Why business won’t save the world

CausePlanet is pleased to feature a terrific book this month that will have you rethinking how to partner with businesses and philanthropists: Small Change: Why Business Won’t Save the World. Michael Edwards provides a refreshing and surprising look at the widely accepted but unproven success of philanthrocapitalism.

Edwards argues that the hype surrounding partnerships with businesses and philanthrocapitalists far exceeds the reality of outcomes when systemic change is involved. While there is “justifiable excitement” about the potential for progress in major global issues such as health, agriculture and access to microcredit, the reality is that no delivery of goods and services can eliminate inequities surrounding poverty and violence, for example—only the empowerment of those closest to the problem, as well as transformation of systems, values and key relationships can create meaningful change.

Because no nonprofit wants to appear unthankful for the generous opportunities that come their way, the rising debate about philanthrocapitalism’s shortfalls have hovered under the radar. Edwards’ book asks the tough questions and compels readers to examine the messy yet transformational nonprofit work in society versus the sometimes inappropriate reduction of societal problems to a bottom line.

For more information about Small Change, visit Michael Edwards’ site at www.futurepositive.org or learn more about Page to Practice book summaries.

Image: Michael Edwards, TransformativeChange.org

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