Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Book Reviews

 

Excerpts and reviews of top books on social innovation

 
the_zero_marginal_cost_society_jeremy_rifkin

Economic Development

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

By Jeremy Rifkin | Reviewed By Timothy Ogden

A "big think" look at the future of capitalism fails to reckon with the factors that make capitalism so resilient.

 
on_the_rocketship_richard_whitmore

Education

On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools Are Pushing the Envelope

By Richard Whitmire | Reviewed By Catherine DiMartino

In one prominent effort to reinvent public schools, promise and performance don't necessarily match up.

 
the_power_of_impact_investing_judith_rodin_margot_brandenburg

Impact Investing

The Power of Impact Investing: Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good

By Judith Rodin & Margot Brandenburg | Reviewed By Cathy Clark

Two impact investing pioneers offer a primer on efforts to generate both social benefits and financial returns.

 

Government

Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government

By Aneesh Chopra | Reviewed By Sonal Shah

The first chief technology officer of the United States offers a vision for remaking public services.

 

Economic Development

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

By William Easterly | Reviewed By Kevin Starr

The limits of technocratic, one-size-fits-all approaches to economic development have become all too evident.

 

Socially Responsible Business

The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist

By Christine Bader | Reviewed By David J. Vogel

A veteran corporate social responsibility leader reflects on “doing well and doing good” at a big oil company.

 

Technology & Design

The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving Our Most Complex Challenges

By Zaid Hassan | Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

An emerging method for enabling innovation focuses not on plans or projects, but on broad social challenges.

 

Human Rights

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence

By Gary A. Haugen & Victor Boutros | Reviewed By Connie Rice

Lawless violence in the developing world is a plague that undermines efforts to end extreme poverty.

 

Water

Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

By David L. Sedlak | Reviewed By Eric Stowe

Meeting the world's growing demand for water will require advances in technology that build on 3,000 years of progress.

 

Civil Society

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons From a New Science

By Alex Pentland | Reviewed By Amir Goldberg

An emerging "data-driven" science of human behavior promises to help us understand and solve social problems.