4 Conferences, 3 Continents

This is a busy ten days: from Oxford University to Tel Aviv; from San Diego to Jerusalem we’ve got you covered. Over this week, eJewish Philanthropy will bring you a combination of on the spot coverage, conversations, complete presentations and links. Check back often as we highlight goings on in the world of philanthropy.

For those of you with an interest in Social Entrepreneurship or Social Philanthropy, the gathering these past few days of the 5th Annual Skoll World Forum at Oxford University will be of interest.

Some background: The Skoll Foundation, was established in 1999 by eBay founder Jeff Skoll in order to promote social entrepreneurship. In 2003, the Foundation established Skoll The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford. As part of its aim to advance the field of social entrepreneurship, The Centre convenes the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, an annual conference that brings together the world’s foremost practitioners and thought leaders in the emerging field of social entrepreneurship. The Conference is pretty much like a Davos for social entrepreneurs, attended by more than 700 people from around the world.

The sessions this year were centered around the theme of Social Entrepreneurship: culture, context and social change. Some of the questions addressed by the participants:

  • If social entrepreneurship is truly about “changing the world”, then what are the cultural and contextual barriers that social entrepreneurs need to overcome to create sustainable change in the areas where they work?
  • To what extent does culture accelerate or inhibit change, innovation, and scale?
  • How can social entrepreneurs best evaluate the contexts in which they operate?
  • What are the opportunities and models of success?
  • And, at the most practical level, what mindsets and tools are needed for social entrepreneurs to work successfully across different cultures and contexts?

There is a lot out there on the blog-o-sphere about the Conference. If you’re interested, I’d check out the teams from both Berkeley and the Skoll Scholars; Social Edge is the place to start.

There are also good day-by day detailed posts on Buzz, onPhilanthropy’s news and commentary blog. I also found interesting a post on social branding here.

Other news coming from the Forum included a Rockefeller Foundation announcement of a $500,000 investment in support of studying the feasibility of a social stock exchange.

Most participants are now back home and there may be more to say in the days ahead. If so, I’ll add additional links to this post.

Back in Israel, I’m attending a Tel Aviv University conference / symposium,
A new agenda for 21st century world Jewry: Tikkun Olam – mending the world;

the largest gathering of Jewish and Israeli humanitarian aid groups ever assembled in Israel. I will have several posts about this conference coming up.

In the meantime, direct from the AFP Conference in San Diego, we have exclusively for our audience the power-point of the first ever AFP session devoted to Jewish Fundraising,

What-Makes-Jewish-Fundraising-Unique; isn’t a dollar a dollar?