Groundbreaking Book on Inclusivity Published by University of Michigan Professor

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Will America Find Its Soul Again? In a ground-breaking new book, University of Michigan Professor Michael Gordon teams up with entrepreneur Christian Sarkar to highlight ways in which we can be more inclusive at work, in the community, and in our daily lives.

University of Michigan Professor Michael Gordon and independent consultant Christian Sarkar recently released "Inclusivity: Will America Find Its Soul Again?"

In their new book, they reveal eight perspectives on creating a more inclusive United States, none of which requires government intervention:

1.    Our problems at home also create opportunities.
2.    Community-level entrepreneurship is at the leading edge of economic revitalization.
3.    Challenging our economic beliefs is vital for creating inclusive wealth.
4.    Urban centers can take the lead on inclusivity by following distinctly different paths.
5.    Inclusive education begins with students doing, not administrators talking.
6.    Social wellness creates better health by incorporating a new workforce and new practices, including community members who provide frontline support.
7.    Inclusive leaders insist on creating meaningful value for others--always.
8.    An inclusive future means transcending cultural barriers and identifying untapped resources.

With their new book, “Gordon and Sarkar show us that the power of companies to improve the world while making a profit has never been stronger. Business is waking up to opportunities at the base of the pyramid in the developing world. Just as those opportunities demand a new logic, so do our societal problems at home. Inclusivity paints a picture of the future of business in the United States that is just starting to take shape. All businesses must master the competency that this book so vividly illustrates: inclusivity,” says Professor Vijay Govindarajan, professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

The book looks at problems of health, education, livelihood, and a deteriorating environment in both urban and rural America, and it tells the stories of individuals and organizations that are leading the way to solve these problems. The 50 stories included in the book tell of American renewal and the restoration of opportunity—to live a life with economic opportunity, good health, an education suitable for today and tomorrow, and to enjoy clean air, water, and skies—for all of us.

“We wanted to show the world that businesses, social entrepreneurs, and people not too different from the rest of us are leading the way,” explains Professor Michael Gordon. “I want to see my students get inspired by the efforts of these leaders, to share their secrets, and help create the country we all want and so desperately need—one of inclusivity.”

The idea for the book originated just a few months ago, when Gordon and Sarkar were discussing the need for positive examples to show what is possible when entrepreneurs and community members work together to create opportunities for all.

“The very idea of the United States of America is based on the principles of inclusivity,” says co-author Christian Sarkar. “With the divisive political climate around us, we felt it important to make the point that we are all in this together – the 100%. The U.S.A., unless we decide otherwise, will simply become the States of America. Our mission is to urge people across this country to view their world in a more inclusive light. You can’t have democracy without inclusivity.”

The book asks citizens to think about the future they want for their country. As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, two different paths lie before us. One favors the privileged, protecting their wealth, predicting, against the evidence, that their actions will create a fairer future with more opportunity for all. The other looks at all citizens as having equal talent and desire—but not opportunity—and tries to unleash that opportunity. What future do we want, do you want, for your children?

Sometimes, as the book shows, the biggest hurdles to inclusivity are not budgetary. Instead they are political or even simply organizational—reflecting stale perspectives and lack of genuine belief.

How do organizations create the right mindset to build inclusive businesses? This book shows it can be done and how to begin.

“Creating a greener planet, serving the poor, and acts of a similar spirit present a great opportunity for business. Inclusivity lets us see how the base of the pyramid at home--BOP USA--is as full of opportunities as it is overseas,” says author and Professor Stuart L. Hart at Cornell University. “Better, it tells us how to take advantage of them. The United States is tied in knots by those who think business is the cause of all our problems and those who think it can do little wrong. This book shows a third way: more inclusive organizations that generate opportunity for everyone.”


Michael Gordon is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Business Administration at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, where is he a former associate dean. He is an award-winning educator and author, a social innovator (honored by the Smithsonian Institution three times), and an acclaimed public speaker. His passion is creating a better world, guided by cutting edge organizations. He is author of Design Your Life, Change the World: Your Path as a Social Entrepreneur. He is keenly interested in applying insights gleaned from around the world to address societal problems in the U.S. Learn more at

Christian Sarkar is the founder of several entrepreneurial ventures, a marketing consultant, and the co-founder of the $300 House Project. He is also the VP of Innovation for Enterprise for a Sustainable World. Christian works with businesses, nonprofits, and leading thinkers to challenge assumptions, grow good ideas, and develop ecosystematic business models. Learn more at

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