A new book out early next month explores innovative solutions to social problems.

Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, available March 3, is edited by award-winning innovator Ken Banks, who believes empathy is the key to successful social innovation. “If any solution is to have a chance of success, and there really are no short cuts. It takes time and effort”.

Social innovation and social entrepreneurship look for creative and affordable solutions to specific societal problems. Fuelled by the spread of the internet and the ubiquity of mobile phones, there are more people working to solve pressing social and environmental problems in the world today than ever before in human history. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation presents the journeys of pioneering – and often accidental – social innovators who, faced with a problem, used their courage, tenacity and creative thinking to find a solution.

Using their own words to reflect open their experiences, these cases do not gloss over the setbacks and the dead ends social entrepreneurs can face. Instead, readers will gain a realistic insight into the challenges and an engaging look at the problem-solving mindset needed to overcome them. From a life-saving project to bring solar-powered lighting to midwives in Nigeria, to a news dissemination service that’s grown from small beginnings to have a global impact, each case study draws out the lessons learnt by the innovators, providing guidance and advice for those looking to follow in their footsteps. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation is an invaluable resource for social entrepreneurs and innovators looking for new ideas and insight into what really works – and what doesn’t. This book is an inspiring read for anyone with a social conscience and a desire to change their world for the better.

Featuring a foreword from Peter Gabriel and Bill Drayton, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation is an eclectic collection of innovative solutions to social problems through case studies from Africa, India, the United States and Europe. This book is a practical guide for social entrepreneurs that draws out the lessons learned by innovators including:
• Laura Stachel, Co-founder of WE CARE Solar
• Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance
• Brij Kothari, President of PlanetRead

Ken Banks, founder of global non-profit organization kiwanja.net, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2012, nominated for the prestigious TED Prize in 2013, and in 2015 was appointed Entrepreneur in Residence at CARE International.

Joshua Schuler, Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, praises Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, calling it “required reading for any student or anyone interested in technology-based invention to improve peoples’ lives, and social innovation as a potential life path”.

Further commendation from Alex Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programs at National Geographic, “this collection of stories of passion and impact will leave people hungering for more and will inspire more than a few readers to explore their passions and translate them into incremental stories of meaningful change”.

Find out more about the book here.

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