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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Jan 15, 2009

'Philanthrocapitalism', by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green is an examination of how today's leading philanthropists are revolutionizing the field, using, they believe,  new methods to have a vastly greater impact on the world.
In this book, you read that to philanthropists of the past, charity was often a matter of simply giving money away. For the philanthrocapitalists - the new generation of billionaires who are reshaping the way they give - it's like business. These "social investors", who are largely trained in the corporate world, are using big-business-style strategies and expecting results and accountability to match.

Bill Gates, the world's richest man, is leading the way: he has promised his entire fortune to finding a cure for the diseases that kill millions of children in the poorest countries in the world.

In this book, the authors examine this new movement and its implications. Proceeding from interviews with some of the most powerful people on the planet - including Gates, Bill Clinton, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, and Bono, among others - they show how a web of wealthy, motivated donors has set out to change the world. Their results will have huge implications: In a climate resistant to government spending on social causes, their focused donations may be the greatest force for societal change in our world, and a source of political controversy.

Combining on-the-ground anecdotes, expert analysis, and up-close profiles of the wealthy and powerful, this is a fascinating look at a small group of people who will change an enormous number of lives.

I recently spoke with Matthew Bishop who, before joining 'The Economist', was on the faculty of London Business School, where he co-authored three books for Oxford University Press. He has served as a member of the Sykes Commission on the investment system in the 21st Century. He was also on the Advisors Group of the United Nations International Year of Microcredit 2005. He has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a graduate of Oxford University.

More By Matthew
"I Want to Lose a Fortune"
"Fighting Global Poverty: Who'll be Relevant in 2020?"
"View from Davos: Bono Marketing His Red Badge of Virtue"