Cover: Agents of Change

Agents of Change

Strategy and Tactics for Social Innovation

Read on if you are intrigued by imaginative, cross-boundary thinking and transformative change. More particularly, read on if you want to know how exactly innovators pull it off.

While governments around the world struggle to maintain service levels amid fiscal crises, social innovators are improving social outcomes for citizens by changing the system from within. In Agents of Change, three cutting-edge thinkers and entrepreneurs present case studies of social innovation that have led to significant social change. Drawing on original empirical research in the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, they examine how ordinary people accomplished extraordinary results.

Sanderijn Cels, Jorrit de Jong, and Frans Nauta offer lively illustrations and insightful interpretations of how innovators, social entrepreneurs, and change agents are dealing with powerful opponents, the burdens of bureaucracy, and the challenge of securing resources and support. With practitioners, scholars, and students of public policy and management in mind, the authors dissect the strategies and tactics that social innovators employ to navigate the risky waters of their institutional environments.


Part 1: Introduction: Chess Masters and Acrobats
1. Strategy and Tactics
2. Crafting the Case: The Art of Making a Start
3. Prompting Progress: The Art of Making Things Happen
4. Managing Meaning: The Art of Making Sense

Part 2: Front-Line Innovations
5. Under the Radar: Medical Informatics in Japan
6. Relentless Incrementalism: Financial Literacy Training for Newcomers in Canada
7. Join the Club! Alzheimer Cafés in the Netherlands
8. Just a Tool? Implementing the Vulnerability Index in New Orleans

Part 3: Innovations in Governance
9. The Sun Kings: Solar Energy in Germany
10. Change on Steroids: Public Education in New Orleans
11. The Value of Values: Higher Education in Virginia
12. A Window of Opportunity: Institutional Reform in Denmark (by Klaartje Peters)

Conclusion: Innovating Strategically