The 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty has prompted considerable debate over its successes and failures. But one thing on which we can all agree: there’s still plenty of work to do to address a host of social problems in our country and around the world.
Over the last two decades, the social sector has made considerable progress in addressing these ills. A wave of social entrepreneurs, new philanthropists, and evaluation specialists have stimulated an increased focus on results and “what works” in a number of domains. Many of these ideas generate real impact that improves lives (and often saves society money as well!). Furthermore, a number of these leaders have successfully scaled up their organizations to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of individuals in a diverse range of settings. I’ve spent nearly 20 years studying and working on these scaling strategies, and what has been achieved is beyond what any of us could have imagined when these organizations started.
Jeff Bradach is the managing partner and co-founder of The Bridgespan Group, where he leads the organization’s strategy and mission.
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