FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Learn How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World
Arlington, VA, August 21, 2012 — “Currently, social entrepreneurship is as much a field as it is a movement,” explains Beverly Schwartz in the introduction to her new book, Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World, which is the featured Book of the Month in the August issue of Be Inkandescent magazine.
“A whole new generation of ethical change agents—whether in business or academia or the media—is building a new sensibility about the way we live and interact,” Schwartz says, noting that these social entrepreneurs “begin by having a clear picture of the end in mind—the end being the creation of an emerging social phenomenon that cannot be reversed. They do what I always hoped I could do—confront difficult issues and actively pursue a more just, secure, and sustainable world.”
The movement, and Schwartz’s book, are garnering plenty of praise.
“With Rippling, Beverly Schwartz has advanced thinking and practice about entrepreneurial endeavors that strive to transform systems,” says Pamela Hartigan, Be Inkandescent’s August 2012 Entrepreneur of the Month, who is the director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. “Her key contribution lies in the practical aspects of becoming a changemaker, whether or not one sets out to start one’s own venture, or join the growing ecosystem of organizations springing up around the world to support these pragmatic visionaries and their teams.”
Financial Times contributor Sarah Murray agrees. “From toilets for slums to technology linking small-scale farmers with international markets, Rippling takes readers on an inspiring journey to places where smart ideas and innovative business models are tackling big global problems. This is an important and timely book for anyone interested in new solutions for our complex and fast-changing world.”
Who are these changemakers?
For Schwartz, it’s more than the entrepreneurs and their organizations around the world that have won grants from Ashoka, an international organization that she has worked with for years as its senior marketing counsel, and now as its VP of global marketing. It’s also the people who join the entrepreneurs in their programs, become engaged in their mission and vision and help make social change sustainable.
“These Changemakers are needed at every level to create movements large enough to influence large scale change,” she insists.
“All of Ashoka’s Fellows (the people Ashoka deems to be leading social entrepreneurs and elect into a lifelong Fellowship of like-minded people) ripple their innovations through society by influencing other social entrepreneurs, people of all types, colors, ethnicities and socio-economic levels, the policy development process, and the actions of the private sector,” she shares.
The four inherent qualities:
Having worked with hundreds of these groups, Schwartz says the Fellows all possess certain characteristics, including:
- Purpose: They put society above personal interests, and are firmly focused on fulfilling their chosen role.
- Passion: This connects to spirit, and relates to strength of character, determination, and connection to others.
- Pattern: They cultivate new ground, and put together a new combination of solutions—or come up with one that no one has ever configured in such a way.
- Participation: They are unanticipated leaders, people who have the remarkable ability to influence people and have them believe, follow, and encourage them to join in.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
That quote, by community leader and entrepreneur Divine Bradley, is fleshed out in living detail for the remainder of the book, which highlights 18 social entrepreneurs and their organizations.
Each of the five sections is organized by the principles that drive long-lasting, systematic change: restructuring industry norms, changing market dynamics, using market forces to create social value, advancing citizenship, and cultivating empathy.
Not only are these profiles illuminating and inspiring—they are educational tutorials that show us how social entrepreneurs are changing how business is done throughout the world.
Below are three of the 18 social entrepreneurial companies that Schwartz explains are restructuring institutional norms around the world.
- Power to the People: Elektrizitatswerke Schonau, Germany
Ursula Sladek is the founder of one of the largest eco-electricity providers in Europe, and the largest that is run by citizens. Its aim is to decentralize and democratize the energy supply, putting it at the nucleus of a continuously expanding national network of independent power generators utilizing a range of technologies. Learn more here: www.ews-schoenau.de
- The Teaching of Teaching: Center for Inspired Teaching, Washington, DC
Aleta Margolis is the executive director of this organization that the third-generation Washingtonian founded to aid the struggling public school system. Learn more here: www.inspiredteaching.org
- From Servitude to Solution: The Centre for Rural Development, India
Dr. Pradip Kumar Sarmath is the executive director of the Centre for Rural Development, headquartered in Guwahati, India. A former veterinary surgeon, he is helping to elevate the status of thousands of rickshaw pullers by helping them achieve ownership of the rickshaws, and gain access to bank loans and insurance guarantees to raise themselves and their families out of the cycle of generational poverty. Learn more here: centertech.com.
Stay tuned for more: Starting with the September issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, Schwartz will be writing our new Social Entrepreneur column. We invite you to check back regularly for her insights into how you can find purpose, passion, and pattern—and participate—in this new movement, www.BeInkandescent.com.
About Beverly Schwartz
Schwartz joined Ashoka as senior marketing counsel from Fleishman Hillard, an international communications agency. At Fleishman, she built and helped manage its social issues portfolio, using her expertise in social marketing as the foundation for the portfolio. She also developed and directed Fleishman’s domestic and international social impact portfolio and was project director of the non-advertising portion of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s “Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.”
Schwartz is dedicated to promoting the field of social marketing. An associate editor of the Social Marketing Quarterly, she is also a Steering Committee member of the annual “Innovations in Social Marketing Conference.” The focus of her Master of Science degree while at the University of Minnesota and the City University of New York was behavioral science. Learn more here: www.ashoka.org.
About Be Inkandescent Magazine
Be Inkandescent magazine is a monthly, online business publication for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, published by Inkandescent Public Relations, an Inkandescent Group Company. Founded in January 2010 by journalist and entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs, the magazine has 30,000 subscribers and gets more than 400,000 visits/month. For more information, contact Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org For a free subscription, log on to www.beinkandescent.com/subscribe.