“2,000 delegates, four senior politicians, three commissioners, one and a half days of debate, 10 workshops and one declaration.” The Have Your Say social enterprise even took place in Strasbourg in mid-January, attracting politicians and social enterprise representatives from across European countries to discuss the future of social enterprise in the European Union.
While many politicians used extreme words to make big declaration about the importance of social enterprise , there was much debate after the event ended as to whether this radical thought would evolving to any real action. A second result from the conference was the realization that there is no international shared vocabulary around social enterprise. An issue that can only be resolved through more shared dialogue.
So was it all talk and what sort of action will come out of it? Events at such a large scale do help encourage policy development and progress. Additionally, a declaration resulted from the even that stated that the EU would support the growth of the social enterprise sectors by creating institutions and financial opportunities.
Perhaps North America needs large scale events such as this to bring dialogue of social enterprise to a continental level? Could we encourage our governments on this side of the ocean to consider similar declarations or progress? The progress made in Europe, and particularly in the UK, is something we should look as at a model to mould to our cultural and business environment. So what’s stopping us?
Just a reminder: Spread the word about social enterprise (#SocEnt) by sharing the #GlobalLove Campaign with your friends and loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Purchase an ethically-made or fairtrade product, learn about social enterprise and share it through Twitter and Facebook.