As a child, a book represented a chance to know people and cultures from distant lands. Or an introduction to real-life heroes who change the world. And there was nothing like the adventure of unexpected discoveries.

And though most of my childhood memories of finding books are rooted in public…

d.light customer illuminating her produce market

This past Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s influential essay arguing for shareholder capitalism in the New York Times Magazine. Over the past week, numerous people have written passionately about the impact of Friedman’s theory. Most have chosen a side: shareholders or stakeholders. …

Photo: Charles Deluvio

New York City’s Emergency Medical Services received 6,406 medical 911 calls yesterday. It was the highest volume ever recorded in the city, surpassing the record that had been set on September 11, 2001. Once again, New York has become the epicenter of a global crisis. Although this time of Coronavirus…

When Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun created d.light, they started with nothing but a prototype of a solar lantern and a dream to eradicate kerosene. Had the two freshly minted Stanford MBAs known all the obstacles to success, I’m not sure they would have started.

Their customers earned just a…

Photo Source: okayplayer.

After reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison in college, I resolved never to walk past a homeless person again without at least acknowledging him or her. Ellison’s extraordinary novel helped me see those who were invisible everywhere I looked.

One night, while walking home from my Wall Street job as…

Every day in Karachi, Pakistan, a child goes missing. Some are kidnapped, others lured into human trafficking, and some run away. For many years, the track record for finding them was very poor.

Acumen Fellow Muhammad Ali is trying to change that. In 2007, he created Roshni Helpline, Pakistan’s first…

Frances Perkins, an American heroine for social justice

Today, 107 years ago, on Washington Place in New York’s Greenwich Village, a great fire engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146 garment factory workers and becoming the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city. The factory doors had been locked, and the workers, 123 of which were…

I’m on the outskirts of Delhi with Acumen Fellow Gayatri Jolly. She is a super-talented fashion designer with degrees from Babson College and Parsons and dreams of bringing high-end yet sustainable fashion from India to the world. She looks at sourcing and producing her fabrics ethically and transparently. For this…

How one Acumen Fellow is cleaning up the Ganges and bringing dignity to an ignored community

Kanpur, India, about a five hour train ride from Delhi. I am visiting with Acumen Fellow Ankit Agarwal and his co-founder Karan Rastogi, who saw a problem here in India. Across the country, people bring flowers to temples on a daily basis — gifts for the gods, blessings for life…

Jacqueline Novogratz

Founder and CEO of @Acumen. Dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty. Learn more: www.acumen.org

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