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Society News


Philanthrocapitalism, Matthew Bishop, Michael Green





How the Rich Can Save the World

Matthew Bishop & Michael Green



“A terrific book about how private money can help solve even the most difficult public problems. Philanthrocapitalism is the definitive guide to a new generation of philanthropists who understand innovation and risk-taking, and who will play a crucial part in solving the biggest problems facing
 the world.”

—Mayor Michael Bloomberg


“Everything you need to know about the revolution underway in the world of philanthropy—its potential as well as its challenges. An indispensable book for anyone who cares about helping the world’s four billion poor get a chance to live their dreams.”

—Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capital


Can philanthropy keep pace with all the problems of in our changing world? Certainly the old model couldn’t. But a new generation of donors (like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Angelina Jolie) have taken a radical approach to how their money is spent and invested.  They are the philanthrocapitalists, a term coined by The Economist’s Matthew Bishop to describe a new breed of super-rich “social investors.” Bishop and his co-author, development expert Michael Green, are the first to document their rise on the global scene and the impact they are having on charity.

Philanthropy for centuries has more or less had the same simple formula: spend a lifetime accumulating wealth, then give it away. But for 21st-century entrepreneurs, accustomed to achieving success on a grand scale—and solving problems across national borders—that isn’t enough. To make the most efficient and effective use of their donations, they insist that the agencies they support be accountable and sustainable, with the same rigorous management and focus on measurable success that defines their for-profit work. Based on interviews with money men like Gates, Bloomberg, Soros, and Branson, celebs such as Bono and Shakira, and politicians like Clinton and Bloomberg, Bishop and Green discovered that:

“Philanthrocapitalists are developing a new (if familiar-sounding) language to describe their businesslike approach. Their philanthropy is ‘strategic,’ ‘market conscious,’ ‘impact oriented,’ ‘knowledge based,’ often ‘high engagement,’ and always driven by the goal of maximizing the ‘leverage’ of the donor’s money. Seeing themselves as social investors, not traditional donors, some of them engage in ‘venture philanthropy.’ As entrepreneurial ‘philanthropreneurs,’ they love to back social entrepreneurs who offer innovative solutions to society’s problems

Are these billionaires the solution to the world’s crises?  PHILANTHROCAPITALISM argues that there is no one silver bullet, but that the efforts of this class amount to an essential way forward.  Not to mention an inspiration—along with portraits of some of the world’s most innovative charitable thinkers, Green and Bishop offer examples of how the rest of us can effect change.

Matthew Bishop is the New York bureau chief of the Economist and an award-winning writer on issues concerning business and society. He was a member of the Advisors Group to the United Nations Year of Microcredit in 2005. His previous book is Essential Economics. Michael Green taught economics at Warsaw University under a Soros-funded program in the early 1990s before joining the Department for International Development (DFID), where he managed the UK aid programs to Russia and the Ukraine and ran the communications department. Having taken a sabbatical from DFID, he is writing here in a personal capacity. He lives in London.


Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World

Matthew Bishop & Michael Green

ISBN 1-59691-374-6

Pub date: October 1, 2008

$27 · 308 Pages · 6 1/8 x 9 ¼




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