Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 1 at the Schwab Summit

Well, Day 1 is winding up at the Schwab Summit for social entrepreneurs, and it has been an amazing day.

It's being hosted at the Center for Global Dialogue by Swiss Re, a big swiss insurance company. Their CEO spoke this morning how their company actually started as a social venture 150 years ago, trying to protect against catastrophe. As a big insurance company, they were interested in participating with social entrepreneurs due to huge synergy in emerging markets and climate change. This very much echoed an earlier sentiment from SAP Labs, who hosted the DV fellows for several workshops, and their management also expressed a lot of ties between big business and social changemakers.

Another interesting trend is that microfinance is starting to expand into microinsurance, so its great to see services for the poor expanding.

Next was a panel entitled "Social Entrepreneurship: Interesting Trend or Paradigm Shift". It was pretty clear how that would fall out in this forum, but Matthew Bishop from the Economist made an interesting contrarian point about the successes of BRAC and Grameen Bank despite the huge problems with the government in Bangladesh, and how some of those problems were mirrored in difficulties in transparency with Grameen in the past. Hopefully the recent successes and attention to microfinance groups can trickle upward into societal change.

Bill Drayton spoke last on the panel, and was very inspiring as usual. He spoke about long term perspective, and how the real key to success was to empower and support local changemakers... working toward a world in which everyone is a change maker. Youth was also a key, which was very exciting for me since thats my target.

I'm starting to see some interesting connections that can be created using mobile storytelling, and most of the people I described my idea to were very excited about the possibility, which I'm describing as the use of technology like camera phones with storytelling to bridge cultural and geographic boundaries.

Now its off to dinner... Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!

1 comment:

Anon said...

Thanks for the update. It's great to have someone "on the ground" and also flying the DV flag.