There are countless conferences, institutes, bootcamps, startup weekends, and meetups focused on social entrepreneurship across the country and around the world. How do you decide which, if any, to attend? Unfortunately, there is no one right answer, but it is likely that if you find one that fits your schedule and budget, it will prove to be pivotal to your personal experience as a social changemaker.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share some of the biggest and most well-known events taking place this fall. Most are costly and overlap with fall semester classes, but you can usually follow along online for free if you cannot attend in person. Wesleyan undergrads who are considering a conference or other event can always apply for a Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) Enrichment Grant to help defray costs.
We’re eager to hear your thoughts about these events and hear about others you have attended. If you plan to attend any events this fall, we may be able to arrange rideshares. Please add a comment below or contact Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the PCSE.
SOCAP (Social Capital Markets)
September 3-6, 2013
San Francisco, CA
$1395 (full scholarships available for two young alumni by July 31)
The world’s largest gathering of socially-motivated investors and entrepreneurs, SOCAP looks at “the intersection of money & meaning,” where the for-profit sector can be a force for good. The conference connects impact investors (who want a mix of financial return along with positive social and environmental impact) with investable entrepreneurs (who can make it happen); highlights trends and new research; and enables connections between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policy makers, students, artists, and fund managers.
Fourth Annual Social Good Summit (with a keynote by President Roth and a Wesleyan MOOC companion! read more–>)
September 22-24, 2013
New York, NY
$50+ (online conversations and local meetups at no cost; see website for details)
This gathering of world leaders, technology pioneers, grassroots activists and engaged citizens is centered on the future and what we can do about it: #2030NOW. Held during UN Week, the Summit asks “Will the solutions we are creating in today’s digital world truly have a lasting impact on our future and how are we paving the way for the next generation of innovation?”
A Better World by Design (if you want an all-expenses-paid carpool with other Wes students, contact us ASAP)
September 27-29, 2013
An internationally-acclaimed conference held annually at Brown & RISD campuses. Connecting students, professionals, and individuals from different disciplines, it strives to build a global community of socially-conscious innovators.
The 6th Womensphere Global Summit & Awards
September 30-October 2, 2013
New York, NY
Focused on advancing women’s leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship, this summit hosted by Columbia University will feature over 100 distinguished speakers and honorees, and a select community of delegates who are leaders, innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs across all fields of human endeavor.
5th Annual Lend for America Summit
October 11-13, 2013
For student-led microfinance. Network with national experts in U.S. community development, meet students from across the country leading local microfinance initiatives, and walk away with the skills and resources to bring microfinance to your community. We blog about it here.
Net Impact Conference
October 24-26, 2013
San Jose, CA
Learn from 100+ sessions and 350+ inspiring speakers across 11 tracks – from Tech for Good to International Development – and take your inspiration, innovation, and impact to the next level. Also, connect with 90+ companies, nonprofits, and social enterprises and discover how you can use your career for good.
17th Annual Pop Tech Conference: Sparks of Brilliance
October 24-26, 2013
600 thought leaders in business, industry, science, technology, design, social and ecological innovation, the arts and humanities, philanthropy and other fields will convene to share “breakthrough ideas at the edge of change.” The conference is designed to foster relationships and collaborations.