Ideas ReviewsClimate Soldiers                                     and shows how America’s climate war sends               ...
Sport if you want many examples of false          derneath the hype and spin out there and trybalanced reporting without f...
Ideas Reviewsderfully and keep their prose crisp and to           dren, or the free handouts of tofu and eggs?      is ind...
many glimpses of the compelling genius be-        its management, staff, and equity investors?         can also forgo curre...
Ideas Reviewssmall—why on earth should we further lim-                more than 500,000 citizens.                         ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Hear, hear for profits Yumus & Schwartz


Published on

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Fall 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Leland Stanford Jr. University
All Rights Reserved

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Hear, hear for profits Yumus & Schwartz

  1. 1.                Review  Hear, Hear for Profits  By Muhammad Yunus  Review by Rodney Schwartz      Stanford Social Innovation Review  Fall 2010    Copyright © 2010 by Leland Stanford Jr. University  All Rights Reserved    Stanford Social Innovation Review Email: info@ssireview.org, www.ssireview.org
  2. 2. Ideas ReviewsClimate Soldiers and shows how America’s climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. … Protocol was negotiated! To be fair, given the critical importance of the U.S. position at in-Review by Stephen H. Schneider The Climate War is the essential read for ternational negotiations, and that our posi-THE CLIMATE WAR: Business beat corre- anyone who wants to understand the play- tion does depend on the Eastern inside-the-True Believers, Power spondent and editor ers and politics behind the most important Beltway establishment, one should readBrokers, and the Fight Eric Pooley parlayed argument in America.” Pooley’s book for that alone. It has very im-to Save the Earth his inside-the-tent OK, fair enough description of his objec- portant insights on how the United StatesEric Pooley481 pages, Hyperion, 2010 contacts in Eastern tives, which were in my view accomplished will or won’t get meaningful climate policy, U.S. power establish- well, despite the over-heroic hype one ex- policy that will have a major influence on thement circles to be a fly on the wall for many pects from self-assessments and “inside international negotiations, a process built upof these Beltway insiders, and he observed baseball” reporting. haltingly over the past many decades (forand reported on the good, the bad, and the Now for some true confessions from me that, naturally, I suggest you see my book).ugly of the climate debate in those circles. —I too have a dog in this show of the cli- Let me briefly give an insight on theThat alone gives important insight to the mate wars, but it is a 40-year sweep of time I discuss inmachinations of spin, message control, and sweeping history, is internation- Contact Sport that underliesdirty politics—as well as the bright side: alist in perspective, deals with what Pooley brings us up to datethose working tirelessly for honest messag- the poverty and sustainability di- on in The Climate War.es and policies to right our sinking ecologi- mensions that dominate interna- In the 1970s, when I was oftencal ship. From that perspective there could tional negotiations, and frankly, in Congress and even the Whitehardly be a better reporter than Pooley, and sees the last four years of Eastern House on, yes, climate changeindeed he witnessed a climate war and re- U.S. establishment machinations science and policy issues, the de-ported it quite accurately. as virtually trivial in the scheme bate was bipartisan, information- Here is what his publisher’s own blurb of this problem over its half-cen- al, and cordial. Fears of climatesays to frame his book, which (despite the tury history. (My book, Science as change dangers were not omittedobvious self-hype) describes his objectives a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save in our presentations, but back then it waswell: “Pooley [deputy editor of Bloomberg Earth’s Climate, was released by the National mostly theoretical inference from science,BusinessWeek], the former managing editor Geographic Society in November 2009.) not yet the directly observed damages weof Fortune and chief political correspondent That Pooley seemed unaware of it was a bit have seen lately, such as unprecedentedfor Time, spent three years embedded with personally disturbing to me, having been in wildfires in the western United States, polaran extraordinary cast of characters: from at the creation, so to speak, of this issue; but ice melting well beyond prediction, killerthe flamboyant head of one of the nation’s then there are hundreds of climate books heat waves, air pollution events, and muchlargest coal-burning energy companies to out there by now, so why should any one get more. In fact, the biggest factor since ourthe driven environmental leader who made particular attention, I suppose. early warnings is that “nature has cooper-common cause with him; from leading sci- Not that Pooley is wrong in his insights or ated with theory,” as I explain in Contactentists warning of impending catastrophe that they are not worth knowing, but this Sport; so now a compelling case for policyto professional skeptics disputing almost problem was so far along when his reporto- hedging is no longer just theoretical, butevery aspect of climate science; from radi- rial fly went on the walls of power places east ethical, economic, and ecological. But, per-cal activists chaining themselves to bull- of Carthage, Tenn.