The Growing Demand For Social Impact Education

How universities are rising to the call of more social enterprise education Written by: Liz Livingston Howard December 12, 2016             Today’s business school curriculum: social enterprise, impact investing, global health, innovate for impact … What has changed? Traditional MBA programs often focused on educating students to be CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. Today, we are just as likely to find MBA students who want [...]

The Truth About Ben and Jerry’s

Though it occurred a dozen years ago, the sale of Ben & Jerry’s continues to haunt social entrepreneurs. The sale’s notoriety keeps growing, moreover, because of the central role it plays in current debates over the development and enactment of new US corporate forms—such as low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs), benefit corporations, and flexible purpose corporations—that attempt to embed a company’s social mission into its [...]

The simplest way to tackle poverty

There was a brief moment in time when both the Republican and Democratic nominees for the U.S. presidency supported a guaranteed minimum income (GMI). Economists and politicians from across the political spectrum had begun to warm to the idea in the 1960s as a poverty reduction measure – from Nobel laureate and free-market evangelist Milton Friedman to left-leaning economists like John Kenneth Galbraith. A petition [...]

Funding Without Prescription

For the past five years, I have taught food entrepreneurship through Food Sol, a startup I co-founded at Babson College. For my work guiding food entrepreneurs of all kinds, I look for patterns and predictions in consumer trends, new business models, and disruptive ideas to improve the food system. I’ve long been fascinated by the original social enterprise in food, Newman’s Own. For me, the [...]

How to Make Crowdfunding More Inclusive

In May 2014, a YouTube sensation—known to his mostly adolescent fans as PewDiePie—partnered with human rights nonprofit Save the Children to raise more than $630,000 via Indiegogo and other online fundraising activities. The campaign highlighted the potential of crowdfunding to democratize the funding sphere by leveraging wide-reaching, diverse social networks. But does crowdfunding really work for everyone? Not really. Not yet. While individual donations comprise [...]

Measuring Outcomes to Improve Social Services

Ten years ago, I began learning about the child welfare system in my home state of Washington. Although I had no personal history with foster care, I was drawn to the issue as a parent who understands the importance of stability and security in a child’s life, and as a community member who knows that healthy children and families are the foundation of our future. [...]

How Investors Can (and Can’t) Create Social Value

How Investors Can (and Can’t) Create Social Value The vast majority of investors throughout the world have a single goal: to earn the highest financial return. These socially-neutral investors only want to maximize their risk-adjusted returns and would not accept a lower financial return from a socially beneficial investment. An increasing number of socially-motivated investors have other goals besides maximizing profits. They seek to align their investments with their [...]

Three Lessons for Impact Investing Education Programs

It’s safe to say impact investing is not a fad. Seeking to generate environmental and social impact in addition to financial returns, impact investors are continuing to build momentum around the globe as they find ways to help nonprofit and for-profit ventures address important issues and scale positive impact. The industry is creating new corporate structures, industry metrics, and financing platforms to serve asset holders [...]

Making the Case for Evidence-Based Decision-Making

After 15 years of building linkages between evidence, policy, and practice in social programs for children and families, I have one thing to say about our efforts to promote evidence-based decision-making: We have failed to capture the hearts and minds of the majority of decision-makers in the United States. I’ve worked with state and federal leadership, as well as program administrators in the public and [...]

Press Button to Complete School

I wrote a book last year about games and learning. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of talking about it with students, teachers, and parents worldwide. After my talks, parents inevitably approach me, sometimes sheepishly, sometimes angrily, wanting to know why their kids are “addicted” (their word, not mine) to video games. During these conversations, I often find myself reflecting on the words of games [...]