Thumbs Up: Our 2012 Convening Was a Success!
Last month we hosted our annual Community Enterprise Grantee Convening themed Leveraging Network(s): A Pathway Toward Sustainability. The goal of the Convening was to bring partner organizations together to elevate the concepts of networks and intentional collaboration as powerful tools that can help build markets, customer base and influence, and lead to greater social return on investment.
From the 12 organizations in our Community Enterprise and Generation ZD programs, 38 staffers came together for three days of trainings and workshops on key principles and practices of running and sustaining a social enterprise.
We worked over the course of many months to recruit industry experts to co-create and facilitate in-depth sessions on topics such as market validation and growth capital. The good news: 100 percent of attendees reported that the Convening met or exceeded their expectations, and was relevant or very relevant to their work. And, 92 percent discovered opportunities for future collaborations while at the Convening. They also said nice things like this:
"It was great to have everyone in one room. There are many people that I met that I have talked to after the Convening and I am sure that I will continue to work with them."
"In all, there was definitely high value in almost all of the information and group networking."
Here are just a few of the many high points of the event:
- The Stone Soup: in a take on the fable of the same name, attendees participated in an activity throughout the course of the Convening in which ‘resources’ were placed in and taken from a soup pot. To make the soup, attendees each wrote what they had to share with the group on stones and placed them in the pot. While the soup didn’t turn out to be too tasty, it did illustrate the point that organizations often have a wealth of resources to draw on within their own networks.
- Keynote Speaker, Leila Janah, Founder/CEO of Samasource: Recognized as one of the stars of the social enterprise movement, Leila shared her inspiring story of founding and succeeding with her cutting-edge organization, Samasource.
- ZeroDivide Office Warming: Because we had so many members of our ZeroDivide community in town, we took the opportunity to warm our new collaborative space with an evening reception. Guests had the chance to mix and mingle, take office tours, and were entertained by Youth Speaks poets, Jazz Hudson and Jerome Reyes. Vicki Bamba from Mayor Ed Lee's office also stopped by with an official proclamation of 'ZeroDivide Day'.
- Courageous Conversations: A 90-minute group discussion led by David Campt, principal of the DWC Group. With only the participants present, David facilitated frank and open conversations on the impacts funder practices have on their organizations.
- Keynote Speaker, Tessie Guillermo, President/CEO of ZeroDivide: Tessie's talk focused on the '8 CC’s' - Collective Wisdom, Courageous Conversations and Conscious Collaborations leads to and gives rise to Community Currency, the 'wealth' created by establishing, participating in and honoring reciprocal relationships.
Take a look at some of the other highlights of this year’s Convening:
Thanks again to all those who joined us in creating these amazing few days.
Generation ZD Program
Akaku: Maui Community Television
Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe (BGCSF)
Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP)
Portland Community Media (PCM)
Spy Hop Productions
Convening Speakers & Trainers
Mary Murphy, MEM consulting
Amy Luckey, ZeroDivide consultant
Vidya Drego, formerly Principal Analyst, Customer Experience at Forrester Research
Antonio Aguilera, President, Social Enterprise Alliance San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Villy Wang, ED BAYCAT
Curtis Chang, Consulting within Reach
Amy Jones, Alliance for Technology Access
Jennifer Kawar, Director of Capital and Strategic Partnership Development, Nonprofit Finance Fund
David Camp, DWC group
Elana Yonah, cofounder, Rise
Lawrence Ellis, consultant, Paths to Change
David Deryyk, Principle, Social Enterprise Impact
Leila Janah, CEO, SamaSource
And, a HUGE congrats to our own Ruth Williams and McCrae Parker for leading the charge on our most successful Grantee Convening to date.