Giving Compass' Take:

• Mark Kramer reviews Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, in which Anand Giridharadas argues that wealthy philanthropists reinforce the systems of inequality that benefit them. 

• How can wealthy donors work to truly undo the systems that allowed them to amass wealth? 

• Learn about defeating income inequality through prosperity.

This is an exciting time for social innovation. Billions of dollars are flowing into philanthropy, market-driven solutions and social entrepreneurship are flourishing, and social impact consulting and impact investing have become established professions. Yet, in Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, explains why we should not be so quick to celebrate these advances.

“Business elites are taking over the work of changing the world,” Giridharadas observes.

Many believe they are changing the world when they may instead—or also—be protecting a system that is at the root of the problems they wish to solve.

Giridharadas uncovers the internal contradictions of those who work for social change from positions of privilege and wealth. He also delves into the shortcomings of strategy consultants who bring McKinsey-style analysis to social issues; the limitations of venture capitalists who fund social solutions; and the problems with thought leaders who give well-paid speeches preaching win-win opportunities for business and society.

It is an important book that challenges those of us working for social change within existing systems of power to consider whether we are inadvertently perpetuating the problems we seek to solve.

Read the full article about wealthy philanthropists by Mark Kramer at Stanford Social Innovation Review.