Illustration of masked students standing outside on a sunny campus.

Spring 2021 Issue

Explore the Spring 2021 issue of Stanford Business magazine — and see how people from all corners of the Stanford GSB community are coming together to change lives, organizations, and the world.

Editor’s Note

We love it when the universe conspires to make us look smarter than we are. As we were putting the final touches on this issue of Stanford Business magazine, someone pointed out that it contains a trio of long-form articles that align with the three pillars of the school’s motto: “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World.”

Give Them Shelter” tells the story of a team of GSB alumni who are tackling the homeless crisis in San Francisco and beyond. The cornerstone of their audacious plan is already under construction: a six-story stack of cozy, prefabricated micro-studios that will soon change the lives of hundreds of people, many of whom now live on the streets.

Green Giants” highlights alumni who are working in a variety of ways — and largely behind the scenes — to decarbonize the economy and prevent cataclysmic climate change. By focusing on non-glamorous but pivotal sectors such as risk management and private equity, they are looking to change organizations in fundamental ways, all with an eye toward saving the planet.

Our cover story, “Agents of Growth,” focuses on two companies — one in Kenya, the other in India — that have been nurtured by Stanford Seed, the school’s transformative, international executive-training program. Seed enlists and deploys alumni, faculty, students, and staff to teach promising entrepreneurs in developing countries how to scale their businesses. The goal is to create jobs, boost local economies, and reverse the global cycle of poverty. In other words, change the world.

If we’d spotted that obvious thematic thread earlier in our production process, we might have packaged those articles together more conspicuously, and you, dear reader, never would have known what we’re about to confess here: that a lot of the best work that gets done in these pages results from happy accidents.

The Editors

Zombies on the Rise

A decade of binge borrowing has turned many corporations into the walking dead, Stanford finance experts say.

The Activist’s Dilemma

Extreme actions draw attention to a cause but erode public support — and many protestors fail to see the link.

Give Them Shelter

Want to solve America’s urban homeless crisis? First, you have to believe it can be fixed.


Illustration of people building a colorful structure filled with plants and surrounded by nature. Credit: Illustration by Celyn Brazier

Illustration by Celyn Brazier

Cover of the Spring 2021 issue of Class Notes

Discover what your classmates have been up to, both personally and professionally.