Delaware is known for having corporation-friendly tax law and developed case law, making it a favorite for entrepreneurs and investors. As of this week, it may become a hotspot for social enterprise as well.

On July 17th 2013, Delaware officially passed benefit corporation legislation—a momentous landmark for the benefit corporation movement.
Here are a few facts about the new benefit corporation law in Delaware:
  • After passing through state house and senate, the bill was signed into law by Delaware Governor Jack Markell
  • Delaware is the 19th state pass benefit corporation legislation
  • The bill was introduced as Senate Bill #47 & passed unanimously through state assembly and house votes
  • The bill goes in to effect August 1, 2013
  • Delaware is home to over 1 million public corporations
  • 50% of companies and over 60% of Fortune 500 corporations are registered in Delaware
  • The states that have passed benefit corporation law now:
    Delaware, California, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, South Carolina, Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii
Below are posts and articles about the new law:

In case you missed our Twitter chat covering topics of social innovation and our social innovation book project, here’s a Storify recap!
[View the story “#SocinnBook Twitter Chat 7/14/13: Recap” on Storify]

Shivani delivers
our latest update:
http://i8s.us/1blVRfl

We are 24 days away from the close of our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for our social innovation book project. And we have updates!

#SocinnBook Twitter Chat Sunday 7/14 6:30PM PST

Join co-authors Shivani and Neetal for a Tweet Chat on Sunday 7/14 at 6:30PM PST/9:30PM EST!! Use #SocInnBook to follow and participate in the conversation!

Feel free to ask us questions about the book as well as share insights and suggestions you have.

The Crowdfunding Update

We have raised over $800 by 15 funders. To make our goal of $7100, we need you (and you, and you too) to be part of this! Don’t miss the opportunity to be memorialized for eternity by a public thank you in the book plus an early release copy of it. There are lots of great rewards for social innovation
enthusiasts including networking opportunities, institutional awards, and the big cahuna—being the sole angel investor!

 

http://igg.me/at/socentbook/x/3492348
Ready to kick off your summer reading? Mike Essex of Koozai created this awesome guide to savvy, creative business books to make explain new ways of thinking, challenge existing paradigms, and put you in an entrepreneurial mindset. Enjoy!

It has been 5 days since Shivani and I launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund our social innovation book project!

And, we have a few updates.
First off, we are grateful and encouraged by the votes of confidence, support, offers of expertise, and contributions made so far. It makes the project so much more meaningful knowing that there are people who are as excited as we are to make this happen.
Read the full update here, and see our latest update video below:

Can a crowdfunding campaign create impact?

One of the things Shivani and I spent some time discussing was whether we could create impact as we crowdfund. An idea we arrived on was to pledge one volunteer hour per $100 raised.A nonprofit I respect tremendously and volunteer at when possible is Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara County. SHFB works on projects to eradicate local hunger. Whether I have volunteered solo or with a team, I am always struck by how efficiently operations are run—and the dignity with which food sorting and distribution is handled.I look forward to logging in volunteer hours powered by your goodwill and contributions. Be sure to check back often and contribute when the time is right!

 

After launching and creating content for Innov8Social for the past two years—including 33 interviews (and counting!), over 200 blog posts, and coverage of dozens of events,  I have partnered with Shivani Khanna, a business strategy consultant in the space and we are excited to announce that we are co-authoring a book on social innovation! Check it out:

The book

Our book will present a framework for understanding social innovation through first-hand interviews with leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers in the space. It analyzes breakthrough innovations to identify a set of best practices that create both economic and social value.
We are excited to use our lenses of law, business, writing, and entrepreneurship to better understand how existing social enterprises are forming (i.e. legal structures), what kinds of business models they are using, how they measure impact, and what they would have done differently.
Hear us explain more…

 

How you can help

Our vision for the book is for it to be user-friendly, with visuals and graphics to walk through concepts and data. This is a book aimed for the entrepreneur with an idea, the leader trying to implement social impact within the framework of creating business value, and anyone trying to adopt a mindset for social innovation.
To do this book right we want to find the best possible graphic artists, copy editors, and support team.

 

1. give & receive

Contribute to the campaign and receive perks, such as the book (early release eBook and/or signed paperback), as well as opportunities to meet thought leaders, and/or have us present our findings to your company or organization.
Not only will you receive the book—but as one of the supporters who make it possible, you’ll be in it! See your name in print on our thank you page.
Contributions can be made until Friday, August 2nd at 11:59PM PST.

