Concluding thoughts

The ‘Ubers’ of philanthropy and future disruptions

Authored by: Susan D. Phillips , Tobias Jung

The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415783255
eBook ISBN: 9781315740324
Adobe ISBN: 9781317579717


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A sector that had few incentives to innovate, the taxi industry, was transformed in a remarkably short period by the smartphone car-service app Uber; this was done across the 58 countries in which Uber currently operates without owning a car or employing a cab driver. As an example, not an endorsement, of one of many agents producing change in disruptive, rather than incremental ways, Uber offers both metaphorical and practical insights for philanthropy in navigating an increasingly open, collaborative, data-driven economy. It also points to the advantages of being a first mover, while being strategic about potential backlashes from entrenched interests, and to the challenges for public policy in keeping pace with contemporary disruptions.

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