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How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas Hardcover – Jan 6 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (Jan. 6 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195138058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195138054
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 2.7 x 16 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #628,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.

Review

"This book is a unique treatment of an important subject, and therefore valuable. . .getAbstract.com highly recommends this very significant book to anyone who wants to make a difference."

"Wonderfully hopeful and enlightening.... The stories of these social entreprenuers will inspire and encourage many people who seek to build a better world."--Nelson Mandela

"The book is must reading for anyone who cares about building a more equitable, and therefore more stable, world."--William J. Holstein, New York Times

"A fascinating book.... Well-documented cases of grassroots entrepreneurial activities to tackle such diverse social problems as child abuse, disability, illiteracy, and environmental degradation give life to it."--Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Business Week

"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."--Publishers Weekly

"Human progress has always been led by visionary individuals who seek a better future and dedicate their lives to realizing that promise. These social entrepreneurs tackle some of the world's toughest challenges with grit and determination. Bornstein has given us that rarest of gifts: a book about hope, about courage, and about the power of those extraordinary man and women who change the world."--Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman, Skoll Foundation, and first president of eBay

"The social entrepreneurs chronicled in this book are part of the vital generation of independent, creative leaders who are sparking social changes in the United States and in parts of world where people are most in need. We will be hearing much more from them in the years to come." --Bill Bradley

"David Bornstein's book will touch the hearts and minds of many. I hope it will get the wide readership it deserves. Without the effort and energy of civil society the odds are against the fulfillment of all the development needs of today's world, especially the developing world. Pick up a copy and spread the word!" --Arminio Fraga, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil

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This is a book about people who solve social problems on a large scale. Read the first page
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By A Customer on March 22 2004
Format: Hardcover
My takeaway from this highly inspirational book is: Dare to care. In a self-obsessed world, where the "I" reigns supreme, along comes a book that has the potential to change that for ever. I would be surprised if this book did not serve as a catalyst for all those people who are aching to leave their mark on the earth's future by altering the world for the better.

In How to Change the World, author David Bornstein presents short biographies of ordinary citizens who have cared enough to actually go out and change what is wrong in society. The nine stories of social entrepreneurs or innovators, dubbed 'transformative forces' by the author, have the power to inspire readers to want to do something. The fine examples of social entrepreneurship within the pages of this book make one realize that there is hope for the planet after all.
To quote Bornstein, "Across the world, social entrepreneurs are demonstrating new approaches to many social ills and new models to create social wealth, promote social well-being, and restore the environment." What is tremendously energizing is that so many of these change agents already exist and are moving mountains for you and me, and for our children.

The major contribution of the book is that it underlines that one doesn't have to be rich or powerful to alter the current reality. What is required is to feel empathy and concern in high doses, and to recognize and understand a problem. The stories trace how, if one is sufficiently charged, creative ideas for 'getting around' problem areas -- be it public apathy or bureaucratic indifference -- flow naturally. The hallmark of a true social entrepreneur really shines through at the next stage, when these ideas are converted into reality.
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Format: Hardcover
David Bornstein's book How to Change the World is worth reading if you
a) prefer action instead of stagnancy
b) prefer good solutions instead of persisting problems
c) prefer justice and opportunity instead of poverty and neglect, or,
d) prefer good writing, period.
Bornstein accurately writes, "Anyone who has ever dreamt of solving a problem or making a positive change in his or her environment will find encouraging and instructive stories here." He takes us around the world to visit social entrepreneurs and find out what makes these people tireless fighters for their causes.
Each profile is like an episode of VH1's Driven - we see what inspires these people, how they overcome obstacles, and why they succeed - but instead of following a pop star to a record deal and a fleet of Escalades, we watch social entrepreneurs achieve rights for people with disabilities, compassionate home care for HIV / AIDS patients, and electricity for the rural poor. Unlike celebrities or CEOs, these folks have no interest in fame and fortune. We are lucky indeed that Bornstein has taken it upon himself to describe their efforts; they are far too busy pursuing their dreams of a better world to stop and promote themselves. Many advocate endlessly for their causes, but as Bornstein points out, they have in common a willingness to work quietly, to share credit, and to plow through their own savings and time to make progress. Social entrepreneurs have a greater attachment to finding solutions than to being right, rich, or recognized.
These and other common traits are highlighted throughout the book. We see that social entrepreneurs don't start with the perfect plan, they just have a complete commitment to solving a problem.
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By A Customer on Jan. 21 2004
Format: Hardcover
David Bornstein's new book How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas offers a superb introduction to the burgeoning field of social entrepreneurship, which has gained prominence in the past two decades but is still awkwardly explained. Rather than group radically different projects under the umbrella term "social entrepreneurship," Bornstein goes to the root and describes what makes a social entrepreneur. While well-known figures such as Florence Nightingale and Unicef head James P. Grant are described, most of the individuals profiled in the book are active, independent entrepreneurs found through the network resources of Bill Drayton's organization Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Ashoka has broke new ground as a venture capital firm for social betterment, investing in carefully selected individuals and projects that promise long-term, sustainable returns - that is, positive social change - and more than any other organization promoting the ideas of social entrepreneurship around the globe.
It is telling that, on the surface, the entrepreneurs described have little in common. Vera Cordeiro, for example, grew up comfortably in the pampered upper strata of Brazilian society, while AIDS worker Veronica Khosa was orphaned at an early age in an impoverished village in South Africa. Fábio Rosa is a born tinkerer and engineer who built dams and irrigation systems in his backyard as a child, while Erzébet Szekeres was a mid-level tradesswoman who never considered the changing Hungary's treatment of the disabled until the birth of her disabled son.
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