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Jonathan Greenblatt -- Social Entreprenuership
Alex Steffen, 3 Aug 06

Jonathan Greenblatt is best known as the co-founder of Ethos Water, which sells bottled water in the U.S. and uses the profits to directly support humanitarian water programs in developing countries. But Jonathan has a long history of working for social change, serving on philanthropic boards (including the Starbucks Foundation) and in government (he worked in the White House under President Clinton).

As a Worldchanger, Jonathan will bring his insight into social entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility to bear, helping us think through new innovations and evaluate new models in business, philanthropy and social change organizations. We're really excited to have him on board. Welcome Jonathan!

See Jonathan's first WC post, Social Enterprise Corps, here.

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I am very interested in social entrepreneurship as a model and am looking forward to reading Jonathan's thoughts on it.

I came across Ethos water at a Starbucks (a rare visit, but that is a comment for another day)just last month.

However, I am sceptical of Social Entrepreneurship tactics that seem in direct contradiction to the problem it is trying to solve. The concept of creating bottled water or "privatizing water" for sale, no matter where it happens seems to me, wrong. If Ethos was really going to be successful in raising awareness of the water crisis, the first thing it should do is discourage people from buying it's own bottled water! Yes, I see that the water comes from sustainable springs, but do we need a middle man to get that water to us. And to have it available only to people who can pay the price for it?

See a P.O.V that PBS did on bottled water.

Also on the projects that it supports, I would like to see the actual amount that it is contributing to each project. Though 5 cents might go a long way in developing nations, I am curious about what percentage of the profit it is.

It would be very helpful, and I would be grateful if Jonathan could help clear up some of my anxieties and doubts about this with an explanation of the Ethos business model.

Posted by: Barnali on 14 Aug 06



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