Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World

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Praise for Rippling

"Rippling is a wonderful and highly accessible book about people advancing creative and pragmatic solutions to the world's toughest problems. The remarkable breadth of global examples, combined with the depth of Schwartz's observations and analysis, make it a must-read for anyone who wants to understand some of the most powerful forces, ideas, and solution patterns that are reshaping ...

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Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World

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Praise for Rippling

"Rippling is a wonderful and highly accessible book about people advancing creative and pragmatic solutions to the world's toughest problems. The remarkable breadth of global examples, combined with the depth of Schwartz's observations and analysis, make it a must-read for anyone who wants to understand some of the most powerful forces, ideas, and solution patterns that are reshaping society."
David Bornstein, author, How to Change the World and coauthor, New York Times "Fixes" column

"Rippling will resonate with anyone who is eager to know more about how to create an (eco)system for positive change. It will lift your heart and change your outlook on what is possible when one combines innovation with entrepreneurship. Schwartz's skillful storytelling covers the challenges of 'life without' while sharing creative approaches to designing a world that nourishes human potential."
Arthur Rubinfeld, president, global development, Starbucks Coffee Company

"Rippling is a must-read in the growing but often confusing literature on social entrepreneurship. Writing with great skill and passion, Beverly Schwartz weaves a beautiful tapestry of stories and insights that takes us from the traditional call to change to clear lessons for achieving impact. It is essential reading and will become a classic in the conversation."
Paul C. Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, Robert Wagner School of Public Service, New York University

"Anyone who feels overwhelmed by the thought of making a difference in the world will be reassured by these changemakers, who teach us how small steps can lead to enormous global progress. For all of us who dream of a more equitable, peaceful, and safer world, Rippling is a welcome invitation to hear the voices of changemakers everywhere. It's an inspiring read guaranteed to fill you with hope."
Susan Grant, executive vice president, CNN

"Rippling's concepts are relevant and accessible for businesses of all sizes, from individual entrepreneurs to global corporations. Organizations that tap into the changemaker vision can spark innovation, engage employees, and better meet customer needs while improving the bottom lines for business and society as a whole."
Ronald L. Sargent, chairman and CEO, Staples, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118138595
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Schwartz is vice president of global marketing at Ashoka, the world's largest association of leading social entrepreneurs. Schwartz is an "entrepreneurial" behavioral scientist and has made her career in the field of social marketing. She has devoted her career to working on some of the world's most challenging societal issues, including smoking and drug prevention, gender equity, educational and environmental reform, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. She holds an MS degree from Queens College, City University of New York. Please visit her at

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Table of Contents




PART ONE Restructuring Institutional Norms 18

Reflections by Esther Dyson

1 Power to the People—Germany 22

How Elektrizitatswerke Schónau works with communities to buy back, manage, and control electric grids so it can replace nuclear power with renewable sources of energy.

2 The Teaching of Teaching—United States 32

Changing the dynamics of how and what teachers teach; appreciating the vision of the Center for Inspired Teaching.

3 From Servitude to Solution—India 42

How the Rickshaw Bank is reinventing the lives and livelihoods of rickshaw drivers.

4 Lifting the Veil for Women Who Don’t Exist—Nepal 54

Removing age-old restrictions on women who lose their rights, property, and freedom after the death of their husband; understanding how Women’s Human Rights is changing the face of Asia.

PART TWO Changing Market Dynamics 64

Reflections by Peter M. Senge

5 Using MicroConsignment to Open a Door to Economic Inclusion—Guatemala 68

Exploring the way Community Enterprise Solutions offers ‘‘a basket of solutions’’ to rural villagers by lowering the cost of economic entry for suppliers.

6 Dialing Maize 411—Kenya 84

Using technology to connect small-scale farmers with real-time competitive prices; how the Kenya Agricultural Commodities Exchange improves the lives of small farmers.

7 Stimulating Fiscal Vibrancy by Creating a New Economy—Brazil 94

Stimulating local economies by creating a new currency and a system of community banks for low-income citizens; the story of Bancos Palmas.

PART THREE Using Market Forces to Create Social Value 104

Reflections by William Jefferson Clinton

8 From Garbage to Gold—Peru 108

How Ciudad Saludable creates microenterprises around garbage collection and increases the economic viability and positive health outcomes of communities in which they operate.

9 A Better Model of Capitalism—United States 120

Ensuring a fair price for farmers by transforming global trade practices; the influence of FairTrade USA on American consumers and its impact on families around the world.

