The Fourth Sector

In last Sunday's New York Times, the front page story in its SundayBusiness Section addresses the burgeoning "fourth sector".

What is this so-called fourth sector, you ask?

Well, if there are the public, private and non-profit (or "independent") sectors, then this new breed of socially responsible hybrid entities makes up the fourth sector.

The fourth sector apparently is what I have previously alluded to as "social enterprises" or what this article has also referred to as "for-benefit" companies. (Clearly, a marketing guru didn't come up with that moniker.)

While the article is well worth reading and sharing with others, I was left thinking that regardless how noble social entrepreneurs' intentions are, until this new enlightened class of capitalists is truly inclusive and equitably funded, the gaping socio-economic gaps that persist in this divided nation will not soon be closed.

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  • Adele

    I like your comments make a good point about the need for to be "truly inclusive and equitably funded." Alas, this movement in the "Fourth Sector" is an emergent one. It will take a while (and some skill building) for the needed human capacity and social infrastructure to be built. That is the work of my company, Curerre Inc.

  • Heathcliff

    Thanks for noticing this article... it will likely be buried under yet more "life of a hedge-fund manager puff pieces, but i digress...

  • Laurinda

    Dear Chris

    I sugest that you join us at "Social Edge" ... to read more about the 4th Sector, For-Benefits, SE's, and Hybrids.

    I run a company called Empowerment Gateway. We have embrased the 4th Sector and the Blended Values methodology. He are in the final stages of an R&D program that has lasted in excess of 4 years.

    We are not talking about it ...we are doing it.

    The pilots that we have run ... are extremelly positive.

    C U at Social Edge


    Laurinda Seabra