In The World We Want, Peter Karoff presents a collective vision of an ideal world. By sharing his experiences and through conversations with more than forty social entrepreneurs, activists, nonprofit leaders, and philanthropists who are changing notions of 'the human condition' in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and North America, he describes how new partnerships and approaches are reducing suffering and gaining greater equity for people everywhere. These visionaries are engaged in a struggle of sorts, and that conscious engagement—'the shoulder to the wheel'—is a fundamental part of the world they want. The book weaves together multi-sector, multidiscipline strategies, but—in large part—it is about the power of human connection, reinforced by personal stories of motivation and the human capacity for caring. Without ignoring the institutional and cultural obstacles, and the courage needed to face down the dark side of human behavior, Karoff shows how citizen engagement and open source solutions could tip the scale toward a better world.
The World We Want provokes thought and provides keen insight—a must read for all of us aiming to use philanthropy to build a better world.
The World We Want is a wonderful book for anyone wishing to make a difference and find inspiration from fellow travelers. Peter Karoff and Jane Maddox have listened well to a wonderful collection of engaged citizens. In the process, they have also redefined what it means to be a philanthropist—be ready to discover it's in everything you do!
J. Gregory Dees
Peter Karoff, the poet laureate of philanthropy, brings to life a number of powerful and innovative paths for creating a better world. This book combines inspiring stories, thoughtful analysis, and provocative questions. It should guide a new generation of philanthropic entrepreneurs and engaged citizens as they seek to apply their knowledge and skills, as well as their resources, to the task of improving the conditions in which we live.
Kelin E. Gersick
It is tempting to approach a title like The World We Want with resistance. Whose "we?" How do they know what I want? And then Peter Karoff introduces us, one by one, to his cast of storytellers, and we are irresistibly drawn into his concept—a poet's journey of possibilities and celebration, frustrations and reassurance. After all, we all have our dreams of a better world, and our own versions get activated and integrated into these inspiring accounts. By the end, we are captured, engaged, and Peter's book has accomplished its purpose—a design experiment of hope.
Karoff's life has grown from 'peddler' to philanthropist and poet. In The World We Want he teaches us to connect dream to deed, and through his heroes we learn about the limits, passion, and power of philanthropy.
'Dare to be naïve,' Buckminster Fuller once said. In The World We Want, Peter Karoff, a poet and preeminent philosopher of philanthropy, offers us visions of a better world via a guided tour of idealism in America, circa 2006. His 'naiveté,' and that of the many accomplished activists he interviews, offers a compelling challenge to the cynicism and resignation that reign in much of the country today. A stirring read.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Peter Karoff is a poet as well as a visionary, so it comes as no surprise that The World We Want is a lyrical and uplifting book whose conversations with great leaders and change agents can inspire us all to make a difference in the world. Savor this wonderful, positive book.
James E. Hughes Jr.
Karoff has succeeded in giving the reader a view of a world we do all indeed want. Each of his interviewees speaks with passion and truth about a different tile in the mosaic of a whole world of humaneness and beauty. Would that we may achieve it. Karoff's poems, beautiful and moving, work as exclamation points for the chapters.
From the Publisher
It's easy for those who want to make the world a better place to become mired in cynicism or overwhelemed by the depth and scope of the world's problems. Thankfully, there are the ever-optimistic Peter Karoffs of the world to inspire us to get up off our sofas and take action. Foundation Center
Peter Karoff founded the Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) to help donors increase the impact of their philanthropy and at the same time make "giving" more meaningful in their own lives. President of TPI from 1989 to 2002, he is a senior fellow at the College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Jane Maddox is an editor and writer at TPI who has worked with public agencies, companies, and nonprofits in communicating their missions, programs, and ideas.
Chapter 1 1. My Imagined Community Chapter 2 2. Listen to the Voices Chapter 3 3. Paradigms of Change Chapter 4 4. Listening Post: Reflection and Radical Change Chapter 5 5. Intersections Chapter 6 6. Open Sesame: Networks of Cooperation and Open Source Solutions Chapter 7 7. On the Ground Chapter 8 8. Global Challenge Chapter 9 9. The Conscience of a Place: Being of a Community Chapter 10 10. Citizen Lights: Citizenship and Education Chapter 11 11. Building Beloved Community: Spirit and Activism Chapter 12 12. Generosity and Sacred Search: Motivation Chapter 13 13. The World We Want