A powerful model of how social entrepreneurs spread innovation throughout the world

ID-10049886I was browsing the CausePlanet book summary library recently and came across a title that really caught my eye: Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World by author Beverly Schwartz.  As I read the introduction, I was inspired by a quote from the Page to Practice™ summary:

Though your tax status may read ‘not-for-profit,’ you’re running a business where the community must profit in social ways. The product you’re selling is change. Our rapidly changing world has experienced progress economically, politically and socially. Our planet requires more sophisticated solutions that are produced by effective organizations in the social sector; your business models must be relevant and every program clearly connected to outcomes that matter. Whether you are part of a large nonprofit or small one-person agency, you have the power to be a changemaker.

I read on to discover that in by examining the world’s leading changemakers worldwide, Beverly Schwartz presents a model for change based on the following five principles from the book:

  1. Restructuring institutional norms. The changemaker evaluates how old social patterns interact, interrelate and evolve into new standards of socially beneficial practice. these changemakers asks big, audacious questions. and channel their indignation, sadness, disappointment or anger into a response that satisfies their sense of equality and fairness.
  2. Changing market dynamics. The social entrepreneur explores the synergistic opportunities created when business success and social values creatively combine. The social entrepreneurs look beyond existing market structure by including the stakeholders and changemakers in the redesign. They create solutions that are scalable and not idiosyncratic.
  3.  Using market forces to create social value. The changemaker uses marketing forces to develop partnerships and create a hybrid adaptation that establishes a profitable business for the sole purpose of supporting, fueling growth, and sustaining a social purpose.
  4. Advancing full citizenship. The entrepreneur reviews the large-scale changes that arise as a result of expanding choices, options and empowerment for people don’t have their full share due to class, ethnicity, gender, religion, poverty, or physical and mental disabilities.
  5. Cultivating empathy. The changemaker exposes youth to encounters with individuals unlike themselves and helps them replace anger and aggression with more balanced emotions. . These encounters greatly diminish and even reverse their tendency to judge people as “others.”


Unlike other books that focus on social entrepreneurship, I found that each chapter of Ripping read like a compelling story while simultaneously arming me with a roadmap for creating my own path to systemic change.  CausePlanet’s summary also claims “If your nonprofit business model is unsustainable, outdated or simply not making the difference you projected, gather inspiration and ideas from this author’s numerous examples gleaned from around the world. Few books motivate you to step back and rethink your business model like this one. Schwartz’s changemakers embody a new call to action: think differently and act accordingly.”


CausePlanet’s goals are to satisfy professional curiosity in community leaders, inform better book choices and promote best practices. They serve these goals through Page to Practice™ book summaries, live author interviews, relevant content by peer contributors, and community partnerships. CausePlanet is the only resource of its kind dedicated to comparing the views of published thought leaders for the nonprofit sector. They partner with groups, associations and nonprofits of all sizes to provide technical assistance, training, and content for affiliates, members and staff. For more information, visit www.causeplanet.org


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