Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Putting the Social Into Davos

I arrived in Davos Sunday night for the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Summit. Dr. Klaus Schwab has made social entrepreneurship his cause, and over the past five year has brought social entrepreneurs into the World Economic Forum. That's easy for him to do because he founded the Forum!

Forty Schwab SEs are here, and a bunch of them are new. Many were picked through national efforts co-managed by the Schwab Foundation and major press outlets in each country. One of the highlights of any gathering of social entrepreneurs is simply getting together and swapping our experiences. For example, one of the issues we talked about was succession planning. How does a socially entrepreneurial organization grow and thrive when the founder moves on? It also touches on the fact that part of becoming a really successful organization means that you have to move beyond being so tied to the founder as an individual. I had the benefit of sitting at the table with Chris Elias, PATH's second CEO, and Bruce McNamer, Technoserve's third CEO, to get those perspectives of the leaders who followed the first social entrepreneur/founder.

Of course, we also have fun. We're all staying in the same hotel, the Schatzalp, which is 1000 feet above Davos. You take a train (well, sort of a funicular) up the mountain to get to the hotel. Night before last, a dozen social entrepreneurs took sleds down the mountain in the dark.

Great views, too!

The energy is great here as we get ready to tackle the main Forum. More as that happens!

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