Search Results: "Social Venture Networks" Results 7-12 of 460

    The essays in this volume draw on that new store of progressive capital to sketch the outlines of a new agenda for 21st-century America. To navigate these troubled times, we need a rare combination of ideas, action, resolve, and leadership to meet the challenges that lie before us.

    Features contributions from such leading organizations as Green for All, the Opportunity Agenda, the Commonweal Institute, Campaign for America’s Future, the Economic Policy Institute, Demos, and the Drum Major Institute

    Offers innovative solutions to critical challenges such as implementing health-care reform, greening the economy, expanding the middle class, extending educational opportunities, and more

    Concise, visionary, and pragmatic—a true blueprint for change

    Times are changing. Instead of obsessing about what they’re against, progressives have begun to think about what they’re for—to prepare once again to play their role as agents of bold ideas and political and social transformation. Finding new confidence and imagination, they have begun to renew their political capital. The essays in this volume draw on that new store of capital to sketch the outlines of a progressive agenda for 21st-century America.

    Authors such as Van Jones, Dean Baker, Andrea Batista Schlesinger and Miles Rapoport cover a wide array of topics and, in their policy recommendations, present a few contrasting ideas. But all these essays reflect a belief in the need for fundamental change. The problems discussed here cannot be solved, the authors agree, through charity, through volunteerism, or even by well-meaning local and state governments, though surely all have a role. The contributors make the case for the kind of concerted action that can only come through the agency of our national government. They argue that we need programs that serve our national and international needs and encourage faith in our public institutions, creating a positive cycle of political change and space for further reform.

    There are many good reasons to be worried at this critical moment in history. To navigate these troubled times, we need a rare combination of ideas, action, resolve, and leadership to meet the challenges that lie before us. Thinking Big is an indispensable piece of that puzzle, arriving just when it’s most needed.

    With a foreword by Robert Kuttner, author of Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency.

    The Progressive Ideas Network is an alliance of multi-issue think tanks and activist organizations working together to amplify the power of ideas in advancing today’s progressive movement.



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    People often ask, "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we solve global hunger?"

    • Offers a more dynamic, powerful, and practical way to address difficult social problems than the dominant planning approach
    • Features inspiring examples of the results social labs around the world have achieved
    • Provides detailed guidance on how to start a social lab in any setting and on any level

    People often ask, "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we solve global hunger?" That very question demonstrates the fatal flaw in the dominant way of dealing with difficult social challenges: they're treated like straightforward technical problems. Organizations do a few studies, establish some goals, devise a plan, and attempt implementation. As a look around the world sadly shows, this hasn't worked.

    Issues like poverty, ethnic conflict, and climate change are incredibly dynamic and complex, involving an ever-shifting array of factors, actors, and circumstances. They demand a more fluid and adaptive approach. The answer, says Zaid Hassan, is social labs.

    Social labs bring together a diverse a group of stakeholders not to create yet more five-year plans but to develop a portfolio of prototype solutions, test those solutions in the real world, use the data to further refine them, and test them again. Their orientation is systemic-they are designed to go beyond dealing with symptoms and parts to get at the root cause of why things are not working.

    Hassan builds on a decade of experience-as well as drawing from cutting-edge research in complexity science, networking theory, and sociology-to explain the core principles and daily functioning of social labs, using examples of pioneering labs from around the world. He describes a fast-growing global movement around a new generation of ambitious social labs that are tackling big challenges such as dramatically reducing global emissions, preventing the collapse of fragile states, and improving community resilience. The Social Labs Revolution offers a new generation of problem solvers an effective, practical, and exciting new vision and guide.

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    “There’s a new way to change the world,” writes social entrepreneur Michel Gelobter. It's called the lean startup—but it’s not just for new ventures. It’s been revolutionizing businesses of all ages for years, and Gelobter shows it can have the same transformative impact on the social sector.

    Traditionally, entrepreneurs develop a detailed plan, find money to fund it, and then pursue it to its conclusion. But conditions can change drastically at any point—you can end up locked into a process based on now-obsolete assumptions. The lean startup is all about agility and flexibility. Its mantra is “build, measure, learn”: create small experimental initiatives, get real-world feedback on them quickly, and use that data to identify what works and discard what doesn’t. And then test some more.

    Gelobter explains exactly how nonprofits and advocacy organizations can adapt lean startup concepts to their unique circumstances. He offers dozens of real-world examples: an established homelessness group whose data analysis showed that reducing a single overlooked metric could get many more people off the street; a technology-based literacy startup that used lean techniques to reach 2 million children in two years, when a more traditional program took fifteen; and many others. The standard approach wastes time and money—the lean startup promises to help social sector organizations vastly increase the good they do.

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    Discover the Purpose Advantage!

    Customers, employees, and investors are no longer satisfied with companies providing good products, good prospects, and good profits—they want them to do some social good, too. These “purpose-driven” companies do better on nearly every traditional metric: greater customer loyalty, higher retention, more innovation, and a healthier bottom line. But a nice mission statement and donations to charity won't make your company stand out. Using scores of real-world examples and practical exercises, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen help leaders find a truly authentic purpose, one that is a natural fit for them and their organization. They describe concrete actions leaders can take to ensure that employees own it, customers and recruits connect with it, and every corporate action and activity reflects it.

