How Social Change Happens

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Why are some social change movements successful while others are not? On this week’s episode, author and Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative Executive Director Leslie Crutchfield and WinniE’s Bakery chef/owner Elise Smith talk about effective leadership and “how to do well by doing good” with hosts Debbie and Billy Shore. In her latest book, “How Change Happens: Why Some Movements Succeed While Others Don’t,” Crutchfield defines common denominators driving recent successful social movements. “Successful movements turn grassroots gold. They invest in and nurture local leaders… It’s the combination of grassroots and organizations that put all the pieces together so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” she explains. She cites Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign as one of those successes. Smith describes her passion for being involved as a grassroots volunteer for No Kid Hungry. “Childhood hunger is something that should not be happening in our country. Whenever I get overwhelmed thinking about how big a problem it is, it [gives me] a sense of ease to know there is something I can do,” she says.

Crutchfield has been writing about the social entrepreneurship movement from its beginnings. “[Social enterprise is] grounded in a value that business is in service to society. It’s not just for profit, it’s for people and the planet, too. We sit at the intersection of ‘how do you make a profit and create social and environmental impact,’” she says. In addition to baking delicious treats for fundraising events, Smith recently went to Capitol Hill with (previous Add Passion and Stir guest) chef Jason Alley to lobby legislators to support SNAP and summer meals programs. “That passion for food and people is where we connected,” she says.

Listen to these two dynamic guests connect the larger social movements driving real change with the more personal motivations that drive grassroots activism.

Resources and Mentions:

Elise Smith

Owner and head baker of WinniE’s Bakery. With a passion for baking, a need to share her delectable creations, and an entrepreneurial spirit, she started WinniE’s Bakery in 2012. The “Winnie” in WinniE’s Bakery comes from one of the single greatest influences in her life, her maternal grandmother Winifred, aka “Nana.” That’s where it all started for Elise. Her Nana was a baker, floral designer, decorator, and event planner. Smith considers herself a lover of life, with a passionate spirit. In her spare time, you can find her either in her kitchen concocting delectable creations for the next dinner party with her closest family and friends or perhaps reading anything by her favorite author Sarah Addison Allen or onto her next adventure. She is also a published freelance recipe developer and food writer. Smith loves to travel and discover, whether something as small as discovering a new local coffee shop or as grand as traveling to Italy’s Tuscan country.

Leslie Crutchfield

An author, educator, Senior Advisor at FSG Social Impact Consultants and the Executive Director of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Her deep interest in understanding what drives societal change is explored in her latest book, How Change Happens: Why Some Movements Succeed While Others Don’t (Wiley/April 2018). She also co-authored the bestselling award-winning Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits – recognized by The Economist’s Best Books of the Year list – and Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World. Crutchfield was previously a Managing Director at Ashoka, the global venture fund for social entrepreneurs, and she co-founded a nonprofit magazine in her 20s. She teaches corporate responsibility at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business as an adjunct professor and a nonprofit leadership and social entrepreneurship course on Lynda.com. Crutchfield frequently lectures at academic, nonprofit, corporate and public sector events. She has contributed to Fortune, Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, and has appeared on programs such as ABC, FOX, NPR and PBS, frequently providing expert commentary on social change movements, corporate responsibility, shared value, nonprofit leadership, philanthropy and social innovation. Leslie has served as a trustee of SEED Foundation and Kiva and volunteered with Crossroads Africa. She holds an MBA and BA from Harvard.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

WinniE’s Bakery

Brings wholesome, delicious, gourmet baked goods from the heart with a baking style all their own. They work to create unique, unforgettable, and divinely sweet baked goods. With conscious intention in the selection and use of the finest ingredients, owner and head baker Elise Smith strives to use sustainable ingredients. She practices in her kitchen by buying local, organic, and fairly-sourced goods as often as possible. WinniE’s Bakery stands apart with a natural, wholesome, and authentic sensibility. What Smith loves most about baking is that it is one of the purest, yet most engaging acts to convey love.

Global Social Enterprise Initiative

Part of the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. It brings the power and innovation generated by cross-sector partnerships to bear on the world’s most pressing problems by emphasizing implementation and measurable social change. As an initiative of the School of Business, GSEI strives to expose career professionals and students to how social, economic, and environmental (SEE) value can facilitate large-scale and lasting change. GSEI is built on robust partnerships with corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. It’s partners and collaborators bring opportunities for students, faculty, and stakeholders to think critically about how organizations can look across sectors and SEE Value in large scale and lasting change.

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