And finally...just to round up the final day (hope this has been at all interesting to anyone!):
Opened with a discussion of what a 'social stock exchange' might look like / whether we want one....chaired by Peter Wheeler, chair of Futurebuilders (and the Young Foundation), and featuring Muhammad Yunus, who founded the Grameen Bank, which is widely regarded as one of the foremost social inventions (microcredit that is) of the last fifty years. Plus Ron Grzywinski and Celso Greco (apologies if spelling is awry, who also do stuff in this area....in the US / Brazil)
[See articles here on the Global Ideas Bank about Grameen]
Too much to blog here, but lots of interesting stuff (and entertainment value from Peter Wheeler). Including Yunus' view of the 'social business enterprise' (SBE) + the importance of judging by quality (and the concept of a "non-loss, non-dividend company"; an interesting spin on the non-profit label). Celso Greco preferred the idea of "social profit"....the whole conversation had a feeling of IT'S WAY TOO SOON TO BE TALKING ABOUT THIS AND THE WHOLE THING IS A DISTRACTION AT THIS POINT, but was interesting nonetheless. One nugget from Yunus was: "not knowing something is a blessing - you start from a clean slate and your logic starts from a clean slate"; that appeared to me to be a pointed reference to simple translation of business/capital investment models to the social sector....
Next I went to a seminar called Making Misery Matter, given by Douglas Holt....this was about how to brand cultural movements, and was an interesting, if very academic, view of how brands work, and how movements get going (what Holt termed 'moral movements'). He put forward the idea that it is cultural (rather than social) entrepreneurs who make macro change to ideology and institutions. He then discussed how to create these movements (or be a cultural entrepreneur)....taking sideswipes at Bono, Make Poverty History and others as he went....basic point is that the spokesperson has to be from the people suffering the problem, to make it real and authentic....then there are various 'injustice performances' along the way and, hey presto, you have yourself a cultural movement. Well, not exactly, but you get the gist.
Finally, there was the Q&A session which, somewhat laughably, had four panel members speaking first, so the Q&A was only 15 minutes (and then only because someone from the audience courageously interrupted). There was some interesting stuff from the panel, so it was a bit of a shame they were used in this place in the schedule...including Matthew Bishop of the Economist saying that for social entrepreneurship to be 'proper' entrepreneurship, it needs to have its share of failures and high risk activity. Jackie Khor from the Rockefeller Foundation said "definitions may be confusing but it is success that makes the difference"; the guy from the Milken institute (Glenn Yago?) said that the "way you get a level playing field is with a bulldozer" (nice).
The final wrap then took place (with Stan Thekaekara (spelling?) posing the question "what was the return on the investment of this conference?")....with the stand out phrases being: "unless we can take this out of the room and down to the grassroots, then it will not be worth it" and "social entrepreneurs par excellence, people of the community" (in reference to the Adivasis, who gave their reflections).
All in all, a worthwhile time had by all. You can see / find out more here, and I promise not to blog anymore about it..... ;0)