The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems

William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan. Harvard Business Review, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4221-9219-1
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“Imagine the world if we were able to double, triple, or even quadruple the number of problem solvers, the diversity of solutions, and the scale of social impacts.” This utopian assertion is at the heart of this energetic study of non-governmental solutions from Deloitte executives Eggers and Macmillan. In the past, when the government was responsible for effecting change, there were conflicting interests between departments and agencies and meager resources. But with the “solution revolution,” companies, educational institutions, and individuals are stepping in and providing better results at lower costs, the authors write. “A new economy has emerged at the borderlands where traditional sectors overlap,” the authors explain, based in a market for solutions to societal problems. In lively prose, the authors discuss such innovations as the Google employee shuttles, Recyclebank, and Zipcar. Outside of these big names, highlights of the book include the work of lesser-known game changers: Unilever’s Wheel soap, sold in small quantities at low prices, help the very poor fight diarrhea-related deaths, and a contest proposed by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business professors to design a $300, simple-to-build house to address housing shortages. These stories along with substantive advice for individuals and governments alike present a persuasive argument that the future of global change rests squarely in the hands of ordinary citizens. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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