Social entrepreneurs are an unusual bunch. They have been called many things — obsessed, brilliant and even downright crazy — but, as a whole, they still lack a definitive identity.
Who are these global guardians? What makes them so special? What makes them tick?
Ryszard Praszkier and Andrzej Nowak, two longtime Ashokans, have set out to answer these questions and more in a new book, Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. The book has received early rave reviews; Dr. Shawn MacDonald, senior advisor at Verité, Fair Labor Worldwide, called it the "the most sophisticated and useful book yet on the role of social entrepreneurs in social change and community transformation."
In it, Praszkier and Nowak discuss the dynamics of the irreversible change processes launched by social entrepreneurs, and delve into the seven key characteristics of the most influential social innovators.
The book features the lifework of almost 30 Ashoka Fellows, and goes beyond theory to investigate the difference between activists and systems change, and the driving forces behind disruptive decision-making.
"It focuses in particular on the mechanisms that social entrepreneurs use: self reliance, building of social networks, and the creation of social capital, eventually leading to a new stable field of social forces," wrote Professor David S. Brée, Ph.D. at the University of Manchester. "The book also draws lessons for successful social entrepreneurship, useful for anyone aspiring to such success."