Updates From CS 90SI Latest news from Stanford's first CS+Social Good class. Hear from the instructors, project partners, the latest class updates and more.

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

Introducing our first guest speaker

Manu Chopra 09/01/2015

The queen of philanthropy is coming to CS 90SI.

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is the Founder and President of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF), a private operating foundation with a mission to inspire, educate and empower people to give in a way that matters more. At its core, LAAF is a philanthropy education organization — creating and providing free, high-quality, online resources and programs to help all givers, no matter where they are, make higher impact gifts with whatever they have to give. Founding initiatives include: ProjectU, a portfolio of free educational resources providing all that any educator needs to teach strategic philanthropy courses; Giving 2.0 Chapter Network, a national network of college clubs dedicated to learning about and practicing strategic giving; and, in Fall 2014, a Stanford University MOOC (massive open online course) on the Coursera platform to teach givers globally how to strategically invest time, money and expertise.

Laura created and has taught Stanford Graduate School of Business’ (Stanford GSB) first course on Strategic Philanthropy since 2000 and has developed and teaches Stanford University’s first courses on strategic philanthropy; philanthropic entrepreneurship and social innovation; applying design thinking to create social impact; collaborative grantmaking; as well as technology’s disruption of the social sector. Laura is the Founder and Board Chairman of Stanford PACS (Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society), a global research center committed to exploring ideas to create social change and publisher of the award-winning Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).

Laura is the Founder, Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman (1998-2008) of SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund), a venture philanthropy fund that leverages its partners’ financial, intellectual and human capital to make a measurable impact in the Silicon Valley community. SV2 has built a portfolio of 41 grantees, 500+ investors, and it won the 2008 Silicon Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropic Organization of the Year.

Her New York Times bestselling and award-winning book, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2011), empowers individuals of all backgrounds, ages and passions to make their giving matter more. Laura is also a contributing author to Worth Magazine, the Huffington Post, SSIR and the book, Local Mission, Global Vision. Laura has been profiled in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Forbes and Vogue. She has been featured on Charlie Rose, CNN with Erin Burnett, MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan and CNBC Power Lunch.

Laura is Co-founder and President of the Marc and Laura Andreessen Foundation. She is director of the Arrillaga Foundation and a board member of Sand Hill Foundation and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). She is a former trustee of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Hoover Institution, Castilleja School, Menlo School, Eastside Preparatory School, San Francisco Art Institute and Children’s Health Council.

Laura holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an MA in Education, BA and MA in Art History all from Stanford University. In total, Laura holds five degrees from Stanford including Bing Nursery School where she graduated with honors by consuming vast quantities of Play-Doh under the crafts table.

In addition to numerous California philanthropy awards, Laura was a 2005 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute; was awarded the 2005 President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation; was honored with the World Affairs Council’s Global Philanthropy Forum 2011 Global Citizen Award, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Club Distinguished Citizen Award. Laura lives with her husband, technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, near Stanford University, and together they enjoy reading, art, writing, movies, athletics, sleeping, not sleeping and laughing as much as possible.

Please note that the entry to this talk will be restricted to 90SI students only. You can read her crazily impressive bio (yes, there's more) here.

Terms We Will Not Use

"Third world countries?"

Instructors 09/01/2015

CS 90SI students are expected to meet the following service learning objectives:

• Engage in a respectful, collaborative relationship with a community partner
• Align their academic interests with application in a real world setting
• Place their community engagement experience within broader context of social issues
• Produce a final deliverable for the community partner that is context-specific and that demonstrates accumulated knowledge from both the classroom and the community

Since we expect our students to work with project partners from across the globe, We request you to not use the following terms:

Third world countries: The notion that there is not one world but three is a vestige of the Cold War, when the U.S. and its non-Communist allies were deemed the First World, the Communist Bloc was defined as the Second World, and nonaligned nations were designated the Third World. The term Third World is no longer fashionable due to a growing consensus that the category is neither accurate nor socially appropriate for the 21st century. Try explaining to a project partner abroad why their country is a third world country.

Poor countries: The simple reason why we wouldn’t use this term in class is because some of the countries we will talk about are simply not poor. What is to be made of emerging economies like Brazil and India, which are both classified as poor countries but have gross domestic products of 2.2 trillion USD and 1.5 trillion USD respectively?

Instead we will simply refer to countries as “developed” and “developing”. We agree that the terminology is not perfect and there are parts of developed economies that are still developing and vice-versa but it is simply the least offensive for our project partners.

