Social Enterprise World Forum Opens in Melbourne
7 October 2009 at 1:34 pm
The Social Enterprise World Forum in Melbourne has been told that the notion of ‘for-profit’ needs to be redefined.
Some 600 delegates joined in the opening session of the 2nd SEWF led by Australian journalist and broadcaster George Negus.
Banker Lindley Edwards from the Venture Bank Group Australia told the gathering that ‘for-profit’ is not the dark side but it is if it does not include sustainability.
The first session saw a line up in local and international experts on social enterprise lead a discussion on ‘the world is a village’. Former Victorian MP Evan Thornley from Better Place Australia agreed with the notion that a social enterprise is a business that makes the world a better place while making a quid simultaneously. Thornley told the Forum his organisation is aimed at removing the world addiction to oil consumption. He said a mission driven cause doesn’t have to be at odds with profit motivation. He says he’s had 18,000 job resumes from people wanting to get involved in his ‘better, faster, cheaper, greener” electric car project.
Gilbert Rochecouste , from Village Well Australia, told the Forum that there is an important role for social enterprises to return to the ‘local’ – there is wisdom in the local communities waiting to be unleashed sand social entrepreneurs can create new environments in communities to make them better places.
The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is co-hosted by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and Social Traders and aims to support the emerging Australian social enterprise movement, showcase successful enterprises and raise the profile of the sector in the region and around the world. The Forum heard that some of the greatest social entrepreneurs don’t even know they are social entrepreneurs – they simple see a problem and try to solve it.
The Comment from Adam the CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians said how do we give young people the fundamental mechanism of change? he said we require new solutions to our problems in an ever changing world. Smith said the old way of doing things is no longer relevant. Children and young people need access to tools to be agents for social change.
Pro Bono Australia is proud to be involved with the Social Enterprise World Forum.