—Al Gore’s abode—that haps ironically, the more evidence we get,dozers to powerful lobbyists, media gurus, the climate debate train had already left the the louder and more distorted the opposi-and advisors in Obama’s West Wing. He station back in the 1970s. If you want a bal- tion has become—and most of the time thealso gained unprecedented access to former anced history, you could not conceivably find mainstream media dutifully report withVice President Al Gore and his Alliance for it in the fights of the Eastern U.S. power es- equal credibility all claimants of truth in aClimate Protection. tablishment starting 10 years after the Kyoto false dichotomy misapplication of the politi- “Pooley captures the quiet cal balance doctrine (get thedetermination and even hero- Stephen H. Schneider died July 19, three days after submitting this review. Democrat, then equal time toism of climate campaigners (The review remains unedited.) Schneider was a Stanford University biology the Republican)—a perniciouswho have dedicated their lives professor and climate scientist who gathered evidence for global warming and framing for complex science advocated policies to combat climate change for four decades. He advised theto an uphill battle that’s still where end-of-the-world and administration of every president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, won araging today. He asks whether MacArthur Foundation “genius” award in 1992, and was part of a United Nations good-for-you extreme posi-we have what it takes to pre- panel on climate change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. tions are the two lowest prob-serve our planet’s habitability, ability outcomes. See Contact16 Stanford Social innovation review • Fall 2010
  3. 3. Sport if you want many examples of false derneath the hype and spin out there and trybalanced reporting without fact-checking. to separate out what aspects of the debate Survival of the Deviant So where and when did we switch from are legitimate remaining scientific uncertain- Review by Dean Karlancordial to ugly, as Pooley and I are com- ties—still plenty of those left to go around— THE POWER OF In The Power ofpelled to report? and what fraction is simply an ideological POSITIVE Positive Deviance, I first saw the ugliness arise in the United protection of world views in drag as “sound DEVIANCE: How authors RichardStates after Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, science.” That separating job is a real tax on Unlikely Innovators Pascale, Jerry Sternin, Solve the World’sand I put the blame on that administra- public understanding of how to first under- Toughest Problems and Monique Sternintion. U.S. Rep. Al Gore was also a major stand, and then deal with, very complex top- Richard Pascale, Jerry take their readers onplayer; in fact, the contention began at his ics that have a high bar of information need- Sternin, & Monique Sternin a fascinating tour to 256 pages, Harvardcongressional hearing in 1981—for which I ed to even enter the debate intelligently. In Business Press, 2010 learn about “positivewas a witness. the last chapter of Contact Sport, I ask a scary deviance”—an ap- In brief, the Reagan administration, ap- question: “Can democracy survive complex- proach to solving social, and even someplying the ideological principle of not sup- ity?” My National Geographic Society editors business, problems.porting behavioral or environmental re- thought that too much of a downer as my fi- The approach, which the authors devel-search, eliminated on those ideological nal chapter title and substituted “What oped from work done by Tufts University nu-grounds a major interdisciplinary Depart- Keeps Me Awake at Night.” Either way, for a trition professor Marian Zeitlin in thement of Energy study on the impacts of representative democracy to function well, 1980s—has roughly three steps. First, engageglobal warming on nature and society run both the public and its representatives have the people needing change in the process;by Roger Revelle, Gore’s Harvard environ- to understand what is at stake: Risk equals they must take part in discovering answers tomental teacher. (I co-ran the study with what can happen multiplied by the odds it their problems to adopt changes. Second,Revelle and others, which is why I was at the will happen. identify “positive deviants”—people whohearing.) When Gore challenged the cuts, Next is the public policy choice part—risk seem to have succeeded compared with oth-the administration responded that they management. This is the public values aspect ers, despite having the same resources.couldn’t support “alarmism.” That was the over what to do about it, given all the calls in Finally, work with communities to pinpointopening ugly shot. It got mega-ugly from society for governmental use of limited re- what the positive deviants do differently, andthen until now, especially in the Congress sources. That type of complexity is becoming figure out how theand the media op-ed pages. commonplace now as debate over climate