Francisco Noguera

NextBillion at the Net Impact North America Conference: Preview

net impact logo 2NextBillion returns this year to Net Impact’s annual conference, which this time will be held in Philadelphia at Penn’s Wharton School of Business. Titled The Sustainable Advantage: Creating Environmental and Social Value,?it will be Net Impact’s largest conference up to date with more than 2,000 registered attendees.

NextBillion will not only be at the conference but also provide extensive coverage of the sessions most relevant to the conversation about market-based approaches to fighting poverty and environmental degradation. Given the magnitude of the event and the amount of content worth covering, I will be joined by a group of talented writers that include my colleague in WRI and New Ventures Kelly McCarthy, NextBillion Staff Writer Mark Beckford?(who will be moderating a panel about low-cost computing businesses in the developing world), as well as a?team of MBA students from Thunderbird, the Johnson School at Cornell, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and maybe even Michigan’s Ross School of Business.One of the sessions in the conference will actually be hosted by my colleagues at New Ventures and will feature a conversation about the role of entrepreneurs in shaping tomorrow’s markets. It will be moderated by New Ventures’ Global Director Virginia Barreiro and panelists will?include John Elkington (founder of SustainAbility, Volans Ventures, serial entrepreneur, prolific writer, thinker and author of The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World), Agnes Dasewicz from the Grassroots Business Fund (formerly IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative) and Ben Powell from Agora Partnerships.

So stay tuned later this week as we head for Philadelphia to cover this exciting venue. Net Impact has become huge?but it is only a symptom of a?much larger movement that has students as main characters. I have been impressed?with the enthusiasm generated by social entrepreneurship, sustainability and related disciplines, and?look forward to seeing how it translates into action once these generations leave school and engage in ventures aimed at making?our society a more sustainable and inclusive one.???

Let me know if you are planning to be at the conference. I’d be glad to?meet up over there!