This blog has led to action - make sure to visit the

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Post originally published here

The last day of Socap started with very moving and sobering accounts of the state of the world from 3 women. According to the program we were looking at 3 stages of Social Entreprise, but really it was 3 vivid snapshots from the ocean of issues we need to address:
- Elizabeth Lindsey talked about vanishing indigenous cultures and the absence of respect for elders in Western countries. "We earn these wrinkles, we should be proud of them"
- Ann Wizer talked about trash, and how we need to think about what happens after a product has been used. This is not just about recycling, it is about including the "end of life" into the design of the product
- Eve Blossom talked about fighting the sex trade by providing a competing market options

Inspiring stories that ultimately show us that regardless how bad things are, something can be done to try to make it right.

And after the tone had been set, the open space format of the last day always make it the best of all. This is where we go past the formal presentations to dig into the heart of things.

For me today it was virtual currencies and how they can help unlock currently untapped or under-utilized resources. 2 examples, from each end of the spectrum:
- Recipco offers UTUs, a universal trading unit backed by large corporations. A very impressive solution worth checking - more details here
- Everywun offers credits to compensate for positive actions: displaying support, learning about causes or reaching out to friends. These credits can be used then to support charities. Simple and powerful.

Technology exist that works, we can use virtual currencies as a tool to change the dynamics within a given ecosystem.

My idea for Socap next year would be that every attendee gets 10,000 units on the first day, with a mission to spend it all during the conference on social entrepreneurs or other resources that help make a difference. You must spend your initial 10,000 units, and then you can spend units that you earn during the conference.
And at the end of the 3 days, some of the foundations present at the conference could match these units with real dollars for the top earners.
Spending units could be fun, it could be a good opportunity to meet people, and it could be an opportunity to get a few projects funded on site.

Would you like to rate me?