Skip to Content

Key texts on social innovation

Here are some of the major texts on social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Some of these publications include methods and tools for social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders, others provide a collection of some of the most important social innovations of the last few decades. 

Key texts on social innovation

David Bornstein, How to Change the World, Oxford University Press, 2007

J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson and Peter Economy, Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs, Wiley, 2002

John Carver, Boards that Make a Difference, 3rd edition, Jossey-Bass, 2006

John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan, The Power of Unreasonable People, Harvard Business Press, 2008

Nicholas Albery and Nick Temple, World's Greatest Ideas: An Encyclopaedia of Social Inventions (and a related series of books of social inventions published during the 1990s), New Society Publishers, 2001.

Peter Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organisation, Collins, 1990

Stephen Goldsmith et al, The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good, Jossey Bass, 2010.


Many of us have a deep desire to make the world around us a better place. But often our good intentions are undermined by the fear that we are so insignificant in the big scheme of things that nothing we can do will actually help feed the world’s hungry, fix...