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The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur

The New York Times

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In a world divided into factions, social entrepreneurs are connecting people in new configurations and helping them work together more effectively because social entrepreneurs tend to pursue an end in a communal way.

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The Real Future of Clean Water

The New York Times

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Water:Charity assumed that money and celebrity exposure would be able to solve the world’s access-to-clean-water crisis. But this approach often led to more abandoned water pumps. Charities – and journalists who cover them – are now working to concentrate on making their solutions sustainable.

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The Power of Partnerships

The New York Times

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Some problems are simply too complex to solve with any single approach. The “collective impact” strategy of creating alliances of civic and business leaders is being applied to social problems across the nation.

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The Power of Failure

The New York Times

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Nongovernmental groups – especially ones that depend on donations – hate to fail, and never make their failures public. But at new conferences, social activists share and learn from failure.

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The Path From Charity to Profit

The New York Times

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In Jakarta’s slums, families can’t buy their children nutritious food. So Mercy Corps started a for-profit chain of food carts selling healthy kids’ meals. A second column highlights the challenges NGOs face when they try to start for-profit businesses.

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Shopping for a Better World

The New York Times

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The philanthropic practice of buy-one-give-one can be ineffective if communities are given ill-fitting donations or if the donations supplant local markets. The company Warby Parker ensures lasting change by financing the means of local production of a pair of glasses for every pair bought.

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From Young Adult Book Fans to Wizards of Change

The New York Times

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Global social and economic problems are difficult to change. However, fan-activism fuels the interests of fans of popular young adult fiction. Books such as Harry Potter and the Hunger Games have inspired activist groups that raise awareness of global hunger, reading, and relief supplies to impov...

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When Deviants Do Good

The New York Times

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Tuft University is training global organizations a new approach to create long lasting change. The process teaches locals to identify positive deviance in their community and design a way to spread the behavior, with only local ideas and administration.

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On the Web, a Revolution in Giving

The New York Times

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New crowdfunding options can help even the smallest donor's contributions to have a meaningful impact, bolstering a sense of personal involvement, maximizing knowledge about causes, and inspiring greater participation.

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Summer Reading: How to Shake Up the Status Quo

The New York Times

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Social innovation rarely comes from “eureka” moments; it’s much more deliberate - it’s something that can be studied and learned. A short summer reading list for anyone interested in shaking up the status quo.

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Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

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Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

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Conference attendee listening to speaker, Jenifer Daniels / Colorstock getcolorstock.com.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Sonia Narang