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Civic Entrepreneurship: In Search of Sustainable Development

Around the world, civic entrepreneurs are practising sustainable development through their actions. Representing civil society, business, and government, civic entrepreneurs are championing sustainable development and succeeding – often despite significant odds – in making it happen on the ground. It may often happen at a small scale, but it does so in undeniably real, robust and promising terms. Civic entrepreneurship is driven explicitly by the public interest, and seeks to create new ways of building social capital and of harnessing existing ideas, methods, inventions, technologies, resources or management systems in the service of collective goals. Perhaps the most challenging lesson of the decade since the Rio Earth Summit has been that sustainable development has no blueprint: it cannot be deconstructed and replicated at will, a reality that has confounded governments, market forces and academia alike. Instead, it always involves newness: a new way of pulling things together, new ways of mobilising resources, building legitimacy, engendering collective action, stimulating economic activity or adapting technology.

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