Twitter Debate on the Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund established by the Obama administration is an important pilot of a new approach to scaling up successful ideas by social entrepreneurs, that we believe could be a model of philanthrocapitalism at its best. (See Matthew’s article on social innovation in The Economist.)

However, what Steve Goldberg calls a “kerfuffle” has taken place over the alleged lack of transparency in grantmaking by SIF, alleged conflicts of interest and alleged favouritism shown to one grantee, New Profit Inc, a venture philanthropy that we feature in the book.

We decided to make this the subject of our second debate on Twitter, where Matthew goes by the alias @mattbish and Michael is @shepleygreen. (Our first debate was on profits and the poor.) This took place from 3-4pm Eastern time on August 25th. It was a lively debate, with 58 different contributors, including our friend Stephanie Strom, whose article in the New York Times introduced the kerfuffle to a global audience. You can read a transcript of the debate here – best done by skimming down the page, rather than concentrating too hard đŸ˜‰

These were the rules of engagement: Keep your comments to under 140 characters each. Always include the hashtag #SIFDEB (for social innovation fund debate). The hashtag allows people to follow the flow of debate without everyone having to retweet comments they refer to. If you respond to a particular person’s comment, start your tweet with re and the person’s twitter name: for instance, if you respond to a comment by @mattbish, start your tweet: Re @mattbish and end it with #SIFDEB. Other than that, please avoid personal abuse.

Do let us know if there are other topics you would like to debate on Twitter.

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