If you have any suggestions for terms we should add to this list, please reach out to cs4good@cs.stanford.edu

Jane Coyne

Introducing our second guest speaker

Manu Chopra 01/09/2015

Having worked in Uganda, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo , Sudan and every other country you can possibly imagine, Jane Coyne sits on the board of directors of the esteemed Doctors Without Borders.

Jane Coyne returned to San Francisco in 2013 after nine years working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors without Borders. She is a graduate of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (1988) and received a Masters in business administration from the Kellogg School at Northwestern (1996). She worked for 15 years in a variety of analytical and project management positions for both small and large manufacturing companies, including HP, Nike and Dell, with an emphasis on supply-chain optimization.

In 2003, she chose to leave the corporate world and began working for MSF as a field logistician. She has since worked in Uganda, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Initially her work focused on logistics which includes all the things necessary to provide medical services – building construction, electricity, water, sanitation, etc. Eventually her role transitioned to project and then country operations management.

In July 2009, she was appointed as program manager for MSF France. With her team based in Paris, Coyne managed MSF operations in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Kenya and Georgia.

In May 2013, Coyne joined We Care Solar, a non-profit based in Berkeley, CA, that builds solar-electric systems designed for health facilities with no access to the electrical grid. Since June 2013 Coyne has been a member of the Board of Directors of MSF-USA.

Why Are We Teaching CS 90SI? - I

From Manu

Manu Chopra 09/01/2015

“Imagine a world where you don’t have to learn how to drive. You sit in your car. The car asks you where you want to go today and BOOM! You are on your way. You just relax. Now how would you go around building such a car?” I asked the class.

There is a long pause. “Can you do that?” A kid finally spoke. “Oh yes!” I showed them the Google’s self driving car and I saw them look at each other in wonder. The video took their curiosity to another level. At the end of an hour long class, I asked the kids what they want to be when they grow up. There were the obvious answers. Engineers, Doctors and there were some blanks but there was an answer which has stayed with me since.

I want to be like you. I want to build my own self-driving car.

That is a pretty remarkable story but what is more remarkable about this story is where these kids come from. Jharkand is among the most underdeveloped states in India. These kids are far far away from the world class education I receive at Stanford. They are far far away from the latest advancements in Computer Science or the latest 10 billion dollar Valley startup. I taught these kids over summer last year and they have changed the way I look at Computer Science.

I have always been interested in helping people through technology. In high school, I invented and subsequently patented an anti molestation device for women as an answer to increasing rape cases in India. Anti Molestation Device is an AI based personal protection device in the form of a watch which works on the principle of nerve conduction and provides a shock of 0.08 A to any molester trying to harass a girl, enough to temporarily paralyze him. The camera on the device takes 100 pictures of the molester and all these pictures are sent to the nearest police station after facial recognition. And finally, the device sends an emergency message to the girl’s family asking for help with her attached GPS location. For the invention, I was awarded “The Innovator of the Year” by the Indian President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Times of India, India’s leading newspaper, nominated me among “India’s 20 Most Brilliant Minds Under 20”. I was also featured by CNN, BBC and over 50 media sources across the world for the device. The device is currently being mass produced in India and its success convinced me of the role of technology in driving social change.

In his commencement speech at Stanford an year ago, Bill Gates said,

“If technology is purely market-driven and we don’t focus innovation on the big inequities, then we could have amazing inventions that leave the world even more divided. We won’t improve public schools. We won’t cure malaria. We won’t end poverty. We won’t develop the innovations poor farmers need to grow food in a changing climate.”

That statement sums up my biggest fear. When I came into Stanford, I was almost immediately disillusioned by the CS community on campus. The conversations centered around personal rewards fueled by being in the Valley. Last year, the number of Computer Science majors who decided to work for a non-profit after graduation was exactly 1. That’s it! We want to change that. We want this class to inspire people to use code to change the world.

Delhi Government + CS 90SI

A match made in heaven <3

Manu Chopra

Delhi Government announced today that it will be partnering with a class taught at Stanford University to use Computer Science for social good and help improve lives of millions of Delhi citizens.

Stanford University is one of the world’s most renowned educational institutions. “CS 90SI - Using Web Technologies To Change The World” will be taught at Stanford this September and will be a unique environment where students can learn web technologies by working on real world projects focused on creating positive social change.

