Being inspired by Bill Clinton

Being inspired by Bill Clinton

Long a fan of the Clintons (see my blog on Reading Politics) I was re-inspired by Bill Clinton when watching his speech at the Democratic convention a couple of weeks ago – an amazing blend of evidence-based policy detail and passion. It was time to read Giving, which he wrote back in 2007. I had been meaning to for a while, given Nesta’s work on Innovation in Giving, which has got me reading around the subject of Giving (see also my blog on Intrinsic Motivations).

In this book Clinton lays out chapter by chapter great examples of people moved to act to make the world a better place. There is a focus on giving money, time, things and skills in turn, before wider examinations of the role of governments and markets in changing the world for the better. What’s really nice is the constant return to how each of us can give to change things. There are some big inspiring stories, but it then returns to how everyone can act on a smaller scale.

The chapter on giving to good ideas highlights lots of the organisations working in the field of social innovation (the focus of a lot of the work we do at Nesta). Ashoka, the Omidyar Network and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, for example, all promote social innovation through supporting social entrepreneurs who do amazing work to improve the lives of others.

If you want to be inspired about how you can make a big difference in a small way then I’d definitely recommend this book.