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    The idea of hierarchy is breaking down everywhere, from politics to religion to social relationships-why should leadership be any different?

    • Shows that a radically decentralized approach can revolutionize leadership just as it has revolutionized computer networking
    • Turns leadership on its head-the job of the leader is not to tell followers what to do but to create, enable, and facilitate a network of peer leaders
    • Features examples of what some organizations are doing and what all organizations can do to implement and benefit from this new approach

    Our leadership models are still stuck in a top-down, command-and-control, Industrial Age mentality. But our globalized, data-drenched, 24/7 world is just too complex, with too much information coming from too many different directions, for any single person or group of people to stay on top of it. The idea of hierarchy is breaking down everywhere, from politics to religion to social relationships-why should leadership be any different?

    Mila Baker's inspiration for a new way to lead is the peer-to-peer model of computing, which is also mirrored in social networking and crowdsource technologies. She shows that a network with "equipotent" nodes of power-think peer leaders-is infinitely more powerful than a "client-server" (leader-follower) network.

    In organizations of equipotent nodes, leadership isn't fixed or siloed-it shifts based on the particular strengths of individuals and the particular needs of a situation. Rather than being guided into narrow predetermined channels, information flows freely so those who need it can find it easily and are empowered to act on it immediately. Constant change is built into the very structure of these organizations, and giving feedback is no longer a separate (and often dreaded and ineffective) process but becomes an organic part of the workflow, enabling rapid course corrections.

    Baker still advocates the need for top-level executives and senior leaders, but their job is to optimize the health of the network rather than issue commands. Companies such as Gore and Herman Miller practice these principles and have achieved long-term success-Baker provides a structure for this approach that any organization can adapt to build flexibility, resiliency, and accountability.

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    Entrepreneurs are hungry. But it's not just because they're living on ramen and adrenaline while they pour their all into their business. Peter Cohan has found it's something deeper: a hunger to create the kind of world they want to work in.

    • The first research-based book on business strategy for start-ups
    • Based on Cohan's venture investment experience and on his interviews with over 150 start-up CEOs
    • Offers specific approaches for six critical start-up decisions

    Entrepreneurs are hungry. But it's not just because they're living on ramen and adrenaline while they pour their all into their business. Peter Cohan has found it's something deeper: a hunger to create the kind of world they want to work in. To leave a legacy, they build carefully with limited resources and maintain control of the venture's direction.

    For years, students have told Cohan that the seminal business strategy guide, Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy, was too big-company focused. So Cohan -- who once worked with Porter-has written the first business strategy book to address start-ups' very different challenges.

    Cohan focuses on six key start-up choices-setting goals, picking markets, raising capital, building teams, gaining market share, and adapting to change-explaining the unique rules start-ups must follow. For example, when setting goals, large corporations try to maximize their long-term return on equity, but resource-poor start-ups have to plan by setting a series of short-term goals-and how they do this will mean the difference between blazing a trail or flaming out. When entering a new market, well-fed companies can invest substantial time and capital before ever launching a product, but hungry start-ups must get an adequate prototype in front of customers fast, get feedback, and quickly develop a viable business model or they'll starve to death.

    For each of these six areas, Cohan provides a decision-making approach and lively case studies of what actual entrepreneurs have done. He extracts hard-hitting lessons not only for start-ups but also for investors and even established companies. Hungry Start-up Strategy offers a full menu of vital information for anyone seeking to cook up a thriving business from scratch.

    • The first research-based book on business strategy for start-ups
    • Based on Cohan's venture investment experience and on his interviews with over 150 start-up CEOs
    • Offers specific approaches for six critical start-up decisions
    • Click here for the press release

     

    Entrepreneurs are hungry. But it's not just because they're living on ramen and adrenaline while they pour their all into their business. Peter Cohan has found it's something deeper: a hunger to create the kind of world they want to work in. To leave a legacy, they build carefully with limited resources and maintain control of the venture's direction.

    For years, students have told Cohan that the seminal business strategy guide, Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy, was too big-company focused. So Cohan -- who once worked with Porterhas written the first business strategy book to address start-ups' very different challenges.

    Cohan focuses on six key start-up choicessetting goals, picking markets, raising capital, building teams, gaining market share, and adapting to changeexplaining the unique rules start-ups must follow. For example, when setting goals, large corporations try to maximize their long-term return on equity, but resource-poor start-ups have to plan by setting a series of short-term goalsand how they do this will mean the difference between blazing a trail or flaming out. When entering a new market, well-fed companies can invest substantial time and capital before ever launching a product, but hungry start-ups must get an adequate prototype in front of customers fast, get feedback, and quickly develop a viable business model or they'll starve to death.

    For each of these six areas, Cohan provides a decision-making approach and lively case studies of what actual entrepreneurs have done. He extracts hard-hitting lessons not only for start-ups but also for investors and even established companies. Hungry Start-up Strategy offers a full menu of vital information for anyone seeking to cook up a thriving business from scratch.

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