in social entrepreneurship. An e-news letter from the Stanford Social Innovation Review can be subscribed to, for free.

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