In a speech last week in Iowa, presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama, called for a new focus on social entrepreneurs as agents for positive change, and for increased investment in the social sector:
"The second thing I’ll do is invest in ideas that can help us meet our common challenges, because more often than not the next great social innovation won’t be generated by the government.
"The non-profit sector employs 1 in 12 Americans and 115 nonprofits are launched every day. Yet while the federal government invests $7 billion in research and development for the private sector, there is no similar effort to support non-profit innovation. Meanwhile, there are ideas across America – in our inner cities and small towns; from college graduates to folks making a career change – that could benefit millions of Americans if they’re given the chance to grow.
"As President, I will launch a new Social Investment Fund Network. It’s time to get the grass roots, the foundations, the private sector and the government at the table. We’ll invest in ideas that work; leverage private sector dollars to encourage innovation; and expand successful programs to scale. Take a program like the Harlem Children’s Zone, which helps thousands of kids in New York through after-school activities, mentoring, and family support. We need to make that model work in different cities around the country. And I’ll start a new Social Entrepreneur Agency to make sure that small non-profits have the same kind of support that we give small businesses."
Spurring private action through public programs. Obama almost sounds like a Republican with his call for "personal responsibility" and acknowledgment that "the next great social innovation won’t be generated by the government."
Does Barack Obama have a chance to become President? He got this Independent's attention with this speech.
Read the full speech here: The Swamp