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Business & Management

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Business
Date: 
Monday, October 6, 2014 to Monday, November 24, 2014
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About the Course

Giving 2.0: The MOOC, is a Stanford University-sponsored online course intended to teach givers of all ages, backgrounds, incomes and experiences to give more effectively. Taught by social entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Giving 2.0: The MOOC will teach you how to assess nonprofits, create a high-impact philanthropic strategy, volunteer more effectively, use existing, free technology for good and more. Course participants will engage in an actual grantmaking process during which up to $100,000 of Learning By Giving Foundation capital will be allocated to student-selected nonprofits.

Giving 2.0: The MOOC is a six-week course. Each week has a particular theme and 5-10 content-packed and activity-rich, video modules exploring that theme. Video modules will include lectures from Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen as well as interviews, discussions and lectures given by guest speakers. Guest speakers are renowned leaders in multiple industries including philanthropy, technology and business, who will provide unique insights into course topics. Students will have the opportunity to join Talkabouts – small virtual meeting groups created to discuss class-related topics. By the course’s conclusion, students will have created an Individual Giving Action Plan to guide their future giving in a highly effective and meaningful way. Students will also complete a formal nonprofit assessment. Students will consider and vote on eligible nonprofits and collaboratively determine which ones receive Learning By Giving Foundation grants. Students will also be provided with ongoing, post-MOOC philanthropy education content that will support continued development and execution of their philanthropic goals.

Recommended Background

This course reveals how anyone can be a high-impact philanthropist. There is nothing required except your generosity and a passion to improve our world.

Suggested Readings

There are no required readings for this course. However, the course is designed to work with the ideas and content from Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen’s book, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World (Wiley/Jossey Bass, 2011). The book can be found at all online sellers and in many bookstores. Here is the Amazon link. Other optional readings that will enhance your learning about each week’s theme will be listed on our course website.

Course Format

Our course will consist of lecture and guest speaker videos, each between 3-10 minutes in length. Most videos will contain integrated quiz questions (a scientifically proven way to increase information retention), small workbook activities and supplementary quizzes as needed. The two primary projects for our course are completing a comprehensive nonprofit assessment and creating your Individual Giving Action Plan. You will select a nonprofit you believe is creating significant social/environmental impact and will conduct an in-depth assessment of that nonprofit. Every completed nonprofit assessment will be eligible to receive potential funding during our student-run grantmaking process. You will also create your Individual Giving Action Plan, which will assess your unique resources and how you can most effectively translate those resources into helping transform both nonprofits and the lives of those they serve. There is no final exam (because I do not believe in tests!).

Instructor

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen; Lecturer in Business Strategy, Stanford 

 


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Date: 
Monday, October 13, 2014
Course topic: 

This course is now closed, and course materials are no longer available.

About This Course

Stocks and bonds have always been a critical part of any investment portfolio, but what do investors actually get in exchange for their investment? Why do publicly traded stocks and bonds have value?

This course will present an overview of stocks and bonds, with a focus on the finance fundamentals behind these instruments. We’ll start out with an overview of the bond market, paying special attention to corporate and municipal bonds. Next, we’ll review interest rates and their impact on the valuation of treasury bonds. Then we’ll take a look at the fundamentals of the stock market, and finally we’ll dive into an analysis of how to make smart decisions as an investor.

Since the course is self-study, you can take as much time as you need. Short lecture videos introduce the concepts in manageable chunks. Following each video are practice exercises to help cement your understanding of the key concepts. Finally, a recorded panel discussion featuring a Nobel Prize-winning economist will allow us to delve into the finer details of asset management.

Whether you’re an experienced shareholder, a novice investor, or simply interested in how our financial markets work, join us as we study the financial principles behind stocks and bonds.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites, but students will ideally have had some exposure to college-level courses in economics or finance, even if that exposure was not especially recent or extensive. An understanding of the following key concepts will be helpful:

  • diversified stock portfolio
  • interest rates
  • inflation
  • present value formula
  • statistical concepts like mean, median, standard deviation, and percentiles

Important Information

This course contains general information about financial matters for educational purposes only. You should always consult with a competent financial services/legal professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation before making any decision.

The information provided in this course is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information in this course is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Stanford University makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal, financial, or any information in this course.

 

FAQ: 

What is the time commitment for this course?

