It's a simple idea. Rather than rely on one leader, as essayist David Gergen warns against, fill a room with smart, committed, entrepreneurial leaders bent on social change and see what happens.

"The whole is greater than the parts," says Vanessa Kirsch, president and founder of New Profit Inc., a hub for social entrepreneurs. "We can accomplish so much more if we leverage each other's knowledge and experience and the power of our networks, together, to really create the kind of change we want to see in this world."

That's the notion behind Knight Foundation's commitment to playing host, whether it's for the crowd of social entrepreneurs huddling in recent winters in New Paltz, N.Y., at the Gathering of Leaders, or February's We Media Miami conference, a digital media mashup of people with big ideas and the organizations that can bankroll them.

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