How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195334760
ISBN-10: 0195334760
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Book Description
Published in over twenty countries, How to Change the World has become the Bible for social entrepreneurship. It profiles men and women from around the world who have found innovative solutions to a wide variety of social and economic problems. Whether they work to deliver solar energy to Brazilian villagers, or improve access to college in the United States, social entrepreneurs offer pioneering solutions that change lives.

Discover surprising facts about social entrepreneurs from author David Bornstein

  • According to a recent Harris Poll, a whopping 97% of Generation Y are looking for work that allows them "to have an impact on the world."
  • In recent years, courses or centers in social entrepreneurship have been created in over 250 universities and colleges such as Harvard Business School, Yale School of Management, Duke, NYU's Stern & Wagner, Wharton, Oxford, and Stanford.
  • Teach for America received 25,000 applications for 3,700 slots in 2008, an increase of more than a third over 2007. In Ivy League schools such as Yale, Cornell, and Dartmouth, close to 10% of all graduates applied to the program.
  • In the past two years, the Acumen Fund, an organization that supports social entrepreneurs who solve major problems through business solutions (eg. malaria nets, water purification, loans for housing), received more than 1,000 applications from top ranked business students for just 15 fellowship positions.
  • The list of top business entrepreneurs who are focusing either full time or a considerable amount of time on social entrepreneurship is highly impressive:
    1. Pierre Omidyar, founder of ebay, created Omidyar Network to "enable individual self-empowerment on a global scale."
    2. Jeff Skoll, cofounder of ebay, also runs Participant Productions, which makes socially conscious films including An Inconvenient Truth and Goodnight and Good Luck.
    3. Bill Gates has left Microsoft to pursue a full-time career in philanthropy.
    4. Warren Buffett recently donated $30 billion to the Gates Foundation.
    5. William Draper, one of the biggest venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, created the Draper Richards Foundation to support social entrepreneurs.
    6. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum (Davos), founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
    7. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, created Google.org, which supports social entrepreneurs and has raised over $1 billion.
    8. Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr is leading an effort to raise $100 million for microcredit loans.
  • The Grameen Bank, the leading example for social entrepreneurs worldwide, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
  • The Bridgespan Group, a consulting group that advises social entrepreneurs, received 1,800 applications for 18 job openings in 2006.


From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Bornstein (The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank) profiles nine indomitable champions of social change who developed innovative ways to address needs they saw around them in places as distinct as Bombay, India; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and inner-city Washington, D.C. As these nine grew influential when their ingenious ideas proved ever more widely successful, they came to the attention of Ashoka, an organization that sponsors a fellows program to foster social innovation by finding so-called social entrepreneurs to support. As Bornstein interviewed these and many other Ashoka fellows, he saw patterns in the ways they fought to solve their specifically local problems. To demonstrate the commonality among experiences as diverse as a Hungarian mother striving to provide a fuller life for her handicapped son and a South African nurse starting a home-care system for AIDS patients, he presents useful unifying summaries of "four practices of innovative organizations" and "six qualities of successful social entrepreneurs." Bornstein implies that his subjects are in the tradition of Florence Nightingale and Gandhi; the inspiring portraits that emerge from his in-depth reporting on the environments in which individual programs evolved (whether in politically teeming India or amid the expansive grasslands of Brazil) certainly show these unstoppable entrepreneurs as extraordinarily savvy community development experts. In adding up the vast number of current nongovernmental organizations and their corps of agents of positive change, Bornstein aims to persuade that, "without a doubt, the past twenty years has produced more social entrepreneurs than terrorists.".
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3478 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0195334760
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Updated edition (September 17, 2007)
  • Publication Date: September 17, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003U2T7JA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,719 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Bornstein's "How to Change the World" is a love letter to Ashoka, an impressive and arguably very successful organization that identifies and supports social entrepreneurs throughout the world. Throughout the book, Bornstein provides a primer on Ashoka, its founder and methodology, as well as a number of success stories. He begins with a well-researched and interesting explanation about how the social entrepreneurship movement - or the citizen sector, as he calls it - found its sweet spot for expansion in the late 20th century. His narrative style is not nearly as compelling as first-person stories, such as "The Blue Sweater" (Novogratz, 2009), or even "Half the Sky" (Kristof & WuDunn, 2009). If each featured social entrepreneur had written a first-person account, this may have provided a more compelling read. One obviously missing component of Bornstein's vignettes is an acknowledgement of failure. On their respective roads to success, what significant missteps did these entrepreneurs take? What did they learn from those mistakes and failures?