This course is self-study, so you may participate at whichever level works best for your schedule. The course consists of five sections, each of which contains approximately 45 minutes of video content and 1-2 hours’ worth of practice exercises.

Are any additional textbooks or software required?

No textbooks are required, but you will need to use some kind of spreadsheet software with the ability to view and edit Excel files.

Does this course carry any kind of Stanford University credit?

No, this course does not carry any Stanford University credit.

What are the technical requirements for taking this course?

We recommend taking this course on a standard computer using Google Chrome as your internet browser. We are not yet optimized for mobile devices.

Will this course offer a statement of accomplishment?

No, the course will not be offering a Statement of Accomplishment.

Instructor(s): 
Joshua Rauh

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Date: 
Monday, September 15, 2014 to Sunday, October 12, 2014
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THE COURSE

The success of every venture depends on scaling: on sustaining and enhancing its effectiveness as it adds more employees, customers, and locations. The problem, however, is that scaling comes with inherent risk. Even the best founders and teams face setbacks, make mistakes, and must muddle through stretches of confusion and uncertainty.

Professors Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton devoted seven years to understanding the differences between organizations that scale well and those that scale badly. In the process, they have identified what leaders can do increase their organization’s odds of success. They compiled the lessons they learned into the Wall Street Journal best-selling book Scaling Up Excellence: How to Get More Without Settling for Less. In this course, you will learn the principles that will help you scale up your venture without screwing up. 

You’ll address questions that cut to the heart of the scaling challenge:

  1. How can you avoid the illusion, impatience, and incompetence that are hallmarks for botched scaling efforts?
  2. What should your strategy be? Should you be more “Catholic” and replicate one model as you grow? Or should you take a more “Buddhist” approach and encourage local customization as your footprint expands?
  3. How can you avoid cognitive overload on yourself and those you lead, while at the same time, add necessary complexity as your team and organizations grows?


The five-week course consists of assigned readings, lectures, exercises, and video interviews. Each week will present you with different questions, and assigned readings from Scaling Up Excellence. Additionally, lectures that extend the insights of the book have been prepared, and the video interviews provide rich practical advice. The video interviews feature some of the most successful venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, such as:

  • Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz
  • Michael Dearing - the early stage venture investing guru of Silicon Valley
  • Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari - two Stanford students whose class project turned into Pulse, a venture acquired by LinkedIn
  • Clara Shih, the founder of Hearsay Social, and a board member of Starbucks
  • Selina Tobaccowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey
  • Anthony Coles, former CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Kaye Foster-Cheek, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr. Jordan Kassalow, founder and co-chairman of VisionSpring 
  • Kevin Hassey, CEO of VisionSpring

Through the exercises, you will be able to apply the learnings directly to develop your scaling plan. At the end of the course, there is a live webinar during which some of the best works from the class will be showcased.

MORE INFORMATION

Recommended Textbook: Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao. Random House, 2014. It is available in hardcover or as a Kindle version.

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 - 6 hours per week on the course over the five-week period.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will be images, videos, slides, and text. You should also be prepared to collaborate with teammates via email, Skype, and other free online tools.

Prerequisites: None

INSTRUCTORS

Huggy Rao, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business 

Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford School of Engineering

FAQ: 

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.


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Date: 
Monday, March 31, 2014 to Monday, June 9, 2014
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Course topic: 

It is hard to imagine living in modern society without participating in or interacting with organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations means there is ample room for complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Through this course, students will consider cases describing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger.

Each case is full of details and complexity. So how do we make sense of organizations and the challenges they face, let alone develop means of managing them in desired directions? While every detail can matter, some matter more than others. This is why we rely on organizational theories -- to focus our attention and draw out relevant features in a sensible way.

Through this course you will come to see that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.Every week, you’ll learn a different organizational theory, and it will become a lens through which you can interpret concrete organizational situations. Armed with a toolset of theories, you will then be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it – and use the theories to predict which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction 
Week 2: Decisions by rational and rule-based procedures 
Week 3: Decisions by dominant coalitions 
Week 4: Decisions in organized anarchies 
Week 5: Developing organizational learning and intelligence 
Week 6: Developing an organizational culture 
Week 7: Managing resource dependencies 
Week 8: Network forms of organization 
Week 9: Institutions and organizational legitimacy 
Week 10: Summary

Recommended Background

None; all are welcome.

