Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"There is no decline in leadership – but you must look for it in new places,"

Q&A with Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka: "
It has been apparent since the middle of this decade and probably before that innovation in social entrepreneurism is having a much wider impact:

"When questioned about the lack of leadership in the world, Drayton discusses how around 1980 social needs became so strong and highly recognised, that the citizen sector went through the same kind of structural revolution in 25 years that took business 300 years. As it became entrepreneurial, this sector began to quickly close the productivity gap–cutting it in half roughly every 10 to 12 years. As a result, resources have been flooding into this sector, generating jobs at 2.5 to three times as fast as the rest of society. The U.S. more than doubled the number of Internal Revenue Service-recognised charities in a decade. Brazil grew from somewhere between 500 and 3,600 citizen groups in 1980 to an estimated more than 1 million by the year 2000. According to Drayton, because this is the fastest-growing, most vibrant sector now, it is where the talent is flowing. The best, most entrepreneurial leaders go where they can have the biggest impact for the good, where they will find the most ethical and engaged colleagues, and where they will be most challenged. For example, over half of Ashoka social entrepreneurs have changed national policy within five years of their launch. Roughly 90 percent have seen independent organisations copy their innovations. "There is no decline in leadership – but you must look for it in new places," he says."


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