This book may be a wonderful resource for people who are not yet familiar with social entrepreneurship or the amazing work that has been done by citizen sector individuals and organizations worldwide in the last 30 years. I appreciate the time Bornstein spent describing historical figures, demonstrating that social entrepreneurship is nothing new; it is simply finally getting the attention it deserves. However, the book falls short of its title. It is not a how-to.
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Format: Paperback
Every person Bornstein discussed has the inspired capacity for solving intricate social problems resourcefully and efficiently, and they are able to maneuver around seemingly insurmountable obstacles to accomplish their goals.

James Grant of Unicef is particularly striking. His story illustrates how the provision of social services on a grand scale will be met with resistance, even if it is an easy one to distribute, is relatively inexpensive and could save thousands of lives. Grant never faltered, and activated his limited resources. As a result, he changed the world. Yet, there is a long road ahead on the mission towards immunizing all children against preventable diseases. Governments, investors, and all concerned citizens want to know the value of enterprises such as Unicef. Bornstein emphasizes in his conclusion that metrics for analyzing social value need to be developed in the civic sector in order to accurately evaluate the organization's ability to create social value. In the public health world, value is created in the number of sick individuals. The statistics that followed Grant's initiatives indicated lowered child mortality and improved qualities of life across the globe, which speak to the value of his work.

Each entrepreneur exemplifies the nature of their work in different ways. Bornstein succeeds in drawing connections between each Ashoka fellow and teases out a skeleton of what an effective social entrepreneur might look like. A new generation could be in the grooming process of inheriting the legacy that these fellows have built from scratch.
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Bornstein's book might not be what people are looking for when they initially pick it up, however, overall it has a diverse plot. The sections are all very different and cover a variety of different people and places. One of my favorite chapters was chapter 10, Are They Possessed, Really Possessed, by an Idea? I liked where the writers bring up a strong point about the term, 'social entrepreneurs.' The term social entrepreneur is new to many people around the world, I remember saying it to my roommates and they looked at me like I was mildly crazy. However, the term is relevant to a lifestyle and purpose of life for many people who live it. The lifestyle explained by Bornstein in this chapter explains the character of the entrepreneur doesn't announce themselves, they work hard to gather important and relevant information for the good of the project, not for the good of themselves. They want this earth to be a better place for the earth, not for themselves. This was a great point and helped me to view the book as extremely helpful. It shares a variety of different stories, and helps to put cultural differences into perspective. I am enjoying this book very much!
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I read a lot, almost totally non-fiction, and for the past several years, after accidentally becoming a top Amazon reviewer on the strength of 300 reviews lifted from the annotated bibliographies of my first two books, I have been dedicated, as a hobby, to reading in the service of the public. My goal in life at the age of 55, what I learned from this book is called an "encore career," is to be intelligence officer to the five billion poor, and--I now realize from this book--to the social entrepreneurs that are changing the world on a scale and with a speed that governments cannot match.

This book blew my mind, literally. It has not altered my course, but it has dramatically accelerated my ability to make progress by illuminating a path I thought I would have to discover. This book is the first "map" of a completely new form of endeavor, profoundly individual in inspiration and global in scale, that of social entrepreneurship, not to be confused with non-profit or non-governmental, more traditional forms.

The author, apart from mapping examples (33, focused on education, health, protection, and access to electricity and technology), provides what I consider to be the single best preface/introduction I have ever read.
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