whole community can What underlay this loss of cordiality and policy, health care, education, national de- adopt these successfulhonest information exchange from the ear- fense, etc., are all topics of enormous confu- practices.lier decade? The most environmentally ori- sion and spin from special interests and ide- The authors’ tourented presidents of the past century, in my ologists. The public and its representatives starts in rural Viet-view, were Republicans: Richard Nixon— need to put all this hype and spin in con- nam, where they ex-who created the EPA—and Teddy Roosevelt. text—ergo my sleepless nights. plore how house-After all, what is a more conservative word There are many places where you can get holds there might usethan “conservation”? But to the Reaganites, into the set of details that are credible in the existing resources tothe very admission of global warming was an case of the climate debate, but Contact Sport feed their childrenideological no-no. It represented the collec- is, if you forgive the shameless self-service, a more nutritionally. Then it’s on to Egypt,tive planetary-scale footprint of personal, place to start, with its balanced sweep of where they look for ways to change opin-corporate, and national decisions to use the how we got to where we are in this debate of ions and practices on female circumcision.atmosphere as a convenient, free sewer to more than four decades. Good luck if you Back in Pittsburgh, they examine how doc-dump our smokestack wastes, tailpipe emis- wish to join us in the bloody, muddy trench- tors and nurses working in hospitals mightsions, and side effects of land-use changes es of the climate wars—we need the assis- wash their hands more often. And all thelike deforestation. To admit that we were tance of all who want to help. But before while you feel like you’re sitting at a dinnerharming the planetary commons was to ad- you go to battle, go to boot camp—read and table as three engaging people recountmit that we needed regulatory solutions, be informed. It is much easier to fight when their round-the-world adventure and questsome internationalist—the ultimate no-no to you know how to use your weapons. to improve the quality of life around them.ideologists of American hegemony and eco- Restoring a civil public dialogue would, The authors describe their locations won-nomic power. So denial of global warming to me, be the most important first step webecame de facto government policy, since the could take to heal the climate and the public Dean Karlan is a professor of economics at Yale University and president and founder of Innovationsideology of protecting entrepreneurial rights rift over protecting our common heritage. for Poverty Action. His research focuses on designover public amenities was Reaganite doc- We are already well into this dangerous ex- and evaluation of programs around the world, on top-trine. The Gore hearing was the first public periment we are performing on “Laboratory ics including microcredit, microsavings, voting, chari- table fundraising, health behavior modification, be-gun battle in the Congress. Earth”—with us and all other living things havioral economics, community-driven development, So the message, dear reader, is look un- along for the ride. ■ and microinsurance. Fall 2010 • STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW 17
  4. 4. Ideas Reviewsderfully and keep their prose crisp and to dren, or the free handouts of tofu and eggs? is indeed a positive deviant.the point. In another story, the authors used posi- With clear, concrete evidence, people I’m always happy, too, when advocates tive deviance to help identify why some hoping to solve social problems could listen,for a particular policy are realistic about its salespeople at a pharmaceutical company learn, and adopt positive deviance them-limitations, and these authors put forward sold a lot of one particular drug while oth- selves. In which case this book can serve astwo clear limitations: Positive deviance ers didn’t. The authors tell us that a sign of a great starter kit, whetting their appetitesworks only to change existing behaviors— positive deviance’s success was that sales and generating the enthusiasm for furthernot to introduce new technologies; and increased on average for everyone. But exploration. nspecific lessons learned in one place some- three tidbits give me pause. First, the drugtimes don’t work elsewhere. By the end of the book I felt hopeful of was upgraded, so perhaps sales increased in response to the upgrade. Second, even in Hear, Hear for Profitspositive deviance’s future success and glad the later time period, the positive deviants Review by Rodney Schwartzthat the authors reached thousands of peo- were still deviating. Maybe positive devi- BUILDING SOCIAL To change the worldple during their journey, possibly starting ants kept some ideas to themselves or dis- BUSINESS: The New once is remarkable. Athem on a trajectory of success. And yet I covered new ones, or the mimicry didn’t Kind of Capitalism second attempt in-was left hungry for more. I wanted to stay at that Serves Humanity’s vites deification. But work: Sometimes an apprentice can mimic Most Pressing Needsthat dinner table even though the stories but still doesn’t get it quite right. Last, we Muhammad Yunus Muhammad Yunus,were over, and say, “We can take this to the learn