2. share & find

You can also support through sharing with your network and over social media.
Here are a few sample tweets:
Social Innovation Book Project: Creating Value-Based Ventures  by     
Check out the social innovation book project!  by     
You can also can share on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ directly on the campaign page: http://igg.me/at/socentbook/x/3492348

3. suggest & connect

Do you know of any networks, groups, listservs, or organizations that this book would appeal to?

Let us know below…

We are excited for this project and look forward to keeping you posted on its progress!

Learn more + support the efforts!
http://igg.me/at/socentbook/x/3492348

 

The April 2013 gathering of Impact Law Forum was held at IDEO.org‘s scenic office in San Francisco.

Leading the session was Sean Hewens, IDEO.org’s Knowledge Manager + In-House Counsel

Sean Hewens, IDEO.org: law + human-centered design

Sean started by asking a simple question to the audience…

Sean Hewens, IDEO.org: law + human-centered design

Participants were asked to write 3 words they thought of when they heard the word “lawyer” on Post-its. The initial batch of responses was small…

Sean Hewens, IDEO.org: law + human-centered design

 

…but definitely expanded as the evening continued.

 

Sean Hewens, IDEO.org: law + human-centered design

The exercise was a great example of an emerging field, human centered design (HCD).  It was especially meaningful to hear Sean’s perspective on the field since IDEO and IDEO.org have been at the forefront of developing human-centered design approaches and applying them to pressing world issues.

What is human-centered design (HCD)?

Sean explained the field by contrasting it with the traditional approach to design, which involves  planning/drawings to show look and functionality of a product. Instead, human-centered design is a problem-solving approach to innovation. Sean explained that it begins with a deep empathy with a customer’s needs, hopes, wants, etc. and helps create innovation rooted in people, and the broader context that shape the way they live.

What is IDEO?

IDEO has gained ground as a leading design firm and international innovation consultancy. Founded in 1991, IDEO has worked on such iconic designs as Apple’s first mouse, Nike sunglasses, as well as with with top global brands on organizational development. IDEO arguably became a household name in 1999 when 60 Minutes and then NBC Nightly News aired a segment about the unique process-based approach to design. You can take a trip down memory lane…

What is IDEO.org?

IDEO has been involved in social-sector projects for over a decade. As Sean explained, in December 2011 IDEO.org was launched as a non-profit focused on design solutions with a focus on poverty alleviation. He reiterated that IDEO.org selects projects based on their anticipated impact on society, the environment, and/or people affected.
As explained on the “About” page of IDEO.org

What are Sean’s tips for designing for law?

Sean shared a number of surprisingly specific tips on how attorneys can begin to adopt a design approach to law.

1. Never use Times New Roman
2. Use one space between sentences, not two
3. Learn the creative suite, to make documents appealing, compelling, “pretty”
4. Use Keynote instead of Power Point
5. Be visual, i.e. use Post-Its and other ways to visually map solutions
6. Remember, you are smart + you are creative!

 

How did Sean go from a traditional path of law into law + design?

After completing an undergraduate degree at Columbia, Sean started his career in the Civilian Complaint Division at the NYPD. He worked primarily on drug law cases, which motivated him to pursue law school so he could reform drug laws. After law school, he detoured in to corporate law. He kept a journal during his four years as a corporate law and noticed a trend—he did not regularly interact with people, he was not happy.Sean Hewens, IDEO.org: law + human-centered designHe took a major leap by enrolling in a design program, which began to influence his approach to design. He was inspired afterwards to launch a non-profit called Smallbean to put used personal electronics in the hands of Tanzanians and travelled to Africa to create a technical hub. The project was incredibly eye-opening, but left him in a difficult financial situation. He classified the project as a “failure”, noting that failure is actually a win in the HCD world. The HCD approach is to fail fast, fail early, and iterate.

So, he did.  He and co-founder Ross Lohr launched Project Repat. The premise is that 90%+ of donated t-shirts and clothing is shipped to Africa. Project Repat would enter the local markets in Africa to reclaim t-shirts and re-sell in America, with 100% of proceeds given to the local African economies. Since its founding, Project Repat has shifted focus, you can read more in the update here.

Those experiences excited Sean to take his design + law approach to new frontiers, leading him to IDEO.org

Sean’s parting thoughts?

