"The Classics" are the ones you so often see and that people use to inspire in social impact work. The "Favorites" are less about inspiration. These are my favorite quotes that I tend to inject in conversation, during talks and during workshops. The point is to use a third party to drive home a point, spark a new way of thinking and hopefully to help create a mindset shift, if only a little, at the right moment.
Social Innovation News + Insights
I've been working with the SolutionsU team since inception. A part of "Solutions Journalism Network", this is by far the best site to visit for stories about social innovation from around the world. Search based on your interest area. Use for inspiration, secondary research and new ideas.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
This is the "gold standard" for writing about social innovation. It's a magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems. SSIR is written by and for social change leaders from around the world and from all sectors of society—nonprofits, foundations, business, government, and engaged citizens.
NextBillion is a community of business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGO managers, policy makers, academics and others exploring the connection between development and enterprise.
NextBillion chronicles new trends in market solutions to poverty that benefit the world’s 4 billion low-income producers and consumers – often known as the base of the pyramid.
Talks + Videos
The Girl Effect: The Clock is Ticking
I first saw this when it was launched at CGI back in 2010. A great one to watch when your motivation is a bit low and/or to drive home how critically important it is to support women and girls.
The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong
An eye opener for those who are less familiar about the unique challenges that "charity" faces as opposed to business. A good one for students just learning about the sector and to send to first time contributors.
First Follower: Leadership Lessons from the Dancing Guy
An awesome and fun one to show to others if you are working on building a movement, versus a program. I've used this with my Levi Strauss Foundation and Ashoka Start Empathy work in particular. This emphasizes the need to get that core group of "innovators" on board who share a common mission and shine a light on them to help bring the "early adopters" and "early majority" on board.
The Mom Test
A great one to watch before you get out there to start surveying/getting feedback to ensure that you are asking the right questions in the right way. This should help you avoid some common mistakes. Here's a link to the book.
Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator Orgs
Ashoka was really the innovator in building an organization focused on identifying, selecting, supporting and creating a community of leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka Fellows are nominated. I had the good fortune of being selected in 2008 and it was catalytic for my work and for myself professionally and personally. I was as well fortunate to lead the StartEmpathy work within Ashoka for two years. Dig around the site and you'll likely find all kinds of things that could be helpful. The AshokaU Exchange each Spring is the big event for university educators, students etc working in the field.
Skoll is a private foundation based in Palo Alto, California, with a mission to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world's most pressing problems. It makes grants totaling about $40 million each year. There is an application process. The Skoll World Forum in the UK each Spring is the big event for social entrepreneurs.
Echoing Green has been selecting and supporting a community of mostly “early stage” social entrepreneurs for 30 years. It supports visionaries around from around the world who are transforming their communities, addressing economic development, racial and gender equity, environmental sustainability, and more. There is an application process.
Schwab Foundation (World Economic Forum) for Social Entrepreneurship
For 20 years, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship – the sister organization of the World Economic Forum – has fostered social entrepreneurship worldwide by highlighting leading social innovation models to top decision-makers in business and government. I was fortunate to be selected as a “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2012. There are now multiple categories for selection. Go here to find them.
IDEO.org, designs products, services, and experiences to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities. They are the go to place for human-centered design, a creative approach to problem-solving that starts with people and arrives at new solutions tailored to meet their lives. I would highly encourage all practitioners to download for free "The Field Guide for Human Centered Design".
Collective Impact Forum
This is the place for those practicing collective impact (are you working on starting a movement?) to find the tools, resources, and advice they need. It’s a network of individuals coming together to share experience and knowledge to accelerate the effectiveness and adoption of collective impact. Find great resources on this page.
Hesperian Health Guides
I love this organization. One of the first things we received in the Peace Corps to take with us to our communities was the book "Where there is no doctor". Hesperian is a nonprofit health information and health education source that supports individuals and communities in their struggles to realize the right to health. They develop easy to read materials that are produced in many languages. Many are on the site for free online.
Industry Resources, News and Opportunities
The Foundation Center is the world's leading source of information on philanthropy, fundraising, and grant programs.There is everything from a directory of funders, to training on all topics non-profit to great articles. If you are looking for daily updates about jobs, RFP's etc, go to their Philanthropy News Digest. I subscribe to a variety of their daily updates to stay on top of things.
FinDev Gateway, previously known as Microfinance Gateway, is CGAP's independent knowledge-sharing platform on financial inclusion and microfinance. This is a great resource I've used for many years. There is a rich library, a place to find jobs and internships, as well as trainings and events.
SoCap (Social Capital Markets) hosts the go to events for impact investing as well as social entrepreneurship. Most folks in the industry go to this every year. Go to the site to check out events year-round. They also have a great "Money and Meaning" podcast you should download.