Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Shine 09 & Web 2.0

Well I have just about come down from the high of "Shine", the Unconference for Social Entrepreneurs, which ran Friday & Saturday last week. As I briefly blogged on the Friday, Shine represented a thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring, buzz of ideas, enthusiasm and (critically) caffeine.

According to The School for Social Entrepreneurs:
"The four partners started the event because they felt there was a need for an accessible, affordable, practical, well-networked, dynamic event that was less about long powerpoints and plenary speeches, and more about one-to-one support and moving your business on."
And I have to say I agree with both the premise and the execution of the idea.

I was particularly interested in how well this event translated itself to Twitter. You only need to browse through the Hashtag #shine09 to see how actively the event was reported by UnConference delegates and followed by those unable to attend. Increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that a good Twitter following can make or break an (un)conference and I had similar discussions at the highly Twittered Engage Invest Exploit Conference in Edinburgh last month (Hashtag #eie09).

For example, on the Saturday of Shine I hosted a scheduled, round table, discussion bearing the rather grand title "'Real & Perceived Barriers to UK Investment for Global Projects". I was asked to do so after a conversation which sprung up around my Tweet "Fed up of the misguided & labored notion that a social enterprise worth UK funding has to have beneficiaries within the UK"

It was advertised (optimistically in my nervous opinion!) as being an opportunity for 'provocative conversation' though I need not have worried. A brilliant hour or so was spent exploring common problems and barriers to investment, not only by the 15 or so people present in the room but, as some of us were Twittering, we had followers and contributors from the global Twittersphere! Most notably @cliffprior and @jameselliot chatting with me and @davedawes.

Furthermore it looks as if the roundtable discussion produced an idea that is going to translate to a longer, larger discussion on Ning and result in a sort of democratic, crowd sourced, crowd funded, international, endowment investment fund (!) inspired by the likes of Kiva, Zopa and MyFootballClub

....Oh I feel a web 2.0 / Social Entrepreneurship Blog post coming on! :)

It'll have to wait though, I'm off to the NLS Awards tonight. Wish me luck!

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