Conveners.org is designed to be a listening organization. To do this, we provide multiple touch points throughout the year to hear from our community so that we can understand their pain points. These sessions provide context and generate ideas for how we can help them find solutions. As an anchor for the Conveners.org community, SOCAP is a significant opportunity to touch base with our community and listen.
With 23 attendees from 18 different conveners, it was a lively and engaged discussion, both looking back on accomplishments of 2015 and forward to 2016.
Looking back on 2015
Conveners.org has made a lot of progress since SOCAP14. The conveners community has expanded with over 200 convenings in 25 countries on six continents as part of our broader community. We welcomed 10 Founding Members and 13 General Members. The Founding Members form our Founding Member Council and help determine Conveners.org priorities each quarter. Members have access to the newly launched membership website with our What Works Database, Facilitation Encyclopedia, and Membership Directory. In 2016, we will expand those resources to include a Speaker Directory and Resource Library.
This year, we ran nine co-hosted sessions in eight cities in four countries with over 150 participants to share knowledge and build resources for the social impact convening community. In addition, we helped people navigate the impact ecosystem with articles and infographics. We hosted our first three best practice webinars with over 30 participants and continued to improve our global calendar with 150 listings in 2015, and we estimate that to grow to 450 listings in 2016. This calendar is syndicated on ImpactGarden.com, and will soon be listed on ImpactAlpha.com, the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network, and others to make it as widely available as possible.
Looking forward to 2016.
To help determine Conveners.org priorities over the next year, we asked the conveners three major questions:
- What is a major problem you need to solve in 2016?
- What is the most important convening for you to attend in 2016?
- What Co-Hosted Sessions, Webinars, and Tools can Conveners.org offer in 2016?
What is the most important convening for you to attend in 2016?
In addition to organizing high impact experiences, conveners also attend a select number each year. Events that attract high numbers of conveners are a great opportunity to unlock collective intelligence, share best-practices, and promote community building. The participants placed these eight convenings at the top of their list for 2016:
- Opportunity Collaboration
- Skoll World Forum
- FLII – Mexico
- Sankalp Africa
- SRI Conference
- GSBI Showcase
What is a major problem you need to solve in 2016?
We asked the conveners to define major problems for their organizations in 2016 and the role Conveners.org could play in finding and sharing solutions. This exercise provided valuable insights into the ways that Conveners.org could support our community to build new relationships, provide learning opportunities, and aggregate best practices to support the strategic growth of our members.
Key take-aways included:
- Building relationships with investors, funders, and collaborations;
- The desire to better understand how to drive impact during and after convenings;
- Support to discover new technologies that to improve operations; and
- Learn best practices for doing more with less money, time, and effort.
All of these sentiments will help craft Conveners.org’s 2016 offerings.
What Co-Hosted Sessions, Webinars, and Tools can Conveners.org offer in 2016?
Finally participants shared their suggestions for Conveners.org in 2016 and beyond. Some of the ideas at the top of the Co-Hosted Session suggestions list were: Diversity & Inclusion, Building a Culture of Trust, and Facilitation discussions on Big Wins & Failures.
Webinar Topics included Analysis of Event Registration Platforms, Collective Impact Best Practices (leveraging dollars post-event for greater impact), and Emergency Best Practices & Disaster Preparedness.
Knowledge Base resources included the development of a speaker directory that includes a pool of diverse speakers including their region of expertise and where they have spoken, and best practices for measuring impact of attendance (deals made, decisions, etc).
With this and other vital feedback from community members, Conveners.org knows 2016 will be an exciting year for social impact conveners around the world. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for the convening community.
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