As a major project partner for the class, Delhi Government has given Stanford students two key challenges to solve. The first project centers around the idea of political accountability. Students in the class will build systems to ensure accountability for governments to act on their election manifesto, helping the voice of people to reach their elected representatives and improving grievance redressal. The second project centers around tourism. Students in the class will build a heritage audio guide built on Google Maps to allow tourists to travel the city, redesign the Delhi Tourism website and build new sub-sites for new government initiatives.

Manu Chopra, the instructor of the class, said, “We want to help the government continue the good work they have been doing. The possibility of impact in Delhi is immense. You have 20 million people and so many complex problems to solve. I am sure our students would appreciate the challenge of working on these complex problems and possibly impacting millions of lives”.

"To make Delhi world-class, we have to partner with institutions having a focus on creating positive social change. CS 90SI approached us with this unique project. They asked us for two challenges and we complied," tourism minister Kapil Mishra said. "This is the first among multiple initiatives that the Delhi government will take to integrate technology in governance by partnering with world-class universities."

Lawrence Lin Murata, the second instructor of the class added, “We are really grateful to the Delhi Government for allowing us to work on these exciting projects and being incredibly supportive of the class.”

The class is a part of a larger effort at Stanford called CS+Social Good. The organization aims to organize and connect Stanford students to take action and collaborate on the world’s most pressing problems. And what better place to start than the center of the world’s largest democracy?

Why Are We Teaching CS 90SI? - II

From Lawrence

Lawrence Lin Murata 09/01/2015

We are showing students how they can change the world using Computer Science skills they will learn in this class and also skills they have learned in other classes. It is important that students know the applications of the skills they are learning -- there is so much you can do with Computer Science. When I was in CS106A, Mehran said “the beautiful thing about Computer Science is that you can use it to impact so many different things.” Since then, I have been fascinated with all the social good you can do using Computer Science and I’d like to help students use their knowledge to solve real-world problems.

I am very passionate about using technology for social good. I want to spend my life using technology to improve others’ lives. I have worked with nonprofit and for-profit organizations for social good projects. Some of my social projects that involved technology include: a language exchange program that attracted hundreds of students online from all over the world, a non-profit project to raise money through art and an education project to make educational opportunities in the USA financially affordable for everyone in Brazil. Throughout my projects, I have seen how technology can be used to improve people’s lives.

At an early age, I discovered the incredible potential that the Internet has of connecting people from different cultures and places in the world. I started joining Skype groups for language learning where I could practice foreign languages with native speakers. Before I realized, I had gathered hundreds of students in my own online group for language learning -- people from all background and from all over the world, China, Japan, Brazil, Singapore, USA, Mexico, etc. I then decided to start my language exchange project to connect people from all over the world for language exchange. I soon saw that helping people learn languages could be a way to help change their lives by helping them get jobs, communicate with people from other countries and learn about new cultures. Languages open doors to knowledge.

One year later, the 2010 Haiti earthquake happened. I used to sell art online, so I decided to take action by raising money through my own art and donating 100% of the money. Then a series of natural disasters hit Japan, and I ran my own art charity again. Since I realized other artists around the world were doing the same, I decided to start a group to help social and environmental causes through art. I again saw the great potential the Internet has to unite people from all over the world around a cause. After my experience with this project, I could not stress enough the importance of web technologies to unite people and to make social changes. We were able to unite thousands of artists who were willing to use their art to raise money for important causes. The international support the group received also allowed me to convince my school’s leadership and its community to help me organize art exhibits at school to raise money for charity.

Around that time, someone I knew passed away because of cancer. Even though we didn’t know each other very well, his death hit me hard because he was my age and all he wanted was to be like the other kids. He used to say that all he wanted was to be able to walk and play like all the other kids his age. They were things I had always taken for granted. That experience encouraged me to run more charity events and raise money to help children with cancer.

I also started getting more involved with education and started some programs in my school to help students who were having trouble with subjects. In the night after I learned that I had gotten into Stanford, I got a call from a friend telling me that although she was happy that she got into some great schools, her family couldn’t afford to pay the tuition and she hadn’t received much financial aid because schools are usually more strict when giving financial aid to international students. We stood up the entire night brainstorming solutions for that problem and, after we found out other students had the same problem, we ended up founding a project with the mission to make educational opportunities in the US financially affordable to everyone in Brazil. We reached out to government authorities, well-known businessmen and famous educators. We ended up receiving a lot of press coverage and raising a lot of money that we gave away in the form of scholarships. The program still happens every year and helps students who otherwise wouldn’t afford tuition go to college.