I've just left the Social Capital Markets conference (#SoCap09) after 2.5 days of nonstop meetings, sessions, ideas, and energy. I'm literally running away to the woods for a few days camping and then I'm going underground for three days to continue writing the technology/philanthropy paper. So here, while I pack with my other hand, are some initial thoughts and reflections on #SoCap09:
- The energy level of these folks is amazing. In the midst of global recession, there is optimism, hope, ambition, big thinking, and things happening on the ground. Hats off to the folks who came to San Francisco from 30 countries to demonstrate, deal make and dig deeper.
- Lots has happened since last year. This is an emergent marketplace - still more of a bazaar than a cathedral. Broad attention and awareness of cross cutting issues like metrics and policy is revealing itself - that is not the same as systematic innovation or adoption around these issues, but it is an important start.
- The SocialEntrepreneurAPI is up - check it out!
- The buzz (words) that will matter from this - metrics, ecosystem, impact, exchanges, maps, and policy.
- I was able to use the time to learn, meet and move forward with some ideas. These 3 things are the important measures for conferences that I attend, and they are rarely all achieved. Specifically:
- The Philanthropy Policy Project (#philpo) got some real wind in its sails here. There seems to be great interest in the idea that we need to "Change the rules to change the world." First - we need to turn it into a Social Capital Policy Project. Second, there is a global network of doers, thinkers, and policymakers ready to connect, think and act on the myriad issues that shape how social capital will work - we had Swiss, Singaporeans, Brits, South Africans, Canadians, and Americans at the table this morning - we want to include the rest of the world, too! Please keep your eyes out for an updated web presence and places to connect about this work - we've already taken a crack at updating the policy map. We also got some great verbal commitments of support, other efforts to link into, and maps to connect to (Oh my - we're building an Atlas). Please - stay tuned for more (remember, I'm going into the woods for a while, so check back after September 14), email me or leave contact info in comments (name, email, area of interest) if you want to join the effort
- There is a ton of disagreement in these conversations - which is great. My hope for next year - that #SoCap10 actively connects to policy discussions that matter for moving money and that the disagreements and tensions are used as central organizing principles for further discussion and debate.
- This was the most well-documented conference I've ever attended - sessions were tweeted, videod, streamed, flickr'd, blogged and I took notes on a note pad. Let's capture some of that, organize it, reflect on it and put it out there in a way that attendees and those who weren't here can out the ideas to work. I'll do what I can to help (I have a monograph series and two books in the hopper already) but perhaps the SoCap organizers can grab all the blogs, tweets, video and flickr notes, put them somewhere, collect a group to reflect on it and try pushing out a quick "summary, next steps, tensions and opportunities" wiki, eBook or what have you.....
- Congratulations to the bran trust, the organizers, sponsors, doers, volunteers, speakers, video teams, bloggers, and the other 830+ people at Fort Mason who made this happen! And thank you (especially to the makers of the jam on the breakfast tables, wow!)