Elevate Difference

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

Many well-meaning people and organizations throughout the world have had grand visions for African and Indian aid over the years, but many of these projects and initiatives have not had a lasting impact for the poorest people. Author and Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz has written a book that will change the way you think about Africa, India, philanthropy, and probably your own life.

Novogratz, who had been an international banker, knew she wanted to make a difference in the world. Like many of us, though, she wasn’t sure how. The Blue Sweater traces her quest across the globe and back, and her strong personal conviction that poverty can be alleviated through educated philanthropic investment. Novogratz illustrates in detail, sometimes painfully, sometimes hilariously, the many lessons she learns along the way, and why many traditional types of charity just don’t work in poor countries.

The Blue Sweater is not a lecture, but a rich narrative describing the people, places, and experiences (emotional and intellectual) Novogratz discovers on her journey. She brings African and Indian landscapes to life in full, vivid color, and describes the inspiring and frustrating people she encounters with equal candor. Readers with a travel bug, beware; this book will make you want to visit the places Novogratz describes, running water or no.

Beyond its practical value as a modern day look into effective philanthropy, or its aesthetic value as a beautiful story, The Blue Sweater is a paradigm-shifting book about interconnectedness and the new necessity of a global perspective. It’s also about granting self-respect and purpose to those with nothing in a practical, detail-oriented, and well-planned way. The Blue Sweater is an inspiring reaffirmation of the goodness in the world, in people, and in the dream of dignity, purpose, and plenty for all.

Written by: Jennifer Wedemeier, June 23rd 2009