Get out there. Understand and observe. Work with other disciplines. Consider the system you are working in (or with). Make solutions visual. Prototype early and often.Don’t just be a lawyer…find opportunities to design.

Dive in!

+Acumen and IDEO.org are teaming up to offer a 5-week course called “Human Centered Design for Social Innovation.” Teams of 2-5 can sign up here by July 3rd. Hear Sean talk about the course below

Read More

It’s not often that a speaker at an event shares live feed of their EKG. But then, the VLAB panel discussion titled “The Future of Diagnostics: Consumer Driven Medicine” was not an ordinary look at the field of medicine. The event–which was held at the Munger Center of the Paul Brest Hall of Stanford Law School–took place on Thursday, April 16th 2013.As part of illustrating emerging technologies in mobile health, moderator Dr. Kraft pulled up an app he regularly uses which tracks key health indicators. From his iPhone to the big screen, he shared real-time data such as heart rate and EKG.

Consumer driven diagnostics: emerging and disruptive

The event was a fascinating look into the possibility and scope that emerging technologies such as mobile phone apps, bluetooth technology, and mobile scanning have altered the way we track and understand our health. The burgeoning field of consumer driven medicine has already grounded costs of once-expensive processes such as DNA sequencing. As you may note from the NIH graph, the cost of sequencing a human genome used to be upwards of $10K in the early 2000’s, today costs a fraction of that sticker price. Industry leaders, such as Dr. Kraft, cited predictions that the cost of sequencing a human genome will one day cost in the range of $100-200.

The multi-level disruption of healthcare and diagnostics was the focus of this panel. It featured the following speakers:

Moderator, Daniel Kraft, M.D., Executive Director, FutureMed, Faculty Chair of Medicine, Singularity University
Panelist, Walter De Brouwer, CEO of SCANADUPanelist, Dr. David Albert, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at AliveCorPanelist, Anne DeGheest, HealthTech Capital, Managing Director and Founder

 

Watch the video

View the entire panel discussion in the following video:

 


What social entrepreneurs should consider

One aspect of consumer driven diagnostics is the technology + medicine aspect. i.e. How do you code for diagnostic medicine? A select sector of the entrepreneurial and social entrepreneurial communities will focus on this side of the rubics cube. This means understanding the science, the web development, and compliance landscape (i.e. “HIPAA”, etc.) of developing medicine-related technology.

However, there is another incredibly vital angle that will require impact innovation attention. It is the distribution, scaling, and effective analysis of crowdsourced medical data. Consumer driven diagnostics is as much a data problem as well as a medical-technology problem. If you aren’t building the consumer-facing software, you might consider creating efficient processes by which data collection becomes scalable, increasing amounts of data are accurately analyzed, and methods are developed for keeping this potentially-impactful data secure and private.

If you step back from the niche area of medicine + technology you arrive to a broader place of making sense of, efficiently using, and securely tracking big data. That is a problem that could benefit from the nuanced, triple-bottom line mindset of a social innovator.

Photos from the event

Here are a few photos from the event include images of the brochure, the networking hour that takes place directly before the panel, a view of a slide featuring the panel members, and a shot of dynamic moderator Dr. Kraft as he presented his engaging introduction.
VLAB panel on consumer driven health (#VLAVcdmed)
networking hour before fo

VLAB panel on consumer driven health (#VLAVcdmed)

VLAB panel on consumer driven health (#VLAVcdmed)

VLAB panel on consumer driven health (#VLAVcdmed)

VLAB panel on consumer driven health (#VLAVcdmed)

Interview with Kim Meredith, Stanford PACS

We have covered the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) website, the blog, a webinar, articles, and an event of Stanford PACS on Innov8Social. So it was a special experience to sit down with Kim Meredith, the Executive Director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS)–the research center dedicated to studying social innovation and which publishes the SSIR.

PACS is an remarkable ecosystem supporting academic research in philanthropy & social innovation. It produces and crowdsources ideas and experience through the SSIR online and print publications, conducts webinars, hosts free live workshops, and supports emerging research in this evolving field.

Its leader, Kim Meredith, is in an instant warm, knowledgeable, and engaged in the nuances of the field as well as the overarching high-level topics surrounding social innovation, philanthropy, and community engagement. She shared her broad vision for PACS and SSIR, what drives her work, and how the broader community can stay connected with the important social impact work being done there.

You can hear Kim explain the mission and work of PACS in this brief video:

Q&A with Kim Meredith, Executive Director of Stanford PACS

What is PACS?

