Sarah Brent shares her views on the Unusual Suspects Festival and the collaborative spirit of the UnLtd event.
Last Thursday evening the second floor of the UnLtd London offices was electric with ideas, insights and inspiring stories as we hosted an event as part of the international Unusual Suspects Festival – a four day celebration of the ‘unusual suspects’ who are really making social change happen both in the UK and across the globe.
In collaboration with The Gulbenkian Foundation we invited delegates from a diversity of organisations including Santander, Youth Business International, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Montpelier Foundation, The British Council and The McConnell Family Foundation (and many more), to explore how we can build capacity for supporters of social entrepreneurs.
After a series of short speeches introduced by UnLtd CEO, Cliff Prior we handed the floor over to our attendees. Using a ‘World Café’ session format the room looked at what tools, resources and organisations currently exist online, offline and internationally to support social entrepreneurs and their supporters. There was a buzz as delegates suggested outside the box ideas for how we could better enhance the eco-system of support for entrepreneurs including a Wikipedia for Social Entrepreneurs, an international exchange programme for supporters and a centralised university of online resources.
The evening was concluded with the sharing of ideas on the focus topics and each individual completing a Commitment Card, expressing how they would take their ideas forward after the event. Discussions carried on into the night as we networked with our new connections and further explored the findings from our discussions.
We are grateful to the Social Innovation Exchange, The Gulbenkian Foundation and Collaborate for allowing us to be a part of their exciting series of events and are looking forward to getting involved again next year.