Francisco Noguera

Friday Roundup – 10/1/10: Columbia, SOCAP, ANDE and Unreasonable Leadership

Where to start this week? My notebook is packed… I’ll go in this order: Columbia, SOCAP, ANDE and “Unreasonable Leadership”.

1. Columbia: A week from today, Columbia Business School hosts the tenth version of its Social Enterprise Conference. As expected from a school that is increasingly seen as a leader in the social innovation space, this year’s schedule includes an impressive array of speakers and panelists. If you’re in NYC or can make it down for the conference, register now for this great chance to network among a vibrant community interested in the role of entrepreneurship and markets in sustainable development. I’ll be at the conference, covering it with a group of guest bloggers. Make sure you drop a line if you plan to be around; I can count more than a few people who nowadays are good friends, whom I met at last year’s Social Enterprise Conference. Twitter hashtag: #ColumbiaSEconf

2. SOCAP: The third version of SOCAP kicks off this coming Monday at the Fort Mason Center, in San Francisco. It’s hard to believe that the first SOCAP was just two years ago; it has gown to be known as the main gathering for the growing social innovation/ impact investing community, and the venue where several innovative initiatives in this space are announced. This year is no exception: the Hub Village Capital Fund was announced recently announced, allocating up to $750,000 in seed funding for social ventures. We’ve written about the village capital model here; you can learn more at their website here.

NextBillion’s Kishor Nagula will be leading our coverage from SOCAP, joined by Staff Writers Heather Fleming, Josh Cleveland and a group of Guest Bloggers. Stay tuned for our coverage next week, building on the countdown that started this week with Josh’s interviews to several speakers and presenters at the conference.

3. ANDE: As I write, members of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs are making their way back from the second annual conference, which took in Glen Cove, NY. It’s also hard to believe that it’s been only two years since the network launched at the Aspen Institute. Far from a group of organizations innovating on their own, support for small and growing businesses is now a dynamic industry of its own, with a vibrant activity taking place in the US and also in the countries where market solutions to poverty have the most potential. WDI’s Heather and Scott attended the conference; make sure you read their articles and stay tuned for a series of short interviews that we recorded with several leaders in the growing space represented by ANDE.

4. “Unreasonable Leadership”: Two remarkable opportunities opened new rounds of applications yesterday. One is the Acumen Fund Fellows Program, the most interesting leadership development platform in this space. NextBillion Staff Writer Bryan Farris applied a year ago and was selected for the 2011 Class. He wrote an excellent post on his blog about the recent graduation event for the 2010 class. His words resonated a lot with my reflections as I embark on a different educational experience, which I’ll share in a future post about education for development.

The second opportunity that opened its doors is the Unreasonable Institute. My English writing falls way too short compared to the amazing media powerhouse the Unreasonables have built. Instead of reading my impressions, proceed directly to their new wevbsite and learn more.

And that’s it this week. If I may, I leave you with the following question: do you think there’s a suprlus or a deficit of talent willing to work in this space? Why?

I would really like to hear your thoughts.