Notes from Convening the Conveners at Opportunity Collaboration 2013

This post was contributed by SaraJoy Pond

The Conveners gathering at Opportunity Collaboration began with introductions from the +/- 25 individuals in attendance, followed by discussion as to the relative merits of consuming half of meetings with introductions 🙂 (It was decided that, as a young and rapidly-evolving group, the investment remains well-spent for the time being)
Discussion then turned to the most important potential benefits/opportunities to create value for Convening the Conveners and several themes emerged:

  • Formal Organization: The question was raised as to if, when, and how Convening the Conveners would be formally organized into a legal entity. There was general assent as to the need for “offline” work in order to keep momentum, and unanimous nomination (with accompanying acknowledgment of time constraints 🙂 of Topher to lead such an organization.
  • Online Space: Suggested features included best practice/knowledge sharing areas/functionality, a vetted resource library, and a membership directory, as well as a calendar where members could post their own events. (In the meantime, the group was reminded of the Global Events Calendar hosted by the Skoll Foundation and given contact information for Phil Collis in order to have their events listed)
  • What Makes a Convener?: Several participants’ musing during introductions as to whether they ‘really belonged in this room’ sparked conversation around the requirements (if any) for membership in the group. (for the present, it was decided that a “big tent” approach would serve better than exclusivity)
  • Shared Language: Several members expressed a desire to explore and articulate the rapidly expanding and fragmenting language emerging around (social)good/impact/entrepreneurship and potentially decide on common definitions of key concepts within it.
  • Best Practices / Knowledge Sharing: Widely affirmed as a key benefit/felt need from conveners in attendance, potential “hot topics” and models for execution (webinars, spotlights at meetings, reports, a Convening the Conveners retreat/conference–woah, meta, right? 😉 were discussed.
  • Mapping the Ecosystem: getting a holistic sense of who the current players are, the audiences they focus on, the models they use, the topics they cover and how they define them, the amount and quality of overlap in terms of objective, audience, content, etc. (The potential for a Convening the Conveners gathering in conjunction with the Global Innovation Summit focused on this topic was discussed and significant interest was expressed)