Monday, October 10, 2011

The 4th Sector

At the BoardSource Leadership Forum both last year and this year, I heard presentations on the development of the 4th Sector, or “for-benefit corporations.”

The idea, apparently is to fill the gap in society between for-profits, government, and nonprofits to address social needs in a sustainable way. This is done through the creation of hybrid organizations that transcend sectoral boundaries. I’m not sure this concept resonates with me quite yet, even after the second round of presentations and discussions.

Rather than describe the concept of the 4th Sector, I will point you to a website, the Fourth Sector Network, to learn more. There is also more information in an executive summary of Heerad Sabeti’s work, who presented at this year’s conference. Then I’d like to invite you back to this blog to share your thoughts on these two questions:

• What are the advantages?
• What are the implications?

Kathy Grochow, NRS, St. Cloud

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