It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Brisbane. For a bunch of us, the adventure started a few days before the conference when we jumped on a bus in Sydney for a roadtrip up the coast, visiting some social enterprises on the way. Stops in Newcastle, Nambucca, Toormina, and one my very favourite places, Byron Bay.
It was a privilege to be on a panel led by Julia Keady, with Michelle Sutherland and Louise Tran or The Time is Now for Social Enterprise event at Sourdough Business Pathways in Byron. Thanks to Davina Bambrick for hosting.
A fun night, a quick walk to the beach… and then it was through to Brisbane for the GoodNorth opening party brought together by my good mate and collaborator Luke Faccini from Sponge at Stone & Wood… and the conference.
My highlights? For me, it’s always about the people. I had a great week hanging out with old friends, including loads I haven’t seen since before the pandemic, and some I’ve only known on-screen… and making plenty of new friends too. As you’d expect, there was great content too, and I loved the diversity of voices.
It was symbolic, but my highlight of SEWF was the moment when all seven of the Australian state and territory networks, plus Social Enterprise Australia for the national level, were represented on stage. This was a huge moment for the social enterprise movement in Australia. Getting to this point has been a massive effort for so many of us in the ecosystem, and SEWF played a catalytic role in bringing focus and urgency to making sure we have community representation and focal points for the ecosystem throughout Australia.
It’s important to celebrate these moments. We also need to sustain the momentum we’ve built… to keep building a healthy and connected ecosystem that collaborates to ensure all people, places, and planet thrive.
There’s an opportunity to jump in on the fun again this Thursday – our next SECNA meetup, which is in collaboration with B Local Sydney and Fair Trade Association of ANZ… join us as we Demystify Business for Good.
Finally, a huge thanks and congrats to Tom Allen, Belinda Morrissey, Alex Hannant, Elise Parups, Dominiqe Bird, the White Box Enterprises team and the many other people who’ve worked so hard over the past few years to win the bid to bring SEWF to Brisbane and make it happen… and Tom Dawkins, Nimmity Zappert, Lucy Brotherton, and the rest of the team and supporters for making the bus roadtrip happen.