The highlights of the summit? too many! which testifies to its widespread success. Here’s an attempt at listing the most memorable, with a focus on the people. We’ll have to leave the incredible sights, smells, sounds and dives for another blog. Ok maybe a couple of pictures.
The i-geniuses: Tommy Hutchinson, founder of i-Genius and the man with the 2-people team that made it all happen. Goes to show that you don’t need much to organise an incredible global event in a country far far away. Passion, determination and organisation go a long way to turning dreams into reality.
The KaosPilots: A concept born in Denmark and fast expanding through Scandinavia. KaosPilots is a school of Entrepreneurship with a twist. It focuses on new business design and social innovation. Running unusually creative workshops aside, these pilots are instigating considerable waves of change within the Education and Enterprise sector. You really have to see them in action to get a good feel for what they’re about (we had the pleasure of meeting 11 energetic Dutch KaosPilots). A visit to the UK might soon be due and when it is, be sure we’ll be the first to cover it.
The inspirational speakers:
Ben Keene with an excellent presentation on his Tribewanted project in Fijian Vorovoro island, and how he attracted the interest of the BBC (‘Paradise or Bust’ series) and a book deal before even starting his on&offline sustainable tourism community. Ben promised to blog for Smarta on his experiences so watch this space for more highlights (no pressure Ben!).
David McQueen, founder of Milestone Unlimited and Channel 4 presenter of Vocation Vocation Vocation. A spirited speaker with a genuine passion for helping marginalised Youth. We caught him earlier than most and you can watch his video interview on our very own Smarta microsite.
The brave contestants of the event’s own Dragon’s Den (without the spitting fire): Rizwan Tayabali of the Urban Survival Project, Lucian Tarnowski of Brave New Enterprises and Anna Fiorentini (winner of the competition). Rizwan’s idea of revolutionising the volunteering space by leveraging existing social networks wasn’t quite understood by the panel but was a resounding success within the wider audience, with an offer of an assessment for a grant from Cliff Prior, founder of Unltd Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.
The microfinanciers: serial social entrepreneur Sheetal Mehta of Innovative Social Ventures and business partner Olly Donnelly who have recently founded Shivia, a new microfinance fund focusing on grass roots loans in India and Nepal.
Barry Crisp, founder of cross-cultural exchange programme UK-Japan.net and the official filmmaker of the event.
Martin Orton and Greg Villalobos, founders of Bold Creative showcasing their BAFTA winning film productions focusing on the struggles of youth in socially difficult situations.
Sara Haq and Mark Chaplin our intrepid art entrepreneurs who made the journey to Thailand from the UK overland, delivering sensitive accounts of their journey through documentary film and photography.
Parag Shah, founder of ArtSwitch, a venture that aims to spread art appreciation and literacy.
The Gen Y’s: it was revitalising to see young(er) faces taking the driving seat of a global summit. Whilst the majority were forward thinking students, others like Ronald Cummings-John and Adam Elliott-Cooper were already university serial entrepreneurs with ventures such as Hear MySpace.
The Smartans: no we’re not going to blow our own trumpet, so this is just to say that it was great to be given a platform to share our vision and receive genuine acknowledgement, excitement, and several offers of support and partnerships going forward. Hopefully many of the above movers and shakers of the Social Enterprise world will become part of the Smarta community as it evolves. You can all start by joining our recently formed facebook group ;)
So by now we’re hoping you’re wishing you’d been there. Despair not, preparations for the next summit are already underway. It’ll be in 2010 (it’s not that far!) and you can start suggesting ideas as to what you’d like to see on the agenda by becoming a member of i-Genius or by simply tapping into its facebook group.
So until then, here’s to a very Social future!