10 Shit Business Is Serious Business—Nigeria 134

Building a culture of sanitation and hygiene in crowded urban areas in Africa and Asia; why DMT Mobile Toilets is literally changing the landscape and much more.

11 Putting the Public Back in Public Housing—France 146

Applying a quintuple bottom line to eco-housing, Chenelet energizes low-income neighborhoods while creating community with dignity and grace.

PART FOUR Advancing Full Citizenship 156

Reflections by Geeta Rao Gupta

12 Financial Freedom for Children—Global 160

Equipping a generation of youth to take charge of their financial survival, Aflatoun balances the scales in favor of their future.

13 Overcoming the Barriers Between Us and Them—Germany 170

Redefining disability as ability and otherness as likeness; the story of Dialogue Social Enterprise, creator of the ‘‘Dialogue in the Dark’’ experience.

14 Autistic Abilities—Denmark 180

How Specialisterne (Specialist People Foundation) is transforming autism from a handicap to a competitive advantage.

15 Crazy Becomes Normal—Argentina 190

Reconnecting the mentally ill with society and vice versa, La Colifata uses a weekly radio show broadcast by the patients as the link.

PART FIVE Cultivating Empathy 200

Reflections by Arianna Huffington

16 From Babies to Behavioral Shift—Canada 204

The effectiveness of Roots of Empathy in ending aggressive behavior among children.

17 Cultivating Champions of Interfaith

Action—United States 214

Building widespread public support for interfaith youth work on University campuses; embracing the mission of the Interfaith Youth Core.

18 Beautiful Resistance—Palestine 224

How Alrowwad creates a space to express normality in conflict zones.

19 Conclusion: Turning What Is and What If into What Can Be 236






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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Bev Schwartz¿s RIPPLING is an utter joy to read. Bev¿s organizat

    Bev Schwartz’s RIPPLING is an utter joy to read. Bev’s organization is systematic and anecdotal. Everything about RIPPING soars and inspires. I picked it up from Amazon as soon as it was published, thinking to myself “here we go again - yet another incomprehensible attempt (for the layman) at what we mean by applied social entrepreneurship, the network effect, and RIPPLING to make matters even more confounding). Rather like looking at a mirrored image of a mirrored image or reading the ripples spawned by a pebble cast across a pond. Even though I knew Bev had made a huge investment of time, personal funds, energy, and sheer nerves of steel into writing this tomb, I was still expecting the same-old same-old.
    Much to my surprise and delight, I picked the book up and did not put down until some four or five hours later, I had completely devoured it. We have not seen an explanation as coherent and comprehensively organized as this - let alone one as inspiring as RIPPLING is - at least since Bornstein’s HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD and frankly because this is more concise, more coherent, and does a much better job of really explaining the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship plus the wondrous RIPPLING phenomena, I believe for the general reader who isn’t interested in the ins and outs of the sociologic or advanced intricacies of philosophic business models supporting social entrepreneurship (both of which can become very weighty topics), this is the PERFECT book! 
    It even contains a short chapter by President Bill Clinton.
    Buy RIPPLING. Read RIPPLING. Pass it around to everyone you know. Keep those books in motion because the more people who read and get RIPPLING, and are turned on by the promise and hope and wondrous magic Bev has so aptly captured here (which you really have to be Genghis Khan, Scrooge, or the Grinch not to be), the MORE RIPPLING ...
    An absolutely joyful book that teaches, inspires, and is c
    ertain to be Rippling for a very long time to come written by one a true social change-making genius with inestimable warmth, love, and heart. RIPPLING and its author simply cannot be appreciated enough.

    - Tom Boone, Frederick, MD

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    From the slums of Lima to rural Kenya to the streets of New Delh

    From the slums of Lima to rural Kenya to the streets of New Delhi, ordinary people are accomplishing extraordinary feats and changing other people’s lives forever. These social entrepreneurs and the “changemakers” they enlist are the characters in this collection of case histories by former Ashoka vice president Beverly Schwartz. Ashoka, an organization that pioneered social entrepreneurship, has a support network of more than 3,000 fellows working around the world. Schwartz, a behavioral scientist, tells the stories of 18 fellows and outlines their approaches to social entrepreneurship. getAbstract finds her profiles truly inspiring portraits of people who tackled the most pervasive, seemingly insurmountable problems in the very places where they affect the world’s most vulnerable, disadvantaged and disenfranchised peoples.

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