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Next week, Acumen Fund one of the most innovative philanthropies I know, will celebrate its fifth anniversay and the Innovation & Design channel has a rather remarkable story on it. It illustrates how design thinking is being used beyond the business space to solve important problems in education, transportation, the legal system—and most importantly in ending poverty.
Let me quote just a bit from the story written so beautifully by Jessi Hempel— “Acumen is a leader in the fast-emerging hybrid sector that straddles private industry and nonprofits. Technically a nonprofit, it invests in enterprises in developing countries with the strategy and discipline of a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm.”
Another quote— “Acumen’s founder is Jacqueline Novogratz, a former banker with an infectious magnetism and a melodic voice that delivers a constant call to action. Under her leadership, the fund manages $20 million in investments that fall within three portfolios: health, water, and housing. But Acumen’s goal is far larger than successful companies. Says Novogratz: “We’re creating an overall design for how you provide goods and services to poor people.”
Acumen is part of a larger conversation that includes TED, Google.org, IDEO, IN and other organizations designing a better way, a better future. Pay attention to it. Better yet, get involved.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.