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


Book Reviews


Excerpts and reviews of top books on social innovation


Technology & Design

The Nature of the Future: Dispatches From the Socialstructed World

By Marina Gorbis | Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

In the world that's now emerging, pre-modern practices that emphasize personal relationships are returning to prominence.



Why Philanthropy Matters: How the Wealthy Give, and What It Will Mean for Our Economic Well-Being

By Zoltan J. Acs | Reviewed By Robin Rogers

The disruptive force of the "new philanthropy" holds the promise of helping to reduce inequality. But will it actually do so?



Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

By Mark R. Tercek & Jonathan S. Adams | Reviewed By Robert Jaquay

Environmental conservation and business investment are not mutually exclusive, argues the CEO of the Nature Conservancy.


Urban Development

The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City

By Alan Ehrenhalt | Reviewed By Robert J. Sampson

The vast majority of neighborhoods in American cities do not "trade places." Instead, concentrated poverty and its opposite, concentrated affluence, are surprisingly persistent.


Social Entrepreneurship

Bright Lights, No City

By Max Alexander | Reviewed By Sam Goldman

The author provides a rollicking and detailed recounting of what it takes to build a social business in Africa.


Technology & Design

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age

By Steve Berlin Johnson | Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

Networks, equal access, and read-write products are no longer just core design elements of the Internet; we are making them real.



Uprising: How to Build a Brand—and Change the World—by Sparking Cultural Movements

By Scott Goodson | Reviewed By Peter Manzo

Can "movement marketing"—a means for companies to connect with consumers through social media—really lead to positive social change?


Technology & Design

Networked: The New Social Operating System

By Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman | Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

Researchers from Pew and NetLab examine how the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking are radically changing our lives.


Social Entrepreneurship

Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back

By Andrew Zolli & Ann Marie Healy | Reviewed By Timothy Ogden

Why do some people, systems, and societies bounce back from adversity and other don't?


Civil Society

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

By Michael J. Sandel | Reviewed By Rob Reich

Michael Sandel's latest book takes up the question: What are the moral limits of the marketplace?