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Design Your Life: Business and Social Entrepreneurship Must Coexist

12/16/2011 --

Ross professor offers free guide that explores social entrepreneurship through world-changing individuals and organizations.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A new book by a Michigan Ross professor for individuals and companies looking to make the world a better place is now available at no cost.

Design Your Life, Change the World: Your Path as a Social Entrepreneur, written by Michael Gordon, can be downloaded for free. Gordon is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Victor L. Bernard Professor of Business Information Technology at Ross.

"I hope to show readers, as I hope to show my students each day, that you don't have to make a choice between making a living and making the world a better place. The same applies to organizations and business," Gordon says.

"In recent months the discontent with the financial crisis and business as usual has caused students to question the meaning and validity of a traditional business education. This ties in with my work over the past decade, where I've thought about two questions."

Those questions are: 1) How can organizations best address important societal problems such as poverty, inadequate healthcare, subpar education, and an unhealthy planet? and 2) What's the best advice for students who want to address these issues and lead lives of relative comfort?

"This book tries to answer these questions," Gordon says. "Remarkable organizations are pretty closely linked to remarkable people—people whose clear vision, passion, and skills at getting things done give life to ideas that truly make a difference."

Gordon's book explores what world-changing individuals and organizations are doing in the areas of poverty alleviation, healthcare, education, and the environment. It discusses the activities of dozens of "changemakers" who are leading the way, as it as delves into their personal lives to reveal the very human side of these individuals as they make decisions, overcome their fears, and keep moving ahead even when circumstances change.

The book also presents a tool for building a career in social entrepreneurship—the "Changemaker's Cube," a strategic framework that allows individuals and businesses to examine the three levels at which they can make an impact on society, the four generic types of activities they can engage in, and the five aptitudes they can exploit if they want to succeed.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu