Manifesto for a Moral Revolution by Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Title: Manifesto for a Moral Revolution
  • Subtitle: Practices to Build a Better World
  • Author(s): Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
  • Year: 2020-05-05
  • ISBN-10: 1250222869
  • ISBN-13: 9781250222862


“Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” by Jacqueline Novogratz is an inspiring and thought-provoking book that calls for a new approach to solving the world’s most pressing problems. Novogratz, the founder and CEO of Acumen, a nonprofit impact investment fund, shares her journey and experiences working on the frontlines of poverty alleviation and social change. The book presents a compelling vision for a more compassionate and equitable world, where individuals and organizations come together to address poverty, injustice, and inequality through moral leadership and innovative solutions.

In the book, Novogratz emphasizes the importance of moral leadership, which goes beyond traditional notions of success and focuses on creating sustainable and transformative change. She advocates for the integration of empathy and compassion into business and philanthropy, urging leaders to prioritize the well-being of the marginalized and underserved. Novogratz offers powerful examples of organizations that have adopted a moral revolution approach, such as BRAC, an innovative social enterprise that has transformed the lives of millions of people in Bangladesh through community-led development initiatives. By showcasing such examples, Novogratz demonstrates how a moral approach to business and philanthropy can drive profound impact and social progress, making “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” a compelling call to action for a more just and inclusive world.

Book Review

“Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” by Jacqueline Novogratz is a powerful and transformative book that challenges the conventional approach to tackling social issues and poverty alleviation. Novogratz, a pioneer in impact investing and social entrepreneurship, shares her journey of building Acumen, an organization dedicated to investing in businesses that create positive social impact. Through inspiring stories and insightful analysis, she presents a compelling vision for a moral revolution that prioritizes empathy, compassion, and moral leadership as the driving forces for transformative change.

One of the key themes in the book is the importance of approaching poverty and social challenges with empathy and respect for the dignity of every individual. Novogratz emphasizes the need to listen to and understand the experiences of the marginalized and underserved, rather than imposing preconceived solutions from the top down. She shares the example of Acumen’s investment in a low-cost housing project in Pakistan, where the team sought input from the residents themselves to design homes that were not just affordable but also dignified and conducive to a sense of community. This approach led to improved living conditions and a sense of pride and ownership among the residents.

Another significant aspect of the book is the concept of “patient capital” and the role of impact investing in creating lasting social change. Novogratz advocates for moving away from short-term fixes and quick wins to patient, long-term investment in businesses that address societal challenges sustainably. She cites the example of d.light, a solar energy company that Acumen invested in, which brought affordable and clean energy solutions to millions of people living without access to electricity. By providing patient capital and support, Acumen helped d.light grow and make a real impact on the lives of those in underserved communities.

Moreover, Novogratz emphasizes the importance of moral leadership and courage in driving transformative change. She shares stories of individuals who embody moral leadership, such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of Liberia, who led the country through difficult times with integrity and a commitment to the well-being of her people. Novogratz’s own experiences and reflections on leadership provide valuable insights for aspiring changemakers to lead with humility, empathy, and a sense of purpose.

In conclusion, “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” is a compelling and thought-provoking book that challenges readers to reevaluate their approach to tackling social issues and poverty. Jacqueline Novogratz’s powerful storytelling and real-life examples highlight the potential of a moral revolution in creating lasting and positive social impact. The book offers a roadmap for individuals, organizations, and businesses to adopt a more compassionate and ethical approach to addressing global challenges. By prioritizing empathy, compassion, and moral leadership, Novogratz inspires readers to be agents of change and advocates for a more just and equitable world. “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” is recommended reading for anyone seeking to make a meaningful difference and create positive change in society.

Word Count: 480

Target Audience

The book “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” by Jacqueline Novogratz is recommended reading for a diverse audience with an interest in social impact, poverty alleviation, and transformative change. Its target audience includes:

  • Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers The book is particularly relevant for social entrepreneurs and individuals seeking to create positive social impact through innovative business models and solutions. Novogratz’s experiences with Acumen and her insights into patient capital and moral leadership provide valuable guidance for those working to address pressing societal challenges in a sustainable and compassionate manner.

  • Impact Investors and Philanthropists For impact investors and philanthropists, “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” offers a compelling case for integrating empathy and compassion into their investment and giving strategies. Novogratz’s emphasis on listening to the voices of those in underserved communities and focusing on long-term social change can help these investors and philanthropists adopt a more thoughtful and impactful approach.

  • Business Leaders and Corporate Social Responsibility Professionals Business leaders and CSR professionals looking to make a positive difference in their organizations and communities can benefit from the book’s insights on moral leadership and inclusive business practices. Novogratz’s examples of socially responsible businesses and her call for businesses to prioritize human dignity and social impact can inspire leaders to rethink their role in creating a more equitable and just world.

  • Students and Academics “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” is an excellent resource for students studying social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and international development. Novogratz’s practical examples and thoughtful analysis provide real-world context to academic concepts, making the book a valuable supplement to traditional coursework.

  • Anyone Interested in Social Change and Empathy The book is recommended for anyone who cares about social change and wants to understand the power of empathy and compassion in driving transformative solutions. Novogratz’s storytelling and reflections on moral leadership can inspire and empower individuals from all walks of life to contribute meaningfully to their communities and advocate for positive social change.

Overall, “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution” is recommended reading for individuals and professionals seeking to make a meaningful difference in the world and create lasting social impact. Novogratz’s compelling vision for a more compassionate and equitable society, combined with practical insights and real-life examples, make the book an inspiring and thought-provoking resource for changemakers across various fields and disciplines.