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Student social entrepreneurs have more power

I wrote an article this week about social entrepreneurship at Stanford, and specifically a 22-year-old named Josh Nesbit, who’s setting up health networks in Africa. (slide show)

Health volunteers in Malawi

What’s amazing to me is the power that people like Nesbit have. A few generations ago, during the Great Depression, idealistic young people could go places and make a difference. They could work in soup kitchens or even fight in the Spanish Civil War. But with the exception of artists and writers, their power was in their numbers.

But Josh and his class at Stanford and elsewhere can launch global enterprises from their dorm rooms. They start off as CEOs. In the beginning, operating expenses are not much more than living expenses, including a laptop and broadband. I think this means that change in all sorts of realms can happen a lot faster than most of us expect it.

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