A brief note to reflect on last week. It was certainly a full one for us: attending the launch in the British Library, speaking at a Westminster briefing event, organising a networking videoconference for our Sydney / London students, speaking at an event in the Black Country, and going (with half a dozen current students) to Downing St for a reception there (see pic).
At times the week can feel a bit like preaching to the converted, or at least meeting with the converted (several times), and there was little sense of this permeating mainstream media to any degree. Enterprise UK might prove me wrong on that: there were certainly thousands of events, so I'd imagine that there was a huge amount of cumulative web + local news coverage. Nevertheless, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise are a small world, so it can sometimes feel a bit insular.
To a degree, though, I think that is part of the value of the week, and social enterprise day in particular. Though this might not be the remit or core objective, there is a "rallying the troops" feel where people can get recognition for the work they've done (see here on the importance of recognition in this sector) and get re-inspired about why they are doing it. Some might pass off the reception at number 10 as hob-nobbing and schmoozing, but the students from different SSE programmes who were there got the chance to network with leading practitioners, civil servants, politicians, and sector media, got a sense of what was achievable (given the award announcements), got recognition for the work they do, and got a slug of inspiration to keep doing it. And my role was (not always successfully) trying to introduce them to as many relevant people as possible.
My favourite part of the week was the international networking video-conference we organised (article in Social Enterprise Mag about it) not only because it was 'global', but also because it was practically useful, about entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur interaction, and because the people involved were amazing in their openness and energy. And they are what the week is really about.