In November 2013, kiwanja.net self-published its first social innovation book, expanding on the work of an earlier WIRED magazine article which examined the concept of accidental, reluctant innovation. Following the success of that book a publishing deal was signed in early 2015 with Kogan Page, one of the leading publishers in Europe. That second book, “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation: International Case Studies and Practice”, was released in March 2016.
Musings of a Mobile Anthropologist
Available (April 2018)
“Musings of a Mobile Anthropologist: Tales of technology, anthropology, conservation and development” is the definitive collection of writing and blog posts from kiwanja.net spanning over a decade.
Previously, some of our most popular articles were shared annually in a collection of favourite posts, and these turned out to be popular among students and academics who found them useful conversation starters and discussion themes. To build on this, we decided to publish over seventy of the most thought-provoking posts from the past twelve years in one place.
“Musings of a Mobile Anthropologist” is free to download and share on the kiwanja website – in PDF format – via the link on the Writing page. The eBook is also available for a small fee in the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk Kindle stores, and as a paperback in all Amazon stores (regular book prices apply).
Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation: International Case Studies and Practice
Published by Kogan Page
Available (March 2016)
Social innovation and social entrepreneurship look for creative and affordable solutions to specific societal problems. 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. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation presents the journeys of pioneering – and often accidental – social innovators who, faced with a problem, used their courage, tenacity and creative thinking to find a solution.
Using their own words to reflect open their experiences, these cases do not gloss over the setbacks and the dead ends social entrepreneurs can face. Instead, readers will gain a realistic insight into the challenges and an engaging look at the problem-solving mindset needed to overcome them. From a life-saving project to bring solar-powered lighting to midwives in Nigeria, to a news dissemination service that’s grown from small beginnings to have a global impact, each case study draws out the lessons learnt by the innovators, providing guidance and advice for those looking to follow in their footsteps. With forewords by musician and humanitarian Peter Gabriel, and Ashoka founder and CEO Bill Drayton, “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation” is an invaluable resource for social entrepreneurs and innovators looking for new ideas and insight into what really works – and what doesn’t. This book is an inspiring read for anyone with a social conscience and a desire to change their world for the better.
The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator
Published by London Publishing Partnership
Available (November 2013)
Classes in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and design thinking have become increasingly popular in recent years. On the one hand, this might be seen as a good thing. After all, the world needs as many smart, engaged citizens as it can get, particularly when you consider the multitude of challenges we face as a planet. But does a career in social change really begin in the classroom, or out in the real world? How much social change is planned, and how much accidental? And which approach tends to lead to the most meaningful, lasting or impactful solutions?
With a foreword from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator” provides a welcome challenge to conventional wisdom in social entrepreneurship. It highlights the personal stories of ten social innovators from around the world. Ten social innovators – ordinary people – who randomly stumbled across problems, injustices and wrongs and, armed with little more than determination and belief, decided not to turn their backs but to dedicate their lives to solving them.
What people are saying about “THE RISE”
‘A book of hope, inspiration, and a beacon of what’s possible’
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
‘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, Former Curator at PopTech