Agents of Change
Associate Professor of Business & Social Entrepreneurship Tonia Warnecke ’99 discusses the five books every changemaker should read.
Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know
David Bornstein and Susan Davis
Using an easy-to-follow Q&A format, Bornstein and Davis address many common questions about social entrepreneurship—what it is; how it differs from government, activism, and traditional entrepreneurship; how social enterprises are financed; how social impact can be measured; and how individuals can create social change by transforming schools, governments, businesses, philanthropy, and even journalism. The answers are concise, packed with real-world examples and insights, and altogether make a great primer on the topic.
Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World
Winner of both the 2013 Nautilus and 2013 Axiom Book Awards, this book was the first to focus exclusively on Ashoka and its Fellows. The largest global network of social entrepreneurs, Ashoka boasts nearly 3,000 Fellows in 70 countries who are implementing their ideas for social and environmental change. Rippling highlights the amazing work of 18 of these Ashoka Fellows, who are working in both developed and developing countries, from the U.S., Germany, and France to Nigeria, Palestine, and India. Yet Schwartz goes much farther than this. She introduces a changemaking model based on five principles, detailing how Ashoka Fellows approach each one: Restructure industry norms, change market dynamics, use market forces to create social value, advance full citizenship, and cultivate empathy. The result is diverse pathways for making social impact.
Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty
Microfinance is one of the most popular examples of social enterprise around the world today. Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, shares how an economics professor—feeling that his lectures on the elegant theories of economics were not well grounded in developing world realities—stepped outside the classroom, revolutionized the banking industry, and developed a way for people with no collateral to obtain credit and start small businesses. Written in a personal, nontechnical style, Banker to the Poor follows the development, challenges, and successes of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and it discusses the applicability of small-scale lending to both undeveloped and developed countries. Yunus also illustrates why small loans can be a powerful tool for women’s empowerment.
However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph
Can an international exchange program change your life? Yes, and in Molly Melching’s case, it can change millions of other people’s lives as well. However Long the Night relays the amazing story of an American graduate student whose study-abroad experience in Senegal inspired her to create a social enterprise (Tostan) and devote four decades of her life to supporting women’s and girls’ rights in Africa. Emphasizing community empowerment, Tostan provides a three-year informal education program with sessions ranging from human rights, health, and finance to literacy, the environment, and technology. The award-winning social enterprise is most well known for its work empowering thousands of communities in eight African countries to renounce the practice of female genital mutilation. Molly’s work—beautifully depicted in the book—highlights the importance of empathy, listening, and respectful collaboration between social entrepreneurs and the communities they are trying to serve.
Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits (Revised/updated version, 2012)
Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant
Social enterprises can be for-profit or nonprofit, and each path brings unique challenges and opportunities. What enables some nonprofit organizations to have such high levels of social impact? Having surveyed thousands of nonprofit CEOs and conducted more than 60 interviews, Crutchfield and McLeod Grant analyzed 12 nonprofits to find out. The authors move past typical surface-level answers such as program replication, organizational capacity, and better management, and target six practices: Advocate and serve, make markets work, inspire evangelists, nurture nonprofit networks, master the art of adaptation, and share leadership. These practices enable these organizations to develop an outward orientation and mobilize other change agents, including government, businesses, other nonprofits, and citizens. In addition to providing numerous examples of each practice (and a diagnostic tool), Forces for Good shows how the six practices reinforce one another, and how small or local nonprofits might apply them.