Giving Compass’ Take:
• Philanthropy News Digest talks with technologist and author Ann Mei Chang about the relationship between the tech sector and philanthropy, what nonprofits can do to innovate and the importance of next gen entrepreneurs.
• Chang emphasizes the hard work that goes into social change, taking a concept that already exists and adapting it, rather than always chasing after the next big, flashy idea. Are we willing to put in the necessary “blood, sweat and tears”?
Poverty. Mass migration. Economic dislocation. Climate change.
The problems confronting societies around the globe are big — and getting bigger. The resources available to address those problems, however, are shrinking, as governments burdened by huge debts and future obligations and corporations wary of controversy pull back from “feel-good” causes and collective action. And while countless foundations and civil society groups continue to fight the good fight, their resources seem Lilliputian compared to the magnitude of the challenges we face.
It’s a moment that demands big thinking, bold thinking — but also creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. The kind of thinking we’ve come to expect from Silicon Valley, the global epicenter of a certain kind of innovation and can-do spirit. The question, for many, is: What, if anything, can technologists teach nonprofits and social entrepreneurs about social change?
In her new book, Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, Ann Mei Chang, a respected social change-maker and technologist, tackles that question head-on. Based on interviews with more than two hundred social change organizations spanning almost every continent, the book distills the lessons learned by change-makers over the years into a set of “lean” principles for nonprofits looking to innovate their way to greater impact.
“The organizations that I have found to be the most impressive and most successful were the ones that think big and plan based on the real needs in the world,” she says. “It forces them to make different decisions.”
Read the full article about innovating for greater social impact by Mitch Nauffts at PhilanTopic.
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