Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Important Book on Technology in the Social Sector

Jonathan Peizer has been one of the most influential thinkers in my evolution with Benetech. Patrick Ball introduced us early in our transition to the new Benetech projects (Bookshare.org and Martus), and JP became our first funder of our Martus project through the Open Society Institute. His insights about technology in the social sector have been especially valuable.

Jonathan has just published a new book: The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change.

Here's the review I wrote for the book's listing on Amazon.com:

As a long-term leader in the field of social applications of information technology, I want to strongly recommend Jonathan Peizer's new book, THE DYNAMICS OF TECHNOLOGY FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. IT in the social sector is exploding, and yet many projects are not as successful as they could be. Jonathan has incredible learning and perspective to share from being at the center of this field over the last 15 years through his vantage point at George Soros' Open Society Institute.

This book is especially useful for practitioners. Quite often, we bumble about trying to find the best way to make things happen. It's rare to find writings that immediately speak to your experiences, but from a more thoughtful and analytical viewpoint. It often explains why certain initiatives failed and others succeeded. I had that kind of "aha!" moment when I first read some of Jonathan's essays years ago, and this book is a platform for expanding on these crucial topics.

The best example of these insights is the "Trusted Source Relationship" concept. In the book, JP explains why traditional marketing and sales have limited effectiveness in the social sector, and why trust is the most critical asset in effective technology implementations. However, the book is full of practical and realistic observations and recommendations. If you are planning on using IT to save the world, reading this book will greatly enhance your odds of success!

JP's Philantherapy blog:
JP’s Philantherapy Blog » Blog Archive » Is There a Formula for Capacity Support Decisions?:

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