Dreamer Doer 2014 : Annual Social Enterprise Conference

This was a brilliantly organised initiative held at Nimhans on Dec 13th. It was a day long participatory event and lived up to what the name suggested – converting dreamers into potential doers and setting the stage to get inspired to start. We all know it takes ‘an all-out-effort’ to get started and this conclave served in igniting the motivation factor needed. Also,it was in tandem with the theme set by the organizers: Democratizing Social Entrepreneurship.

1497462_913785891994276_1382975465465665262_nStrongly rooting for socially conscious enterprises as the anthem for betterment of the society and economy as a whole while creating value for all. This, to my mind was a powerful message – changing the socio-economic ecology for a higher good. Although I’ve been familiar with this concept of socially ‘aware’ enterprises, this kind of confluence of speakers and doers who’ve made it big while impacting lives in a significant way truly helped in laying emphasis on the cause and got me thinking intently.

The event had about 4 sessions, with speakers giving short talks on their work followed by panel discussions. Details of which can be accessed at http://dreamerdoers2014.entirelyso.biz/. It widely spoke on various shapes a social venture can take up like the Power of Inclusive Business, Social Franchising, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Social Marketplace (buy,sell and participate with social ventures). I genuinely liked the fact that each session lasted for just about thirty minutes which is good enough to make an impact and keep one’s attention. This way, the audience were exposed to many organisations within a day. Some of the panel discussions sparked off excellent debates on topics less spoken about in the industry. One of them I thoroughly enjoyed was the amazing dig at ‘marketing efforts and budgets in Social enterprises/ Not for profits – healthy or unhealthy?’. I was pleased to hear the very unconventional and open-minded thoughts that came from panelist Mr. Samit Shetty representing Chaitanya India, a Micro Finance organisation.

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I’d like to wrap up with a few other noteworthy speakers and organisations that showcased themselves on this platform – Chaitanya India(http://www.chaitanyaindia.in/) – enabling funding for rural population, Selco (http://www.selco-india.com/) – lighting up villages with affordable solar energy, Desi trust (http://charaka.in/) – empowering rural women while maintaining ecological balance of the western ghats, RangDe (http://www.rangde.org/) – Micro financing rural entrepreneurs , HeadHeldHigh (http://head-held-high.com/) – Uplifting lifestyles of rural youth to drive their socio-economic prosperity, GAP (https://globalactiononpoverty.wordpress.com/) – enabling change makers in the social space, Soil and Soul (http://www.soilandsoul.in/) – easy DIY ideas towards an eco-friendly world, CSRnext.org – all-inclusive database of social enterprise resources, E4D (http://edu4development.org/) – internet enabled education for rural dropouts with a twist, Sutherland Global Services (http://www.sutherlandglobal.com/) – driving socially conscious businesses , Lensational (http://lensational.org/) – simple photo share tool for women in developing nations,  
helping them earn the extra buck and up self-esteem.

All in all, the goodness that was evident through the entire conference – be it on stage during the presentations or while networking over lunch and tea breaks was absolutely overwhelming. I took a moment in the midst of the event to breathe deep and feel gratitude for being able to witness absorb the amazing work being done around me. With this, my purpose of attending this event was accomplished, I truly felt I have the ability to change lives!

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