that the pharmaceutical company did 256 pages, PublicAffairs, 2010 the founder ofmasses and get more facilitators doing this not continue with the positive deviance ap- Grameen Bank andonly when you’ve shown that positive devi- proach, despite the before-and-after in- pioneer of microcredit, has embarked on yetance truly works.” crease in sales. I had to wonder: Would the another crusade: to foster a new kind of or- The evidence the authors put forward pharmaceutical company have been more ganization, the “social business.”typically consists of “here is where folks in likely to adopt this if it were faced with evi- In his new book, Building Social Business,our study were before” and “here is where dence more akin to randomized trials— Yunus devotes many pages to narrowingthey are afterward” (sometimes referred to what companies usually use to determine if down the existing definition of a social busi-as before-and-after studies). Other things something works or not? ness—many people precede him in definingare happening at the same time that can I also wanted answers about how to truly it, since the form first cropped up in thecause trends to occur, and the people who identify the behavior that causes the positive Victorian era—but he considers it a newparticipate in programs often tend to be dif- deviation. This identification may not be form of economic organization that links aferent: They are likely striving to succeed simple in many settings, and in the book, it social, ethical, or environmental objectiveand searching for ways out of their problem. felt as if community members were being with a commercial or financial one. He alsoIn social science, we call this a selection asked to conduct complicated econometric, lays out a road map for how these new firmsbias, and we are certain that it wreaks havoc analytical, or theoretical exercises that can grow and prosper. Indeed, I found muchon knowing whether the positive deviance would establish causal relationships be- to admire here and in the man, whose workapproach worked, or if the individuals who tween behaviors and outcomes. I have long respected.participated would have experienced better And last but not least: What will posi- The book is a refreshingly easy read.outcomes anyhow—because of either their tive deviance cost if implemented on a Yunus might have started life as a professor,environment or their spirit to succeed. large scale, such as an entire region or a but he certainly doesn’t write like an academ- To illustrate this evaluation challenge, country? How many failed attempts oc- ic. Instead he fills his book with practical ex-let’s go to the opening story on nutrition in curred (e.g., when no positive deviant be- amples, tactics, ideas, and insights—especial-Vietnam. Some parents, just as poor as ev- havior was identified or adopted) for each ly in his chapter on launching a socialeryone else, were feeding their kids crabs of the success stories we heard about? I business, where he repeatedly stresses theand shrimp that they collected daily from want answers not because I’m an accoun- need for social business to be “at least as wellrice paddies and added to the soup. These tant or an economist, but because I want to managed as any profit-maximizing business”kids were not malnourished. And so the au- support the ideas that are the most effec- and notes the importance of speed, planning,thors identified them as the positive devi- tive per dollar donated or invested. regular reevaluation of plans, and under-ants, others adopted their practices, and Ultimately, I’d recommend that propo- standing one’s market. He also providesthen lots more children escaped malnour- nents of positive deviance apply a bit of pos-ishment. But this was part of a larger pro- itive deviance to positive deviance itself—a Rodney Schwartz is CEO of ClearlySo, an on-gram, run by the same organization, in meta-study, so to speak. Is positive deviance line marketplace for social business and enterprise, commerce, and investment. He is the main author ofwhich parents and caretakers were also giv- the approach that works best, compared ClearlySo’s “Social Business Blog” and lectures on so-en tofu and eggs to feed their children. So with other approaches? Setting up random- cial finance at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. He also advises leading U.K. social businesseswhat caused the reduction in malnourish- ized evaluations and comparing positive de- and enterprises, sits on the board of the Ethical Prop-ment—the little shrimp and crabs that posi- viance with other methods (or nothing at erty Company, and is chairman of Green Thing. Hetive deviance told them to feed their chil- all) would help us know if positive deviance served as chairman of JustGiving from 2003 to 2006.18 Stanford Social innovation review • Fall 2010