[Kim Meredith, PACS]: PACS is a research center for scholars, practitioners, leaders, and publisher of the SSIR, focusing on topics of business, law, education in civil society. It emphasizes cross-sector collaboration, forming cross-disciplinary discussions and relationships, to be a center of knowledge-creation and sharing. It has 3 full-time faculty co-directors with backgrounds spanning organizational behavior, Political Science, and Law.
Interview with Kim Meredith, Stanford PACS

How has PACS grown since its start?

[Kim Meredith]: PACS has seen remarkable growth in the past few years—both in size of the center and its reach. PACS started out employing one full-time faculty member and now employees nine employees, and has scaled six times in two and-a-half years.

What goals have guided your work at PACS?

[Kim Meredith]: I learned about the position opening through my daughter, who was attending Stanford at the time. The vision and goals put forth regarding PACS fit well with my executive experience at Planned Parenthood and I was enthusiastic about pursuing the growth potential of PACS.
The goals that have guided me have been simple:
  • Acquire SSIR, which was originally housed in the Stanford business school.  The addition of SSIR has facilitated a deeper degree of knowledge-sharing, and has brought that publication into the same building as other impact-related research initiatives.
  • Fund valuable research. I outlined this as a priority so as to establish PACS as a center of learning and knowledge creation. It has been remarkable to see the level of engagement and sharing that PACS represents today—through publications, curriculum, and events.
  • Go global.  Our team has been working closely with Peking University in China to create a research center for Stanford faculty, students, and field practitioners to research philanthropy and civil society in China. The efforts resulted in Stanford PACS Peking (note: read an interesting interview with Kim Meredith re: the Peking campus)

What kinds of events does PACS host?

[Kim Meredith]: Recent PACS events have included:
Philanthropy Educators Symposium: The largest-ever convening of philanthropy educators, hosted by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) in partnership with the Learning by Giving Foundation and Giving 2.0.
10 Years of SSIR: 10 year anniversary celebration with remarks by Paul Brest, PACS faculty co-director,and others
Donors Choose + charity: water: Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Stanford PACS Founder and Board Chairman, leads a conversation with Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, and Scott Harrison, Founder and CEO of charity:water.
GoodJobs event: A challenge focused on open data, jobs, and the social sector. GoodJobs invites Stanford students to create mobile and web tools that will help young people access social impact jobs.

Who are the current faculty directors?

[Kim Meredith]: Stanford PACS is guided by three thought leaders in the impact space.
  • Woody Powell, Professor of Education and by courtesy Sociology, Organizational Behavior, Management Science and Engineering, and Communication;
  • Rob Reich, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty Director of the Program on Ethics in Society and, by courtesy, of Philosophy and the School of Education; and
  • Paul Brest, Professor of Law, Emeritus and Former Dean of the School of Law, and formerPresident of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

What is “civil society”?

[Kim Meredith]: It refers to what is popularly called the “third sector”, independent of government and business.

What is the role of foundations in philanthropic giving?

Interview with Kim Meredith, Stanford PACS
continued reading: Giving 2.0,
SSIR 10th Anniversary edition,
upcoming event flier…thanks Kim!
[Kim Meredith]: Foundations only account for about 14% of philanthropic giving. Individuals give the lion’s share, i.e. over 80%, of giving. Beyond monetary contributions, foundations are drivers of change, they raise awareness about key issues, and work strategically to achieve outcome-oriented action.

What is the “new social economy”?

[Kim Meredith]: It encompasses the space between public, philanthropic, and private sector. The new social economy often involves nonprofit, as well as hybrid structures, and has opened up a new kind of discussion about mission-based ventures.

Do you see funding institutions that embrace this venture philanthropy mindset?

[Kim Meredith]: Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (sv2) and Full Circle Fund are two funds that are actively engaged in this space.

What role do you think bloggers and entrants to the social innovation space can have? 

[Kim Meredith]: Bloggers and newcomers to this field can play a vital role in identifying, sourcing, and analyzing relevant, big data. There is an increasing need for qualified data, and writers and researchers in the field may be well-poised to address this need.
Answering these questions such as who is collecting data, how is it being collected, and where is it stored, creates an informed discussion about giving, philanthropy, and impact

Do you have any book recommendations?

[Kim Meredith]: Giving 2.0
and The Dragonfly Effect
are books that frame the social innovation and philanthropy issues and provide insight into emerging trends.