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Bill Drayton

  • American businessman

For other men with this name, see William Drayton (disambiguation).William "Bill" Drayton (born in New York City, USA), is a social entrepreneur. Drayton was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's 25 Best Leaders in 2005. He is responsible for the rise of the phrase "social entrepreneur", a concept first found in print in 1972.Drayton is the founder and current chair of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding and fostering social entrepreneurs worldwide.


What does an entrepreneur do? The first thing is they've given themselves permission to see a problem. Most people don't want to see problems... Once you see a problem and you keep looking at it, you'll find an answer.




An entrepreneur is someone who brings a pattern change.




We are all very deeply the children of our parents and their parents. Far more than we generally realize.




The social entrepreneurs are governments' best friends.




Imagine a world where everyone is really a change maker.




Every successful organization has to make the transition from a world defined primarily by repetition to one primarily defined by change. This is the biggest transformation in the structure of how humans work together since the Agricultural Revolution.




White House cultures inevitably reflect the president's character. Jimmy Carter is a thoroughly honest, good person. So was his White House.




Good entrepreneurs can manage, but no one but an entrepreneur can entrepreneur, let alone help build and lead the world's community of leading social entrepreneurs and their top business entrepreneur allies.




Everyone says you've got to do a foundation and legal structure to finance social change. What nonsense!




Organizations must shift away from repetitive-function hierarchies with rules and enforcement and walls. Instead, we must migrate rapidly to becoming a global 'team of teams' that comes together in whatever combination necessary to add the greatest value to the changes underway.




Change begets change as much as repetition reinforces repetition.




Public service and respect for ideas is a recurrent theme in both the American and Australian sides of my family.




In 1962, when I was 19, I visited India. With introductions from people involved in the U.S. civil rights movement, I was able to visit with several of the leading Gandhians there. The hundred-to-one difference in average per capita income between America and India at the time was a stark reality for the people who became my friends there.




We would like to have every middle and high school become a place where there will be lots of examples of youth competence and confidence.




We have to teach empathy as we do literacy.




Entrepreneurs almost always have to step out of existing institutions that embody old ways of doing things to build their vision.




The life purpose of the true social entrepreneur is to change the world.




It's the combination: big idea with a good entrepreneur: there's nothing more powerful.




Entrepreneurs cannot be happy people until they have seen their visions become the new reality across all of society.




I was taught by my parents that people who are loud don't have anything to say. I've found if you're suggesting quite big changes, a quiet style may be reassuring.




We started Ashoka here in India with a simple idea: that you needed social entrepreneurs to deal with problems that don't fit the business paradigm.




You can't be a change-maker by reading a book.



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