The Power of Social Innovation

The Power of Social Innovation : How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good

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This seminal book provides tools for civic entrepreneurs to create healthier communities and promote innovative solutions to public and social problems. It shows how to effectively tackle the intractable issues facing our country and world by exploring new ways to collaborate across sectors and leveraging strengths for the greater good. Based on the author's experience, his extensive ongoing research, and interviews with 100+ top leaders from across sectors, this book is structured around the six levers and guiding principles employed in the most effective entrepreneurial interventions.

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  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 453.59g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Jossey Bass Wiley
  • ChichesterUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 0470576847
  • 9780470576847
  • 292,941

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This book is a sort of bible of social innovation, full of examples of social entrepreneurs successes (The Economist, 12th August 2010).

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Civic leaders across the U.S. and throughout the world are discovering creative ways to overcome the obstacles that seal the doors of opportunity for too many. These inspiring individuals believe that within our communities lie the entrepreneurial spirit, compassion, and resources to make progress in such critical areas as education, housing, and economic self-reliance. Real progress requires that we take bold action and leverage our strengths for the greater good. The Power of Social Innovation offers public officials, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and individual citizens the insights and skills to create healthier communities and promote innovative solutions to public and social problems. This seminal work is based on Stephen Goldsmith's decades of experience, extensive ongoing research, and interviews with 100+ top leaders from a wide variety of sectors. Goldsmith shows that everyday citizens can themselves produce extraordinary social change. The book explores the levers and guiding principles used by champions of civic progress who drive new organizations, new interventions, or new policies to enhance social conditions. The Power of Social Innovation features illustrative case studies of change-oriented philanthropists, public officials, and civic leaders. While all collaborate across sectors, they run both start-ups and established organizations such as the New York City public schools, United Way of America, the United Negro College Fund, and Teach For America. The book shows the catalyzing role each plays in transforming a community's social service delivery systems. To complement the book's myriad tools and case studies, The Power of Social Innovation web site ( provides links to relevant Harvard research as well as additional helpful resources.

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About Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School. Goldsmith, himself an entrepreneur, occupies the unique position of having approached these issues as a national leader across sectors. He served two terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, where his transformative efforts to revitalize urban neighborhoods and to transfer real authority to community groups received national acclaim. Goldsmith then led reform as special advisor to President Bush on faith-based and nonprofit initiatives, and has served under both Presidents Bush and Obama as chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Goldsmith has written many articles and several books, including Governing by Network, winner of the National Academy of Public Administration's Louis Brownlow Book Award.

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