More Praise for Lean Impact...


Non-profit leaders are all too often bombarded with for-profit strategies that simply do not apply to our very different sector. Lean Impact is different. I have already applied some of its lessons, to great benefit, and would recommend it heartily to anyone interested in making social change at scale.

— Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America

In Lean Impact, Ann Mei Chang applies an engineering-like mindset to the challenge of achieving positive social impact. This provocative book provides readers a useful way to think about driving change. Her approach should be useful for environmentalists who seek to protect nature at scale—rather than one project at a time.

— Mark R. Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy

We are living in a pivotal moment where rapid advancements in science, technology, and innovation make it more possible than ever to give all people the chance at a better life.  Ann Mei’s call to embrace innovation to advance the cause of social justice will help reshape the way we think about fighting inequity around the world.

— Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation


With equal parts passion, practicality and specificity, Ann Mei Chang has deployed her broad and deep experiences in social transformation to provide the missing link between good work and undeniable impact. Simply put, this is a ‘must have’ resource for the faith-based community and anyone serious about making each dollar work for the marginalized.

— Dr. Carolyn Woo, Former CEO, Catholic Relief Services

Ann Mei Chang understands what it takes to create social impact on a massive scale. In this book, she lays out a clear course for developing more effective solutions to our greatest human challenges, including the persistence of extreme poverty, and most importantly ensuring they are able to reach millions.

— Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson, BRAC 

Lean Impact helps us all see a brighter future in fighting global poverty—by bringing lessons from innovation successes in the tech, NGO and business worlds to bear on the world's biggest problems. It's a book anyone who cares about making change in the world should read and take to heart. I believe innovation and learning fast from mistakes is what will ultimately save the lives of at least 10 million children in the next decade and hopefully more. 

— Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children

Innovation and scale are two of the hottest topics in the social sector today—yet that attention has not yet led to nearly enough breakthrough ideas achieving widespread impact.  Ann Mei Chang's book Lean Impact explains why current approaches limit our impact and what we can do to fix that.  Based on deep work across sectors, Chang offers fresh insights into how leaders can chart a path from innovation to impact at scale.  An important read for all those seeking change—in the US and around the world.

— Jeffrey L. Bradach, Managing Partner and Co-founder Bridgespan Group

Ann Mei Chang’s new book Lean Impact is a must-read for development professionals, policy-makers, and indeed anyone interested in ensuring more effective programs to lift people out of poverty.  Chang brings a “disruptive” sensibility garnered from her many years in Silicon Valley to the challenges of international development and poverty alleviation more generally.  The development field has long needed fresh breezes of radically creative ideas.  Chang delivers them in this immensely readable and practical volume.

— David Gordon, Senior Advisor and former Chairman, Eurasia Group and former Director of Policy Planning, US Department of State

The most successful social enterprises continually iterate in pursuit of transformational change. Lean Impact demystifies the process of social innovation and makes it accessible to entrepreneurs and grantmakers alike.

— Christy Chin, Managing Partner, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

 Lean Impact distills the essence of social innovation into an accessible book, packed with practical examples. These approaches to design, test, iterate, and scale will accelerate our collective ability to bring breakthrough solutions to those who need them most. 

— Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE USA

Lean Impact is indispensable. Ann Mei Chang challenges us to ask ourselves hard questions: Do you know how well your efforts are working? What improvements have you made in response to feedback? As the urgency for transformational impact grows for our planet and people, today's social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, philanthropies, and government must embrace user-focused, hypothesis-driven experimentation. Ann Mei does a masterful job of sharing compelling and inspiring stories of what we can achieve when we put aside our biases and assumptions to design solutions that meet real needs.

— Victor Reinoso, COO, Independent Sector

Lean Impact is going to be an essential reference for this generation of development workers. The book's many case studies provide both inspiring examples and cautionary tales that help explain in clear, actionable language how the independent sector can adapt Silicon Valley's playbook for growing and scaling innovation to build agile 21st century social enterprises dedicated to creating more just, inclusive, and prosperous communities.

— Patrick Fine, CEO, FHI 360

To tackle the intractable problems that our world faces today, we need effective methodologies for innovation. Lean Impact provides compelling tools and techniques for developing solutions with positive social impact that are highly complementary to human-centered design.

— Jocelyn Wyatt, CEO,

From Silicon Valley to bureaucratic Washington DC to the poverty-stricken villages of the developing world, Ann Mei Chang chronicles an adventurous journey as she attempts to apply the innovative techniques learned in the high tech world to the challenges of development cooperation. This book is a must-read for aspiring development professionals and any citizen who cares about the effort to support those trying to escape the shackles of poverty.

— Brian Atwood, Senior Fellow, Watson Institute, Brown University and former Administrator, USAID

This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to have real impact in their communities and the world. It provides practical advice on how to define outcomes, measure impact, and demonstrate change.  Ann Mei inspires leaders to deliver outcomes.

— Sonal Shah, Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University

For years innovation has lagged in the social change sector. This is starting to change but not nearly fast enough. Lean Impact is a timely wake-up call and a practical approach for social entrepreneurs and change makers everywhere. It should be required reading for funders and practitioners who are committed to bigger, better impact and smart solutions for our toughest challenges.

— Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO, Mercy Corps

Innovation and smart risk-taking are the norm in Silicon Valley, but less so in the social sector. That’s because of how we fund, we account for costs, and tell stories. Ann Mei Chang, with a foot in both of these worlds, has given us a blueprint for how to do things differently. The result is required reading for philanthropists and leaders of non-profits and a recipe for better conversations all around.

— Alix Zwane, CEO, Global Innovation Fund

I highly encourage you to lean into Ann Mei Chang's Lean Impact. If you have an open mind and growth mindset, this book will give you lightbulb insights into how you can accelerate your learning and increase your impact. Ann Mei’s insights are deeply informed by her successful engineering innovations at Google and unsuccessful adventures elsewhere in Silicon Valley, but she wisely and humbly recognizes that innovation is far more complex in the social sector than in the tech world. So Ann Mei got out into the field to meet positive-outlier social-sector leaders who are doing an outstanding job of listening and learning. She combined their insights with her own to encapsulate a formula for learning and improvement that is tailor made for social innovation.

— Mario Morino, Chairman of the Morino Institute and co-founder of Venture Philanthropy Partners

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