“This year, we’ve all learnt a lot about the necessity of being agile and the importance of adapting. Such is life. Change can be good.” ~ Hélène Malandain, SEWF Chair
The Social Enterprise World Forum exists to accelerate our transition to a global impact economy through supporting and engaging the social enterprise movement. In order to encourage the development of healthy social enterprise ecosystems, we have convened the global social enterprise community in a different social enterprise hotspot every year, for the last 12 years. This year we had to rethink our plans.
SEWF Digital was a significant challenge, with only a few months to pivot, but we changed our approach in order to convene in a whole new way. From 21-24 September, the global social enterprise community engaged online and participated in a programme of sessions that followed the sun, starting each day in Oceania and moving west to Asia, Africa, and Europe, finishing in the Americas. SEWF worked with Regional Partners to co-design programme content featuring priority themes including business and community recovery, the impact of COVID-19 on the future of business, climate crisis, youth engagement, and social procurement.
Throughout the event, participants from 100 countries used live Q&A, chat and networking features, and visited virtual marketplace booths. This was the largest Social Enterprise World Forum ever. Going fully digital meant that we could lower some barriers to attending, including costs relating to travel, logistics, and time constraints. This meant that we could reach out more widely, attracting a much more diverse audience to join the conversations about building a new global impact economy. We will apply the learnings from the first SEWF fully Digital Event to support the social enterprise movement in the future.
Here’s how it all went down: SEWF 2020 Digital Edition