The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator

Book: £12.99 (including free P&P within the UK) eBook: £4.80

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banks_innovatorEdited by Ken Banks, with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • “A book of hope, inspiration and a beacon of what is possible”,  Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Despite the tens of billions spent each year in international aid, some of the most promising and exciting social innovations and businesses have come about by chance. Many of the people behind them didn’t consciously set out to solve anything, but they did. Welcome to the world of the “reluctant innovator”.

The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator fills a much-needed gap in the social innovation/social entrepreneurship market.  The book highlights the personal stories of ten social innovators from around the world. Ten social innovators – ordinary people – who randomly stumbled across problems, injustices and wrongs and, armed with little more than determination and belief, decided not to turn their back but to dedicate their lives to solving them.

Take Laura Stachel for instance. After watching local doctors and midwives struggle to treat critically ill pregnant women in near-total darkness on a Nigerian maternity ward, where an untimely power cut can mean the difference between life and death, obstetrician Laura Stachel delivers a solar-based solution that enhances survival prospects.

Intending to ground himself in the realities of global health during his internship in rural Malawi, Josh Nesbit discovers that it is hard to sit on the sidelines and soon finds himself proposing a solution to overcome the difficulty of connecting patients, community health workers and hospitals.

Haunted by the memory of being separated from her older sister during a childhood spent in foster care, and horrified that other siblings are continuing to suffer the same fate, Lynn Price resolves to devise a way to bring such people back together.

This is an inspiring book for innovators, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in the sharp end of development work – be they students, practitioners or policy-makers.

When problems find people, amazing things can happen

To read more about the book and what people are saying about it, visit

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