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The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World

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Overview


Renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw once said "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." By this definition, some of today's entrepreneurs are decidedly unreasonable--and have even been dubbed crazy. Yet as John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan argue in The Power of Unreasonable People, our very future may hinge on their work.

Through vivid stories, the authors identify the highly unconventional entrepreneurs who are solving some of the world's most pressing economic, social, and environmental problems. They also show how these pioneers are disrupting existing industries, value chains, and business models--and in the process creating fast-growing markets around the world.

By understanding these entrepreneurs' mindsets and strategies, you gain vital insights into future market opportunities for your own organization. Providing a first-hand, on-the-ground look at a new breed of entrepreneur, this book reveals how apparently unreasonable innovators have built their enterprises, how their work will shape risks and opportunities in the coming years, and what tomorrow's leaders can learn from them.

Start investing in, partnering with, and learning from these world-shaping change agents, and you position yourself to not only survive but also thrive in the new business landscape they're helping to define.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
"Capitalism is a very mutable, flexible beast, and what we're seeing is social entrepreneurs addressing some of these social challenges in profoundly different ways than traditional nonprofit organizations," said John Elkington, co-author with Pamela Hartigan of "The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World," a new book that was handed out last month to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (February 24, 2008)
Fast Company
The Power of Unreasonable People draws the attention of business leaders to the untapped potential of collaborations with social entrepreneurs.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
An essential book for anyone interested in understanding the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422104064
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2008
  • Series: Center for Public Leadership
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 412,016
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


John Elkington is the Founder, Chief Entrepreneur, and Non-Executive Director of the international consultancy SustainAbility, Ltd. Pamela Hartigan is Managing Director for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
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Table of Contents

Foreword     ix
Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction: Roots of Unreason, Sources of Power     1
Building Innovative Enterprises
Creating Successful Business Models     29
Tapping Financial Resources     55
Creating the Markets of the Future
Identifying Market Opportunities in Ten Great Divides     85
Raising Expectations for Bonsai Consumers     117
Leading Sustainable and Scalable Change
Democratizing Technology     137
Changing the System     157
Scaling Solutions     179
Conclusion: Lessons for Tomorrow's Leaders     197
Where Do Unreasonable Entrepreneurs Cluster?     209
Notes     213
Index     229
About the Authors     241
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring report on social entrepreneurs

    Even the world' most blissful optimists cringe when they look at today's massive global challenges, including poverty, environmental pollution, terrorism and climate change. Cynics throw up their hands in disgust, retreat behind protective walls and gates, and pray they can somehow ride out the storm while the world cracks apart. In contrast, social entrepreneurs do not run away from trouble. They develop workable solutions to the world's most pressing problems. In their book on social entrepreneurship, John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan examine the activities and accomplishments of these inspirational leaders. According to the authors, the globe's public and private organizations should quickly line up to support and fund the work of innovative social entrepreneurs. No one can escape the world's problems, so getAbstract recommends this inspiring book to those who would like to meet the few brave souls who are doing all they can to develop imaginative solutions to the challenges everyone shares.

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