The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator

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Despite the tens of billions spent each year in international aid, some of the most promising and exciting social innovations and businesses have come about by chance. Many of the people behind them did not consciously set out to solve anything, but they did. Welcome to the world of the reluctant innovator. "This important, timely book gives the reader an invaluable insight into the workings of the world of social entrepreneurship. It is a must-read for students, practitioners, policymakers and anyone with a passing interest in how to work for the greater good." Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship "This book's vivid, engaging stories - of ordinary people who have devoted their lives to solving problems and injustices they never expected to encounter - make a major contribution to understanding what social innovation is all about. This is an inspiring and essential read for everyone who cares about our flawed, messy, beautiful world and believes in its myriad possibilities." Hannah Bloch, Mission Projects Editor, National Geographic magazine "Ken Banks, whose career has taken him from offshore banking to launching a brilliant communications tool for Africa, takes us on a social innovation journey. We meet ten entrepreneurs who happened on life-changing ideas - from solar lighting for African maternity wards to film subtitles to promote literacy in India - and then fought against every kind of obstacle to make them happen. Inspiring and instructive." Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent Ken Banks, founder of, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work.

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