How the New Philanthropy Works

The former President and the First Lady find a common cause

Bill Clinton

In our increasingly interdependent world, we have seen the terrifying power of individuals to do great harm. Yet there is a more hopeful side of this interconnected age: private citizens have never had more power to advance the common good and secure a brighter future.

Three developments have dramatically increased the potential of individuals to be agents of change: for the first time more than half the people in the world live under democracies; the spread of information technology has empowered individuals to pool their resources and make common cause at a speed and on a scale previously unprecedented; and, finally,...