Posted by: bevmeldrum | September 8, 2008

Listening to the Social Entrepreneur – 31 Days To Go

After a very long break we are back – and we have a very interesting month planned here at the For More Than Profit blog.

At The Tool Factory we are working with the Centre for Institutional Studies at the University of East London and the Social Enterprise Coalition on the Listening to Social Entrepreneurs event on Thursday 9th October – a conference for social entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers.

Academics and policy makers have had a lot to say about social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in recent years and a lot of it has been very interesting. However, the traditional approach has been for researchers to choose their topics based on their own interests rather than what the social entrepreneurs are saying they need.

Those of us arranging the conference think it is time that the voice of the practitioners themselves are listened to – their challenges, concerns and opportunities and that the research and policy agenda is built out of that; not the other way round.

I am a practitioner – I run my own social enterprise developing software for social entrepreneurs (The Tool Factory); but I also spend a bit of time in the academic side of life – teaching at the University of East London where I am also doing my Phd on social enterprise. I wouldn’t call myself a researcher or an academic – I’m a practitioner doing research, and sometimes I get lost in the language and the thinking done by the academics and policy makers. All I really want to know is how the work they have been doing will help me and my social enterprise.

That is why I am so excited about the Listening the Social Entrepreneur event – getting practitioners together with researchers and policy makers and creating an environment where they can hear what each other are saying can only be a good thing.

Over the next month we will be starting the discussions here on this blog in the run up to the event. We will be hearing from the speakers ahead of time as they lay out their views and opinions and hopefully we’ll be hearing from the social entrepreneurs themselves as post their own comments. We are expecting some really interesting and lively debates.

Are you ready? Everyone is welcome to join in!

Tomorrow we start with a guest post from the conference’s organiser – Gladius Kulothungan, Senior Lecturer at the Centre For Institutional Studies.

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Responses

  1. Hi, just thought you might like to know I think the event looks good and I’ve plugged it in a post on my blog here – http://urbansurvivalproject.blogspot.com/2008/09/listening-to-social-entrepreneur.html

    Will try and attend if I can get the time off.

    Regards

    Rizwan
    (www.urbansurvivalproject.org)


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