- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: London Publishing Partnership (November 18, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1907994181
- ISBN-13: 978-1907994180
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator
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'A book of hope, inspiration and a beacon of what's possible' - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
'This book's vivid, engaging stories - of ordinary people who have devoted their lives to solving problems and injustices they never expected to encounter - make a major contribution to understanding what social innovation is all about. This is an inspiring and essential read for everyone who cares about our flawed, messy, beautiful world and believes in its myriad possibilities' - Hannah Bloch, Mission Projects Editor, National Geographic Magazine
'The world’s most challenging problems are being taken on by people motivated by their personal passions, informed by their deep understanding of local realities and shaped by their frustration with inadequate solutions. Ken Banks and the other remarkable innovators here offer inspiration and insight into building practical solutions while calling into question established wisdom about social innovation. This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to solve problems with global implications through local knowledge and involvement' - Ethan Zuckerman, Director, Center for Civic Media at MIT
'Why would anyone trade a life of comfort for the muddy boots of change-making? Ken Banks shows how global challenges trouble the waters of our conscience, and compel a new generation of innovators to action' - Andrew Zolli, Curator at PopTech
From the Author
Fuelled by the spread of the Internet and the ubiquity of mobile phones, there are more people working to solve pressing social and environmental problems in the world today than ever before in human history. For anyone wanting to join them, it is my hope that 'The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator' will show the way, or at least one way, and prove that the only qualifications you need to change the world are a little faith, hope and determination.
Top customer reviews
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No other book in the field captures the courage, imagination, unyielding commitment of social entrepreneurs in such an authentic voice. The complex challenges and rich stories in Reluctant Innovator stimulated my Santa Clara students to examine how ideas, projects, and start-ups can "crack the code" to fostering systems change and creating a more just, sustainable, and equitable world for all people. Its pages are laced with heart and the realization that this is not an easy journey.
Each week of my 10 week class began with a student presentation that analyzed the experience of a "reluctant innovator" from the point of view of the protagonist him or herself. These examples illustrate what it takes to succeed and, more important at times, how to fail. Students found these stories inspiring with the comment of one student in particular capturing the sentiment of peers, "changing the world for the better never felt more possible."
As someone who has worked with hundreds of social ventures through the Global Social Benefit Incubator, the PopTech Social Innovation Fellows, the Tech Museum Awards, and the World Bank Development Marketplace, I found this book refreshing. In a field that is too often plagued by hubris and self-promotion, it provides an "authentic" voice for thinking about what is "doable," and for answering the questions. . . "why me, why now"? We owe a great debt of thanks to Ken Banks for being a beacon of compassion and humility.
Senior Founding Fellow
Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Santa Clara University
For example, in the book's first chapter, Ken presents a list of questions that one should consider asking and answering for themselves before venturing in to the world of social innovation - or, more accurately, before becoming a social innovator themselves.
In many pursuits in life, this is one of the key challenges: finding your identity and your belief and your path. Feeling strong and secure enough to endure the hard times (because when you're off the well-trodden path, there will always be many). In my case, this book has played a part in leading me to that feeling, and that makes the book immediately worthwhile and a must-recommend for anyone finding themselves at a similar crossroads.
(And to read the stories and lessons of 10 others who have gone through the same thing as I find myself considering? For me that's priceless.)