Required Reading for the Social Entrepreneur

By JENN WILCOX
Last week I attended the Echoing Green Big Bold Benefit to celebrate social entrepreneurship and listen to Echoing Green 2011 finalists give pitches.
As part of the fellowship application process, each finalists was asked which books they consider to be “required reading” for social entrepreneurship. I wanted to share this list, especially as we all work hard to find ways to innovate and build on Spark’s tremendous model.
  • The Prophet by Khalil Gibran and Love of Life by Jack London
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Rose
  • Where Did You Get That Red by Kenneth Koch
  • Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must-Reads: The Essentials
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
  • The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
  • How to Change the World by David Bornstein
  • Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki
  • Follow Her Lead: Leadership Lessons for Women as They Journey from the Backroom to the Boardroom by Dr. Anita Davis Defoe
  • The Revolution Will Not be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by Ed. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
  • The Republic of Tea by Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler, and Bill Rosenzweig
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Aku Aku by Thor Heyerdahl
  • Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman
  • How to Change the World by David Bornstein
  • Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus
  • The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  • The Elements of Influence by Alan Kelly
  • Critical Path by R. Buckminster Fuller and Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
  • God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembéne and Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking is Not The Answer by Jim Collins
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Crossing the Finish Line by William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos and Michael S. McPherson
  • Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
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