April 12, 2012
News & Opinion: Rippling
My last few posts have dealt with books that look around the world for case studies and examples, and this post shares that perspective. Beverly Schwartz's new book, Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World reveals how a wide variety of countries, the U.S. included, have seen ideas turn into action which then spread change throughout the nation. Consider the Center for Inspired Teaching in the U.S., which puts the educational focus on the student, where they find ways to solutions on their own, and by doing so, own the process and are more inspired to keep learning. The teacher is merely there to guide them, not to tell the students everything and then expect them to remember every detail. Or the DMT Mobile Toilets in Nigeria, where mobile toilets are placed in areas of need, where private toilets per household do not exist. This effort has cut down substantially on environmental waste, and the communities where they exist are involved in building, maintaining and encouraging use of the facilities - which historically was a taboo topic. These examples of shifting the perspective of a group of people, who then drive that change in others, are not only inspiring stories in themselves, but also great metaphors for how teams within business can create projects with the "rippling" effect of change built into them, creating a more powerful and successful venture. Each example is insightful, as the writer is VP of marketing at Ashoka, the world's largest association of leading social entrepreneurs. Whether you want new ideas on how to create and launch change efforts, or to simply read real current examples of some highly interesting, and likely unknown, stories of positive efforts throughout the world, this is an engaging read.