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ERIC Number: ED522063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 68
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Steering Capital: Optimizing Financial Support for Innovation in Public Education
Smith, Kim; Petersen, Julie
Bellwether Education Partners
This paper revisits the central question of how to improve the provision of capital for entrepreneurial change in public education, but emphasizes the innovation ecosystem that surrounds the capital markets. The authors consider capital as one of the most important levers individuals need to align in this innovation ecosystem, but as a force that can both influence the way innovation takes hold--and can in turn be influenced by others in the wider ecosystem, including public policy. In this paper, the authors briefly define what they mean by innovation and the cycle of constant learning it requires, and lay out three contributing trends relevant to this context: social entrepreneurs, social purpose investors and social purpose market steering. They then consider the five elements they believe are necessary to enable effective capital market dynamics to support innovation, including: (1) Clarity and agreement on the problems, goals and metrics for success; (2) An effective research and development (R&D) system; (3) A culture that is evidence-based, with incentives and infrastructure aligned for continuous improvement; (4) Data that are transparent, available, comparable and useful; and (5) Robust, diverse and aligned investment capital. The authors conclude by offering some recommendations about how they might work together across the sectors to mobilize public, private and philanthropic capital in ways that harness the ingenuity and energy of entrepreneurial change agents in service of ambitious public education goals. (Contains 2 figures and 80 endnotes.)
Bellwether Education Partners. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation
Authoring Institution: Bellwether Education Partners