Suggested Readings

Assigned readings are mostly open source materials that can be found through the web. Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, the syllabus lists readings throughout the course for those who wish to write papers and complete the advanced track requirements. Please see the syllabus for more details.

Course Format

Each week, there will be a series of short lectures, followed by interactive assessments that refer to the weekly readings on an organizational theory and case. In addition, there will be a forum where students post questions, respond to others, and “like” questions they want answered. Each week I will record and post on-line the discussion of highly rated forum questions (screen-side chat). A final exam will review all the prior weeks material. Students wishing to take the advanced track will be able to perform additional tasks that involve more reading, critical reflection, and application of the materials. In particular, they will be able to write short papers and conduct peer evaluations of one another’s work.

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Date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
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Course topic: 

It is hard to imagine living in modern society without participating in or interacting with organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations means there is ample room for complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Through this course, students will consider cases describing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger.

Each case is full of details and complexity. So how do we make sense of organizations and the challenges they face, let alone develop means of managing them in desired directions? While every detail can matter, some matter more than others. This is why we rely on organizational theories -- to focus our attention and draw out relevant features in a sensible way.

Through this course you will come to see that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.Every week, you’ll learn a different organizational theory, and it will become a lens through which you can interpret concrete organizational situations. Armed with a toolset of theories, you will then be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it – and use the theories to predict which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction 
Week 2: Decisions by rational and rule-based procedures 
Week 3: Decisions by dominant coalitions 
Week 4: Decisions in organized anarchies 
Week 5: Developing organizational learning and intelligence 
Week 6: Developing an organizational culture 
Week 7: Managing resource dependencies 
Week 8: Network forms of organization 
Week 9: Institutions and organizational legitimacy 
Week 10: Summary

Recommended Background

None; all are welcome.

Suggested Readings

Assigned readings are mostly open source materials that can be found through the web. Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, the syllabus lists readings throughout the course for those who wish to write papers and complete the advanced track requirements. Please see the syllabus for more details.

Course Format

Each week, there will be a series of short lectures, followed by interactive assessments that refer to the weekly readings on an organizational theory and case. In addition, there will be a forum where students post questions, respond to others, and “like” questions they want answered. Each week I will record and post on-line the discussion of highly rated forum questions (screen-side chat). A final exam will review all the prior weeks material. Students wishing to take the advanced track will be able to perform additional tasks that involve more reading, critical reflection, and application of the materials. In particular, they will be able to write short papers and conduct peer evaluations of one another’s work.
FAQ: 
• How much work will I be expected to do in this class? 
It all depends on what track you take (see syllabus). 

1. Basic track – demonstrates basic literacy in organizational analysis (involves 2-3 hour time commitment per week) 
     a. View about 2 hours of video segments each week and complete the inline quiz questions. 
     b. Participate in the forum. 
     c. Take the final exam. 

2. Advanced track – demonstrates capacity for analysis and application (involves ~10-12 hour time commitment per week) 
     a. Complete basic requirements above. 
     b. Read course texts. 
     c. Take peer evaluation training. 
     d. Write papers. e. Evaluate peers’ papers. 

• Will I get a “statement of accomplishment” after completing this class? 
Yes. Students will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. It will designate whether the students met the “basic requirements” that demonstrate literacy in organizational analysis, or if they completed the “advanced requirements” that demonstrate their capacity for analysis and application. 

• Does Stanford award credentials or reports regarding my work in this course? 
Stanford University does not award certificates or other credentials for student work in this course. The instructor will offer a statement of accomplishment.


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Date: 
Monday, October 14, 2013 to Friday, December 13, 2013
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The Course

This course contains general information about financial matters for educational purposes only and does not provide personalized investment, tax, legal or accounting advice.

In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. The course begins with the principles of financial economics, such as the distribution of outcomes when investing in stocks, bonds, or annuities. These serve as the building blocks for an understanding of different retirement strategies that can help you improve your asset allocation. Finally, the course applies these principles to government programs and policies.

The Finance of Retirement and Pensions will culminate in an interactive symposium about the challenges of U.S. pension systems.

Held in January 2014 at Stanford Graduate School of Business, the event will feature representatives of the MOOC teams with the five most promising ideas for pension reform, who will present their proposals to a distinguished panel of faculty and experts in finance and public policy.

