The Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in the New Economy brought to the fore discussion of the current realities of the new economy and how it will progress into the future. Monica de Roure from Ashoka noted that the event “brought up strategies, values and key questions about how we can move toward a new, more sustainable and collaborative configuration of society and the economy”. Ashoka, who organized the event in partnership with the Avina Foundation, the Skoll Foundation and the Roberto Marinho Foundation, believes that the constant changes around us show that we can, in fact, become a more empathetic, inclusive and green society. “Above all, they show that each one of us is or can become an agent of positive change,” said Ms. de Roure.
Over the course of three days, from June 15 to 17, around 3,000 people attended the six panel discussions and 14 workshops of the Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in the New Economy held at Humanidade 2012 at the Forte de Copacabana. Nearly 1,500 people participated in the workshops alone. "We believe this successful forum was a turning point to inspire, enrich and challenge social entrepreneurship to be transformative, innovative and effective in the context of a new economy," commented Neylar Coelho Vilar Lins, of the Avina Foundation.
Mr. Vilar Lins also pointed out the value of the support of the Arapyaú Institute, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. “For those of us from the Avina Foundation the successful cooperation in the production process of the Forum between all partners was so important institutionally that we propose to embrace, with 'constructive realism', the paradigm of sustainable development through a new economy and new governance for sustainability," he added.
The Skoll Foundation was positive about the outcome of the Forum as well. “I am not an architect but I am aware of the ambitious ‘frameworks’ developed during Rio+20. How to build a new economy was discussed at the Forum for Social Entrepreneurship. Participants discussed the process and values needed to sustain a new economy. Like the framing of a house, these will provide the basis for decisions about possible models, and then for discussion about governance. Hearts and minds came together to explore the potential of new structures for a future in which the environment and the economy can live in harmony, without sacrificing one for the other,” commented the Skoll Foundation’s David Rothschild.
Rothschild found the temporary structure built in two months to house the event, Humanidade 2012, inspiring. “We went up ramps and staircases and were treated to a 3600 view of Rio’s beaches and a dazzling sky. There were no confining walls or windows. The physical space was truly moving,” he added.
“For the Roberto Marinho Foundation the Forum initiated a new socio-environmental agenda. We will encourage and promote what was started here,” said Andrea Margit, speaking for the Roberto Marinho Foundation. One next step comes in the form of the Social Enterprise World Forum (http://www.nesst.org/sewf/), organized by NESsT, to be held from October 16-18 in Rio de Janeiro.
The Roberto Marinho Foundation is taking responsibility for keeping the Website updated with much of the news, videos and photos from the events of the Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in the New Economy.