  5. 5. many glimpses of the compelling genius be- its management, staff, and equity investors? can also forgo current income on certain in-hind Grameen Bank, which, together with Perhaps this incentive has helped bring vestments, but struggling social enterprisesYunus, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. about the social benefits. And the results may need to raise capital from investors whoWe meet Yunus “the master sales- should still matter. insist upon a financial return. Why penalizeman,” astutely aware of the brand Yunus’s definition of social these organizations merely because theyhe has created and its value—es- business does not withstand scru- lack Yunus’s exceptional access to largepecially to large corporate part- tiny, either. He includes large cor- corporations?ners. We peer into the mind of a porate partners who have created Furthermore, Yunus’s brand of socialvisionary thinker who sees bound- social business joint ventures with business allows profits to be earned, butless possibilities and constantly Grameen merely because they re- only if totally owned by the poor. But heenables and energizes those ceive no direct financial return doesn’t say how poor these “poor” must be,around him—he was one of the (not even 1 percent—a Yunus and isn’t clear about what happens if thefirst to see the untapped potential rule). But to suggest that they get social business succeeds and the ownersof those living at the bottom of no financial reward is misleading. become less poor. Are these social business-the pyramid. But we also gain access to the They receive substantial corporate social re- es then disqualified? There is some problempractical genius who understands that every sponsibility benefits (an expenditure thus with a model when success leads tolong journey begins with “a small step.” avoided), and one partner, the French com- disqualification. All that said, I was troubled by the book. pany Veolia Water, even derives substantial My last objection to Yunus’s definition:One of Yunus’s core ideas—his definition of a research and development and market re- His limitations will severely constrain activ-social business—is simply too rigid and dog- search benefits from its work. I do not be- ity and discourage innovation. By insistingmatic; it may cause unintended harm to ob- grudge Veolia these gains and am delighted only on nil-return-seeking capital, he greatlyjectives Yunus holds dear. Too many organi- that they work with Grameen, but let us not restricts the available capital sources. Thiszations fall outside Yunus’s definition of a pretend that these returns differ in any sub- handicaps those of us who seek to encour-social business. He dismisses cooperatives stantive way from dividends, interest, or cap- age more capital into the sector. Even with-founded in the United Kingdom in the mid- ital gains. Huge multinational corporations out Yunus’s rules, the pool seems far too1800s, for instance, though many people, in-cluding me, consider them prime examples ofsocial businesses. No, “[a cooperative is] not… social business,” he writes. “Some peoplethink that a social business is a kind of non-profit organization. This is not correct.” Butthe highly successful and well-known Ben &Jerry’s and The Body Shop aren’t social busi-nesses either, according to Yunus. Yet I amcertain that The Body Shop’s founders, Anitaand Gordon Roddick, saw it very much as asocial business. And should Yunus’s defini-tion influence tax policy, some social busi-nesses would lose out. “Peter Frumkin has long been Yunus would also exclude the Ethical one of our leading big pictureProperty Company, a U.K. firm lending only thinkers in the world of phi-to social change organizations—even lanthropy. In this terrific shortthough it works hard to strike the right bal- book, Frumkin marries his vi-ance between shareholders, clients, and sion of great philanthropy—staff interests. Isn’t this balance precisely strategic giving—with myriadwhat we should encourage in our currently real-world case studies. It isunbalanced economy? JustGiving, a profit- Frumkin at his best.”seeking social business that facilitates chari- Rob Reich, facultytable giving, would be out, too—even co-director, Center onthough it has proven more successful in Philanthropy and Civilraising money for charity (more than £500 Society, Stanford Universitymillion) than all its competitors combined. PAPER $15.00So are we to ignore the benefit of this firm’scontribution and strike it from the roster, The University of Chicago Press www.press.uchicago.edumerely because it also generates returns for Fall 2010 • STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW 19
  6. 6. Ideas Reviewssmall—why on earth should we further lim- more than 500,000 citizens. overlapping objectives and politicians de-it the capital available to them? Given this legislation, write Peter Frum- manding various outcomes as proof of the My company, ClearlySo, seeks to build a kin and Joann Jastrzab in Serving Country program’s value, we need this book.broad church within the sector—not to ex- and Community, one might assume that “the Yet I was left wondering if the authorsclude the many wonderful and innovative slated expansion of national service is hadn’t sidestepped the larger question fac-ventures on what feel like technicalities. grounded in a deep and penetrating under- ing national service: “Is it worth the ex-Perhaps that is why I take such umbrage at standing of how service works and how it pense?” Compared with the unpaid volun-Yunus’s definition. Still, I consider the book shapes the lives of young people.” But no tary service of millions of Americans eacha vital contribution to the exploration of so- such understanding exists, they say. year, who really benefits, and to what de-cial business. n Indeed, despite racking up millions of gree, from paid national service? volunteer hours and billions of dollars