Expenses will be covered by Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hoover Institution.

Recommended Background

  • Ideally, you will have had some exposure to economics or finance in the form of college-level courses, even if that exposure is not especially recent or extensive  

  • You’ll want to understand the value of a diversified stock portfolio, interest rates, and inflation

  • You’ll be able to follow along best if you understand the present value formula, as well as statistical concepts like means, medians, standard deviations, and percentiles

  • We will provide review sheets about formulas for the present value of a perpetuity, a growing perpetuity, and an annuity, and suggest that you review a few concepts about probability

  • We will be doing calculations in Microsoft Excel as part of the coursework

More Information

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 - 6 hours a week on the course.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, edit spreadsheets, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include text reports and images or video.

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

 

Instructor(s): 
Joshua Rauh
Finance of Retirement and Pensions image

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Date: 
Monday, July 1, 2013
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Course topic: 

This is the second half of a course that introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. Last time, nearly 40,000 students from around the world participated and worked in teams together. The top teams were matched with Silicon Valley mentors, and the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors. Many of the alumni of the last class are continuing to build their startups and will be mentoring teams this time.

By the conclusion of the course, it is our hope that you understand how to:

  • Articulate a process for taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity (high performing students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of alternative theoretical models).
  • Create and verify a plan for gathering resources such as talent and capital.
  • Create and verify a business model for how to sell and market an entrepreneurial idea.
  • Generalize this process to an entrepreneurial mindset of turning problems into opportunities that can be used in larger companies and other settings.
Instructor(s): 
Chuck Eesley

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Date: 
Monday, August 26, 2013
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Course topic: 
Environmental sustainability has emerged as the imperative management undertaking for business sustainability in the face of rising global demand for natural resources and environment services and of environmental problems such as climate change. This course will examine how regulatory and voluntary requirements for sustainable development affect the ability of a firm to achieve its business and corporate objectives.

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Date: 
Monday, July 22, 2013 to Monday, August 26, 2013
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Course topic: 

All humans are born as creative beings, but as we grow up, school and work offer few opportunities to cultivate and apply our creativity. At Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design - known as the d.school - students of all disciplines learn the design thinking process as a methodology for creative and human-centered problem solving that empowers them to collaborate across disciplines and tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

In this experiential course - free and open to all - you will learn the design thinking process by tackling a real world innovation challenge. As preparation for each stage of the challenge, you will explore the main design thinking concepts through short videos, each paired with brief activities to practice relevant methods and approaches. There will be one weekly assignment reporting on your progress, as well as weekly Google hangouts with the instructor. On the last week of the course, you will apply the process to your own context and challenges, while hearing from experts who use design thinking to innovate in differents fields, such as healthcare and education.

By the end of the course, you will have learned through experience the mindsets and basic tools for each stage of the design thinking process:

Empathize: understanding the needs of those you are designing for. 

Define: framing problems as opportunities for creative solutions.

Ideate: generating a range of possible solutions. 

Prototype: communicating the core elements of solutions to others.

Test: learning what works and doesn’t work to improve solutions.

While you will work on the course challenge as an individual, you will interact with other like-minded participants from around the world to share your experiences and exchange feedback along the way. Developing self-reflection habits and the ability for effective peer-to-peer interactions are also important learning outcomes of the course. Please join our learning community!

This online course was developed as part of Epicenter’s efforts to infuse entrepreneurship and innovation into undergraduate engineering education. Engineering students will be able to apply these design thinking tools and skills to enhance their technical education. Faculty will have the opportunity to join a dedicated discussion group on how to incorporate new online learning resources into their teaching practices. Learn more about Epicenter at http://epicenter.stanford.edu.  Sign up for the Epicenter newsletter for updates on programs and opportunities for engineering students and faculty at http://eepurl.com/fHgLw.


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Date: 
Monday, January 14, 2013
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Course topic: 
The course explores how successful startups navigate funding, managing, and scaling their new enterprise. This process is explored through guest lectures and mentorship from experienced venture capital investors and seasoned entrepreneurs who manage these issues on a daily basis in Silicon Valley. 
 
Course themes: customer value equation, board management, market strategy, company culture, and hyper growth.
Instructor(s): 
Tom Kosnik

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