The Solution Revolution
Book by William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan
Reviewed by Catalyst Editorial Team
Issue 14 Spring | Summer 2015
The Solution Revolution invites a welcome vantage point beyond the frustrations of today’s political gridlock and fiscal constraints in the public sector. The book demonstrates how a new, more collaborative and productive economic system is taking hold around the world where business, civil society, government and investors converge to create public value together.
Many of these collaborations have only recently become possible through innovations, such as social networking, crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing, micro-financing and impact investing that harness collective creativity. Using numerous examples from across a variety of disciplines, authors William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan point out why these cross-sector collaborations are especially valuable. Each type of organization carries a unique set of information, expertise, creativity and resources that when brought together, can deliver more impactful and effective public solutions.
The Solution Revolution does a wonderful job laying the groundwork for this important movement. Set up like a quasi-textbook, it is easy to grasp the main points and takeaways at the end of each chapter. The appendix also provides a useful summary of tools available to governments, businesses and investors to help each type of actor find specific ways they can contribute toward solving society’s challenging problems.
Yet, despite the author’s optimism, it is clear the hardest work is ahead of us. While the book covers a lot of ground, many of the examples are touched on only superficially. Practitioners will require a deeper look at more substantial examples – perhaps in a second edition – to explore the specific threats, barriers and opportunities for society to emerge out of the Solution Revolution fully and systematically transformed.