Public Sector

A man casting a voting ballot
You would be hard-pressed to find a story about American politics today without the word “polarized” in it. Talk of greater partisan differences began in the 1980s, heated up after the contentious 2000 election, and continues: Consider media coverage of the deep ideological divisions surrounding...
David Pitt-Watson
Over the span of his career, David Pitt-Watson has played multiple roles: social entrepreneur, politician and financier. He has been a partner at Deloitte, Assistant General Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, and Treasurer of Oxfam, Britain’s largest development charity. He is best-...
Hands holding a dish
Global poverty is a profound and persistent problem: More than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. While many Stanford researchers dedicate their work to alleviating poverty, a new university-wide initiative promises them more support. As part of the...
Consumers love a deal, and even more so if it’s customized just for them, right? Not so fast, says Itamar Simonson, a marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Simonson has found that rather than being enticed by them, consumers are skeptical of those personalized offers that...
Examples of living pods on farms in China
For Chinese professionals leading hectic lives in crowded, polluted city centers, a vacation in the countryside provides a rare opportunity to slow down and breathe fresh air. Besides providing for their own rest and relaxation, these tourists potentially offer a much-needed source of income for...
U.S. Social Security checks
To fiscal hawks, and some political centrists, “mandatory’’ entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security are at the heart of unsustainable, out-of-control federal spending. Mandatory programs, unlike “discretionary” programs, continue year after year and essentially run on autopilot...
Four men meeting around a computer
For nearly his entire life, Peter Georgescu has been obsessed with the struggle of good versus evil in human nature. “Why is it possible for people, most of whom can also be loving and compassionate, to do terrible things?” wonders Georgescu, author of The Constant Choice: An Everyday Journey from...
Embrace Baby Warmer
Six years ago, a team of students at Stanford University used a problem-solving method called design thinking to develop a simple, portable device — a sort of sleeping bag for newborns — that so far has helped 22,000 low-birth-weight babies around the world stay warm. The Embrace Baby Warmer,...
Debate in Sierra Leone
In the weeks leading up to the November 2012 elections in Sierra Leone, villagers gathered to watch a 45-minute debate among candidates for parliament. The debaters were not there in person, but rather in a video projected on the outside of the local polling center. For Katherine Casey, an...

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