Rob Katz

BoP Conference Updates – A Busy Fall Ahead

For those interested in the base of the pyramid (BoP) space, it will be a busy fall as many conferences and events are upcoming. I’ve just updated the Take Action page here at NextBillion, but in case you are not in the habit of checking it regularly, here’s a rundown of the events coming up, along with some commentary.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t claim to be a comprehensive list. If you know of an event with a strong BoP focus that isn’t listed here, please e-mail me and we’ll add it up. Thanks!

  1. Africa Social Enterprise Forum (AESF). September 26, 2009, New York, NY.
    • “Bringing together aspiring and accomplished social entrepreneurs with an African interest” This is a new event for 2009, and it should be an interesting one, with funders like Rockefeller Foundation as well as intermediaries such as Endeavor both in attendance.
  2. Legatum Center Conference, MIT. October 2, 2009, Cambridge, MA.
    • The 2008 edition featured an historic panel of 5 Nobel laureate economists; the 2009 conference will focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and technology and feature keynote speakers like Tim Berners-Lee and Desh Deshpande.
  3. BoP 2009 Conference. October 1-3, 2009, Ann Arbor, MI.
    • This invitation-only event will bring together approximately 300 BoP academicians and practitioners. The meeting’s outcome will be an edited volume written by many of the so-called “founders of the BoP movement” including CK Prahalad, Stuart Hart and Al Hammond.
  4. Columbia Social Enterprise Conference. October 9, 2009, New York, NY.
    • NextBillion is a conference sponsor of this year’s Columbia Social Enterprise conference, and we will be providing blog coverage throughout. Speakers include Craig Barrett (ex-CEO of Intel) and Nancy Barry (former president of Women’s World Banking).
  5. Opportunity Collaboration. October 17-20, 2009, Ixtapa, Mexico.
    • This deep-dive event is a BoP thinker retreat. NextBillion staff won’t be attending but it does look interesting.
  6. Pop!Tech 2009. October 21-24, Camden, ME.
    • Pop!Tech’s 2009 speakers aren’t all BoP experts, per se, but Esther Duflo from MIT’s Poverty Action Lab will be on stage, and more importantly, the Social Innovation Fellows will again represent a suite of market-based approaches to poverty alleviation. Can’t beat coastal Maine in October, either!
  7. 2009 Economic Self-Reliance Conference. November 5-6, Provo, UT.
    • The ESR conference will honor Benetech’s Jim Fruchterman as the social entrepreneur of the year; you’ll no doubt get a strong dose of franchising expertise from BYU-based Jason Fairbourne and other experts.
  8. Net Impact Conference, Cornell University. November 13-14, Ithaca, NY.
    • The pre-eminent social/environmental gathering for business school students in the US, Net Impact’s 2009 conference will be held at Cornell this year. Be sure to visit the Moosewood Cafe if you make the trip!
  9. Impact of Base of the Pyramid Ventures. November 16-18, 2009, Delft, the Netherlands.
    • Focus is on the following: How to define, measure, and optimize towards enduring value creation of BoP ventures?

If you know of other events, or will be attending one of these conferences, please leave a comment below to let the NextBillion community know.