Impact beautifully distills the insights and deep wisdom of one of the world’s great social innovators. Etmanski’s book is far more than a practical guide: it’s an invitation to re-imagine possibilities for our lives and for the world we create.”

David Bornstein, author “How To Change The World”


Praise & Feedback Download Intro Buy

Impact explores the difference between short term success and lasting impact. It’s for those who have wondered why, despite our best efforts, talent and money we have not made as big a dent in our social and environmental challenges as we’d like. As Severin Cullis-Suzuki says in her exquisite Foreword to the book: My question has changed from ‘how can I change the world,’ to ‘why isn’t it working?’

Impact profiles more than 50 Canadians who are achieving lasting social impact, looking past quick wins and surface-level victories, and paying attention to the deeper patterns of change. My hope is that this book will shine a light on the good work Canadians have done, are doing and will do to move the dial, change a paradigm, tip a system and achieve lasting social impact.

I hope the book becomes a catalyst for appreciating the talent, ingenuity and creativity we have within our midst. And for unifying our efforts. Long may we run. 


an excerpt from the introduction:

Do you want to change the world but feel frustrated by the limited impact you and others have had? Do you feel that despite your best efforts, and indeed successes, you have hit a brick wall? You may have mounted a fierce advocacy campaign, seen your public education campaign go viral, pioneered a social program, mobilized new funds or changed a law, but the status quo has barely budged. Social and economic justice hasn’t increased. Power hasn’t shifted. The old paradigm survives. And the sharp, distinctive edges of your social innovation are in danger of being eroded, isolated or forgotten. Download Introduction

Al Etmanski is one of those rare individuals: a leader in social innovation, a system transformer and a thoughtful practitioner; someone who can embed his rich experience in ideas and concepts that give wings to our aspirations. Impact will help anyone who longs to make the world a better place take the first step, and the second, and the third. Etmanski is quite simply the best guide we have in that journey of transformation and Impact is his Lonely Planet guidebook to social innovation.
Frances Westley Author, Getting to Maybe
Anyone involved in the heady and confounding business of mending the world will find tremendous practical value in these pages. More importantly, they will be invited to explore the spiritual dimension of their work and embark on the personal journey that is a necessary prelude to inspiring change in the world around us.
Liz Mulholland CEO, Prosper Canada