It all started as a casual conversation about a new book idea over coffee last March. Despite being self-published with no marketing budget, my first book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator“, had gone down particularly well and I had been encouraged by how well it had been received, particularly in academia. It turns out there aren’t many books like it – ones that give the true, authentic voice of the social innovator and their life, work, achievements and struggles in their own words. I was happy with the book, but the feedback – great as it was – told me I could do better.
The end result, exactly one year later, is “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation: International Case Studies and Practice‘. It’s been a long, challenging (and rewarding) exercise, and more work than I ever imagined, but the end result is everything I wanted it to be. And this time I have one of the largest publishers of academic books in the world behind it to make sure it goes as far and wide as possible, which is good. These stories need to be heard.
The book kicks off with my introduction, which touches on the concept of social entrepreneurship, the value of empathy, my own story and work with kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS, the reason I decided we needed this kind of book, and some advice and tips for people wanting to help make the world a better place. Thirteen case studies follow, covering a wide diversity of people and projects from around the world, written by the innovators themselves.
‘Wonders of the Solar System: Reducing Maternal Mortality in Developing Regions’
Laura Stachel of We Care Solar
‘Closing Latin America’s Digital Divide’
Rodrigo Baggio of Centre for Digital Inclusion (CDI)
‘Patent Wars: Fighting Big Pharma to Enable Access to Drugs for All’
Priti Radhakrishnan of I-MAK
‘Data Science, Technology and Design for Social Justice’
Jessica Anderson and Joumana al Jabri of Visualizing Impact
‘Bringing the Silicon Valley Revolution in Technology and Business to Global Health’
Joel Selanikio of Magpi
‘Food Waste Meets Food Poverty: Closing the Loop’
Kelvin Cheung and Michael Norton of Foodcycle
‘Innovation in Africa’s Silicon Savannah’
Erik Hersman of Ushahidi
‘Touch-Based Treatment for Autism’
Louisa Silva of Qigong Sensory Training Institute (QSTI)
‘Reconnecting the Disconnected: A Story of Technology, Refugees and Finding Lost Family’
David and Christopher Mikkelsen of Refugees United
‘Let a Billion Readers Bloom’
Brij Kothari of Planet Read
‘Keep Calm and Dream in Tunisia: Supporting Sustainable Development in Tunisia and North Africa Through Empowering Youth, Women and Farmers’
Sarah Toumi of Dream in Tunisia
‘The Reluctant Geneticist’
Sharon Terry of Genetic Alliance
‘Power to the People: Re-engineering Democracy’
Tarik Nesh Nash of GovRight
Continuing the theme of story telling, I’m also excited to announce that we have two Forewords in the book – one from musician and humanitarian, Peter Gabriel, and the other from Bill Drayton (CEO and Founder of Ashoka).
These complimentary Forewords come from two people who have made significant but different contributions to the field of social innovation. Peter Gabriel gives the ‘outsider’ humanitarian perspective, while Bill Drayton – often cited as the ‘Grandfather of social entrepreneurship’ – gives the ‘insider’ line. I am hugely grateful to them both for their support, time, friendship and encouragement.
Publication is set for early March 2016. You can read more, and place orders on the publishers website or on Amazon, or drop me a line in the comments below, or email me. If you’d like to reach out to any of the chapter authors I’d also be happy to make introductions.