The Past, Present, & Future of Positive Social Change
with Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief of Stanford Social Innovation Review
Eric has held the post of editor-in-chief of the Stanford Social Innovation Review since 2006, nearing 15 years with his finger on the pulse of the social impact ecosystem. While this is the longest job posting he has ever held, Eric has more than 35 years of experience in journalism and publishing.
Before joining SSIR, he was a senior writer for Fortune Magazine. Prior to Fortune, Eric launched Forbes Magazine’s Silicon Valley bureau, where he was the bureau manager. He also served as editor-in-chief of Upside Magazine for close to five years.
SSIR may be in the traditional media space—editing and publishing a print magazine, publishing online content, hosting webinars and conferences, and producing a podcast—but they aren’t necessarily a traditional publication. Rather than hiring a writing staff to produce all of their written content, they consider themselves a peer-to-peer learning facilitation platform, relying on the social impact community to submit articles about their work and the community at large. This means they have the serious responsibility of shaping the conversation that the overall community has, and they treasure their acclaimed position highly.
Graphic displaying the cover of SSIR magazine 2020 Summer issue: Organizational Culture as a Tool for Change.
We discuss the role of journalism in the social impact space: how journalism overall effectively impacts positive social change as well as getting into the specifics of how SSIR factors into the field of advancing social innovation.
We also talk about cross-sector collaboration, covering some of the gaps that still exist between where we are and where we need to be to tackle insurmountable problems that still face us. It was a pleasure to speak with Eric, as he is quite the optimist and has a solid grasp on all of the working components in this complex ecosystem.
Want more episodes that cover innovative initiatives in the social impact space? Look here:
- #71 – Fostering Community & Connection with Purpose (in this Current Crisis and Beyond) with Jenn Graham, Founder & CEO of Civic Dinners
- #35 – Digital Carbon Footprints, Passion Projects, and Purposeful Work with James Christie, Co-Creator of Sustainable UX
- #55 – Solving a Global Crisis: Reuniting Displaced families Worldwide using Donated Airline Miles with Andy Freedman, Co-Founder of Miles4Migrants
Eric Nee, Stanford Social Innovation Review Editor-In-Chief
“If we are going to figure out how to change society, you have to understand what we’ve done in the past. What have we tried that worked? What hasn’t worked? We have to bring the voices of the people who are doing that work to one another so they can learn from each other.” – Eric Nee
- How Eric went from changing bedpans to running a social impact publication
- The role of journalism and SSIR in the social impact ecosystem
- Major gaps in the social sector that need to be addressed
- How the social innovation space has evolved since Eric joined SSIR
Links from the Episode:
- Eric on LinkedIn
- Stanford Social Innovation Review on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
- Grameen Bank
- Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
- Business Roundtable
- The Giving Pledge (Bill Gates)
- Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville
- The New York Times
- The Wall Street Journal
- The Guardian
- The Financial Times
- The New Yorker
- The Atlantic
- National Geaographic
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