in The authors answer this question onlyPut the People to Work expenses, the true value of AmeriCorps re- mains unexamined by both the federal by setting aside the vast quantities of evi- dence they collected and reviewed and esti-Review by Chris Jarvis government and the Corporation for Nation- mating “in a different way what the value of American society has al and Community Service, a public-private service might be on a national level.” TheySERVING COUNTRYAND COMMUNITY: long benefited from partnership charged with delivering national multiply a rather simplistic ratio of volun-Who Benefits from the work of volun- service in America. “It is still unclear,” the au- teer hours by the “conservative indepen-National Service? teers. President thors maintain, “who benefits from national dent sector rate for the hourly value of vol-Peter Frumkin & JoannJastrzab Franklin D. Roosevelt service, under what conditions unteering” ($20). They then310 pages, Harvard even institutionalized these programs work best, and divide this number by the actualUniversity Press, 2010 the opportunity to how exactly they contribute to the amount each program costs, con-serve in 1933, when he created the Civilian strengthening of communities.” cluding that “the benefits of na-Conservation Corps (CCC), part of his New And so they wrote the book, hop- tional service outweigh its costs.”Deal, to combat the Great Depression. This ing (quite rightly) to discover who This summary argument is sus-public work relief program enlisted men age exactly benefits from massive in- pect at best, and at worst may ac-18 to 24 and paid them a small wage along vestments in national service. tually argue against programswith food, shelter, and clothing. Through Frumkin and Jastrzab begin such as AmeriCorps. For many,the program, Roosevelt was able to help their examination of national ser- national service programs offer250,000 destitute men while achieving his- vice’s value by identifying the vi- “cheap” labor at too high a costtoric strides for environmentalism: CCC sions people have of the purpose and impact to the taxpayer. Unlike Roosevelt’s CCC,volunteers developed more than 800 parks of national service. After conducting a good AmeriCorps is not combating the Great De-and planted 3 billion trees. number of interviews with leaders in the pression, and it lacks the singular focus of Although the program was discontinued field, four distinct visions emerge: citizenship environmentalism. It appears to be payingin 1942 when the United States entered and civic engagement, personal growth, so- Americans to volunteer to work in commu-World War II, America had enjoyed her first cial capital, and public work. The authors de- nities—something that happens withouttaste of national service. President Clinton fine and explore each thoroughly, and name government intervention or expense.revived the form in 1993 when he established the main potential benefits in each category. National service’s cost wouldn’t be aAmeriCorps. This program requires volun- They also research several national service problem if it could achieve something aboveteers to commit 20 to 40 hours a week, typi- programs, compare the data collected from and beyond what traditional volunteeringcally in local programs that provide services those who served against similar groups who achieves. According to Frumkin and Jas-such as building, tutoring, and cleanup of did not serve, and tick off which visions are trzab’s own research, however, this is notpublic areas. Some volunteers receive mod- fulfilled by each program. the case. Their conclusion that Ameri-est living stipends, and most are eligible for The results of this study are, as the au- Corps’s greatest value is cheap labor seemsgrants to help pay for college or student thors put it, “nuanced and at times unex- to undermine the book’s original premiseloans. President George W. Bush expanded pected. Positive effects are intertwined with and may, in fact, arm AmeriCorps’s criticsAmeriCorps, and the Edward M. Kennedy negative effects, right alongside findings of with the ultimate argument: National ser-Serve America Act, passed last year, promises no effects at all. Short-term and long-term vice costs too much and achieves too littleto mushroom its size. Already AmeriCorps effects at times coincide and at times con- when compared with the greater army ofhas provided volunteer opportunities for flict.” But in the end, national service seems unpaid volunteers in America. to achieve all four visions in one way or an- As the book concludes, the question re-Chris Jarvis is the cofounder of Realized Worth, aconsulting firm that helps companies create corporate other. And by the end of the book, the au- mains: Who benefits from national service?volunteering programs and social media strategies. thors had provided one of the clearest and I began reading Serving Country and Commu-He also writes “Realizing Your Worth,” a blog that fo- most concise examinations of volunteerism nity as a strong advocate of AmeriCorps andcuses on corporate social responsibility and corporatevolunteering. He has worked with nonprofits on their I have yet come across. Given the nation’s other national service programs. Now I amvolunteer programs for the past 20 years. multiple programs, each with distinct yet not so sure. n20 Stanford Social innovation review • Fall 2010