Social Entrepreneurship Courses at Stanford Business School

Stanford University Social Entrepreneurship Electives

Core Courses:

The Power of Social Technology


The goal of this seminar is to investigate how social technology (e.g., blogs, websites, podcasts, widgets, community groups, social network feeds) can change attitudes and behaviors in ways that cultivate social change. We study the strategies and tactics used by companies and causes that have successfully catalyzed social persuasion.

Strategic Thinking in Action – In Business and Beyond


This seminar helps participants develop strategically informed action plans that are imaginative, inspiring, and workable in highly dynamic environments. Through informed debate and the writing and presentation of position papers, participants evaluate and hone their views on the seminar’s critical themes.

Social Entrepreneurship


This course focuses on the efforts of private citizens to create effective responses to social needs and innovative solutions to social problems. It equips students with frameworks and tools that will help them be more effective as a social entrepreneur.

Strategic Management of Nonprofits


This course surveys strategic, governance, and management issues facing a wide range of nonprofit organizations in an era of venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. It introduces students to core managerial issues in the nonprofit sector, such as development/fundraising, investment management, performance management and nonprofit finance.

Social Enterprise


This course explores the challenges and opportunities related to social entrepreneurship. Students study nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid organizational forms, and examine issues from a variety of perspectives, including that of entrepreneur, CEO, funder, and board member

The Business World: Moral and Spiritual Inquiry through Literature


This course uses novels and plays as a basis for examining the moral and spiritual aspects of business leadership and of the business environment. The literature covered illuminates the character of business people and the cultural contexts of values and beliefs in which commercial activities take place in a global economy.

Homeland Security: Operations, Strategy, and Implementation

OIT 571

This course covers a variety of topics in homeland security. Among them are bioterrorism, influenza pandemics, nuclear security at ports and around cities, the biometric aspects of the U.S. VISIT program, the intersection of homeland security and immigration, and suicide bombings.

Environmental Science for Managers and Policy Makers – advanced

OIT 339

Designed for students with strong modeling/optimization/simulation skills, this course allocates more time to environmental and energy science and its implications for management and policy, and less time to the basics of modeling/optimization/simulation. Students apply spreadsheet modeling, optimization, and Monte Carlo simulation to resource management and environmental policy

Environmental Science for Managers and Policy Makers

OIT 338

This course explores the fundamental science of ecosystems, climate, and energy. Students learn to apply spreadsheet modeling, optimization, and Monte Carlo simulation to resource management and environmental policy.

Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability

OIT 333/4

Students apply engineering and business skills to design product prototypes, distribution systems, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. The aim is to address challenges faced by the world’s poor.

The Quest for Happiness: Exploring the Psychology of Human Fulfillment

OB 552

In this seminar, we explore the nature of human happiness from psychological perspectives, and how such knowledge can be applied in personal and business contexts. To illustrate the ideas discussed, we examine in detail a number of fascinating individuals, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, venture capitalist Tom Perkins, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, and the Nobel physicist Richard Feynman.

Leadership in Diverse Organizations

OB 393

This course is designed to help students understand and manage human systems, exercise leadership, and work effectively with other people, specifically within the context of culturally diverse groups and organizations. The underlying premise is that diversity can present unique challenges and opportunities.

Women in Organizations

OB 387

This course focuses on women’s working experiences in managerial and professional positions in business and some nonprofit organizations. Using business cases, small group work, videos, lectures, and class discussions, we examine a wide variety of career-related gender issues

Lives of Consequence: How Individuals Discover Paths to Meaningful Engagement

OB 383

This course examines the lives of individuals who have contributed greatly to society, either through business, politics, arts and entertainment, or other pursuits. We take a close look, for example, at the “paths to prominence” of individuals such as Steve Jobs, Condi Rice, George Lucas, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King.

The Paths to Power

OB 377

Understanding the processes of power and influence in organizations is critical for leaders. This course aims to teach students how to to diagnose and analyze power and politics in organizational situations, show students how to exercise power effectively, and help students come to terms with the inherent dilemmas and choices involved in developing and exercising influence.

Leadership Perspectives

OB 363

This course examines the concept of principled leadership and the various ways leaders try to institutionalize values within their organizations. Through assigned readings, interactive lectures with visiting executives, and weekly small group discussions, students learn how leaders implement their principles, and reflect on their own values and career aspirations.

Initiating, Sustaining, and Monetizing Green Marketing

MKTG 551

This course addresses numerous questions about how to initiate and sustain green marketing. It also explores what technological and marketing innovations are likely to arise in the future

The International Economy: Policies and Theory


This course gives students an understanding of international trade economics, and analyzes the political processes by which international trade policy is determined. It combines lecture and mini-case studies.

Political Economy of Health Care in the U.S.


The purpose of this class is to provide students with the economic tools and the institutional and legal background to understand how markets for health care products and services work. The class utilizes case studies, lectures, and visits from individuals in the industry

Growth and Stabilization in the Global Economy


This course gives students the background they need to understand the broad movements in the global economy. Key topics include long-run economic growth, technological change, wage inequality, international trade, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates, and monetary policy.

Business and Environmental Issues


This speaker seminar examines the overlap and synergies between the business and environmental fields. Weekly speakers include leaders from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

Ethical Issues in Biotech Industry


This course focuses on the bioscience industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics, and vaccine). The emphasis is on the ethical and social challenges of running companies in these areas.

Work and Family


This course examines the strategies that highly educated women and men use to combine work and family. It also explores how managers can help others achieve balance in these two areas.

Introduction to the Politics of Education


Students learn about the relationship between political analysis and policy formulation in education. The course focuses on alternative models of the political process, the nature of interest groups, political strategies, community power, the external environment of organizations, and the implementation of policy.

The Economics of Higher Education


This course explores topics such as the value of college and graduate degrees and the utilization of highly educated graduates. It also looks at issues such as faculty labor markets, careers, and workload; costs, pricing, and discounting of education; merit aid; access to higher education; sponsored research; academic medical centers; and technology and productivity.

Environmental Entrepreneurship


Markets have tremendous potential for solving environmental problems. Through case analysis, guest speakers, and the creation of business plans in environmental entrepreneurship, students will learn to apply core business principles of finance, marketing, economics, operations, accounting, and more to the provision of environmental goods and services.

Health Care Technology: From Innovators to Providers to Patients


This course examines health care businesses and how they use technology (primarily biotechnology, medical technology, and information technology) to improve patient outcomes and manage costs. Through case studies, students gain an in-depth understanding of how new technologies get developed and commercialized in health care, and of how the whole health care value chain adapts to new technologies.

Entrepreneurship from the Perspective of Women


This seminar will showcase successful women entrepreneurs and the challenges they encountered on the paths to success such as finding funding, dealing with different communication styles, and balancing work and lifestyle. Seminar participants will study mini-cases, engage in panel discussions and hear from experienced entrepreneurs.

Analysis of Costs, Risks, & Benefits of Health Care


This course examines the application of cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, along with other evaluation techniques, to products and services such as medical care, whose “output” is difficult to measure. It critically reviews studies that apply cost analysis techniques to specific clinical problems.

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