Social Enterprise: Design Your Life, Change The World

This book has gone through two versions, with two different titles:
* Design Your Life, Change the World: Your Path as a Social Entrepreneur
* Social Enterprise and Sustainable Business: Design Your Life, Change the World

Both are substantially the same; the latter is the more recent.

I have broken the first version into chapters on my website. You can see the list of chapters here

The more recent version is available as a single document here , for FREE.



For at least a decade, I’ve thought about two questions:

  • How can organizations best address important societal problems such as poverty, inadequate health care, sub-par education, and an unhealthy planet?
  • What’s the best advice I can give to the dozens, if not hundreds, of students I talk to who want to address these issues and live lives of relative comfort?

Almost all of my teaching at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has been focused on the first question. The essence of my teaching has been to expose my students to remarkable organizations that make headway where most others fail.

The more I thought about the question of how organizations can address societal problems, the more I realized that an organizations-only focus was too limited. It’s vitally important to look at the people who started those organizations, or grew them, or shaped them. Remarkable organizations are pretty closely linked to remarkable people—people whose clear vision, passion, and skills at getting things done give life to ideas that truly make a difference. So, I began to focus my teaching on some of these difference makers, too.

I wrote this book to help you find your place in changing society by working for or alongside, or even starting, new kinds of organizations that don’t employ starched shirts and don’t deploy smokestacks. I’ve tried to do so with many, many examples, including examples of the paths that others “just like you” have traveled, even as I’ve tried to make this a “business” book that takes a radically different view of what businesses should be like, and a you-can-do-it book for “students” of any agewho have doubts about what one person can do in the face of so many societal problems, needing to pay back their loans, wanting to make a difference, and enjoying lattes, even though I know—and I think they do, too—that they can unlock their potential and live a life of meaning and fulfillment that is beyond anything that most people ever dream about.