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Ash Center for Democratic
Governance and Innovation

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

  • If there ever was a book whose philosophy and principles could push Memphis forward, it would be Stephen Goldsmith's The Power of Social Innovation
    - Andre Fowlkes, The Commercial Appeal, April 24, 2011
  • This book is a sort of bible of social innovation... It sets out both the potential of the partnership approach and the huge difficulties it will have to overcome.
    - The Economist, August 12, 2010
  • Stephen Goldsmith is the right man to write this book.
    - Perla Ni, Philanthropy, July 1, 2010
  • When it comes to doing good, Stephen Goldsmith is as disruptive an innovator as we've seen.
    - Clayton M. Christensen, professor, Harvard Business School and author, Disrupting Class
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About the Book

The Power of Social Innovation is a must read for social innovators who want to make a powerful impact.” —Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

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 lies 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 experienceextensive 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 conditionsThe 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 schoolsUnited 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.

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