Be. partners with Social Enterprise World Forum

Minnie sitting alongside 3 other women at the Social Enterprise World Forum In September, our CEO Minnie Baragwanath and four people from our wonderful Be. Team had the opportunity to be part of the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum. The 3-day forum was filled with thought-provoking conversation, and learning from social enterprise leaders from all over the globe.

The event was organised by Fab50 member Alex Hannant and his team at the Akina Foundation, where Minnie spoke on two panel discussions about her journey towards social enterprise, innovation, and accessibility.

Her first discussion was a public talk on Women in Social Enterprise, along with three other incredible women from around Aotearoa. The discussion brought to light some wins, fails, and the wonderful potential of women making social change in all aspects of life and society. The conversation was a great example of the value of discussion, and with budding social entrepreneurs in the room, a change to pass on learnings and experiences to the future leaders of New Zealand and beyond.

The second discussion was about how social enterprise can promote inclusivity and equality, with homegrown and international social entrepreneurs talking about their learnings and insights. The sectors they came from ranged from criminal justice to accessibility, showing the wide range of opportunities available in the social enterprise space.

What was most impressive though, were the huge efforts made by Alex and Akina to make such a large-scale event accessible. Be. had been working with Akina for 18-months leading up to the event as their accessibility partner. Being the largest event held in Christchurch since the 2011 earthquake – with more than 1,600 delegates attending from 28 different countries – hosting an accessible city-wide event was no small task.

But the organisers proved up for the challenge and made steps to make it as accessible as possible. Their website was compatible for screen reader technology, the registration process asked attendees to disclose any access requirements, a map was provided to highlight the accessible route between venues, and captioning was provided on all videos.

The event was a beautiful showcase of all the innovative ways we are moving towards a more fair and accessible world, in every definition of the word. With so many creative minds coming together with similar visions in mind, it is wonderful to see how we can make the world a better place by encouraging creativity and sharing ideas with one another.