Driving Social Change: How to Solve the World's Toughest Problems
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More About This Title Driving Social Change: How to Solve the World's Toughest Problems


Strategies for long-term social impact

This important new book illustrates how to create the social breakthroughs needed to solve urgent global threats such as poverty, disease, and hunger. It then turns to three alternative, but complementary, paths to social breakthrough: social protecting, social exploring, and social advocacy, providing a detailed map of the journey from initial commitment to a world of justice and opportunity

  • Examines the current condition of the social impact infrastructure
  • Offers strategies for how to remedy the steady weakening of our social-impact infrastructure
  • Provides tactics to build strong social organizations and networks
  • Illustrates dynamic methods to respond to constant economic and social change

Author Paul Light believes we should be less concerned about the tools of agitation (social entrepreneurship, social protecting, social exploring, and social advocacy) and more concerned about the disruption and replacement of the status quo. Timely in its urgency, this book describes the revolutionary social impact cycle, which provides a new approach for framing the debate about urgent threats.


PAUL C. LIGHT (New York NY)?is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and co-founder (along with Paul Volcker) NYU/Abu Dhabi Center on Global Public Service and Social Impact.?Before joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota's Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Light has written?23 books, including the award-winning Thickening Government and The Tides of Reform. He is also a co-author of a best-selling American government textbook, Government by the People, now in it's 23rd edition.


Foreword, Catherine B. Reynolds ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Still Searching for Social Entrepreneurship 19

Chapter 2: Agitating the Prevailing Wisdom 61

Chapter 3: The Breakthrough Cycle 99

Chapter 4: Prepare to Expect Wonders 149

Bibliography 183

Index 193


"Driving Social Change is the latest contribution to a rick ongoing dialogue about how to usher in social breakthroughs. Driving Social Change will appeal to many who are pioneering new ways to solve old problems, whether through young or established organizations, advocacy efforts, or research." (Standford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2012)