Acumen Fund's Novogratz Has a Compelling Story to Tell

Hollywood makes regular efforts to illuminate the challenges faced by those in Africa. But if you any real interest in understanding how philanthropy and social entrepreneurs are advancing change there, tune in to a new book from Acumen Fund founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz.

Its title, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, is drawn from a story of what appears to be unfathomable coincidence, but which Novogratz takes as a symbol of our interconnectedness with all on the planet.

As a child in the 1970s, she had given the charity Goodwill Industries an old, blue sweater. In 1987, jogging through Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, she thought she saw a boy wearing it. She was right—it still had her name on the tag. For Jacqueline Novogratz, this encounter symbolized the idea that humanity’s “collective future rests upon our embracing a vision of a single world in which we are all connected,”1 just as the blue sweater connected her, an American, with a kid in Rwanda.

The Acumen Fund, which Jacquelyn founded, is a consistently solid performer and she is both an intelligent witness and profoundly committed activist. (I've written about her as an example of the few die-hards who promoted the transition between what I call Venture Philanthropy 1.0 and Venture Philanthropy 2.0.) I'm ordering it right now and will be glad to report back when I'm done. Please feel free to join me!

Susan Herr

Posted at 1:37 AM, Mar 06, 2009 in Cross-Sectoral Strategies | Economic Development | Ethnic/Social Diversities | Global Philanthropy | Microfinance | Peace and Justice | Poverty | Social Entreprenuers | Streaming Media | Permalink