The Fall Season’s Reading List For Social Entrepreneurs
In an effort to celebrate that knowledge is power and to support our readership, we have curated a Fall season reading list to identify the ideas and practices referring to organizational growth, developing sustainable impact, creating societal change, and understanding social enterprise concerns.
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children
By John Wood
John Wood discovered his passion, his greatest success, and his life’s work not at business school or helping lead Microsoft’s charge into Asia in the 1990s but on a soul-searching trip to the Himalayas. He made the difficult decision to walk away from his lucrative career to create Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that promotes education across the developing world. By the end of 2007, the organization will have established over 5,000 libraries and 400 schools, and awarded long-term scholarships to more than 3,000 girls, giving more than one million children the lifelong gift of education.
If you have ever pondered abandoning your desk job for an adventure and an opportunity to give back, Wood’s story will inspire you. He offers a vivid, emotional, and absorbing tale of how to take the lessons learned at a hard-charging company like Microsoft and apply them to the world’s most pressing social problems.
Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread-The Lessons from a New Science
By Alex Pentland
Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow.
Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.
Two Keys to Sustainable Social Enterprise
Sally R. Osberg and Roger Martin
(Harvard Business Review May 2015 Issue)
Social entrepreneurship has emerged over the past several decades as a way to identify and bring about potentially transformative societal change. A hybrid of government intervention and pure business entrepreneurship, social ventures can address problems that are too narrow in scope to spark legislative activism or to attract private capital.
The Myth Of The Ethical Shopper
By Michael Hobbes
We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015.
Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact
by Ready to “make a dent in the universe”? As a creative, you no longer have to take a backseat. In fact, stepping up and embracing entrepreneurship is the fastest route to impact. But where do you start? And what sets the businesses that succeed apart?
To find out, author Jocelyn K. Glei asked the bright minds behind companies like Google X, Warby Parker, Facebook, O’Reilly Media, and more to share their startup wisdom. Featuring hard-won wisdom from twenty leading entrepreneurs and designers, 99U’s Make Your Mark will arm you with practical insights for launching a purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team—and ultimately—making something that matters.