Global Social Economy Forum 2020 (GSEF)

The Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) and Mexico City have signed on July 9th the Memorandum for Understanding (MoU) for the Forum GSEF2020 which will take place from 21 to 23 October 2020 in Mexico City.

On the 9th July, the official press conference and signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) marked the official launch of the 5th edition of the biannual Global Social Economy Forum, GSEF2020 in Mexico City, which will be held from the 21st to 23rd of October next year.

Previous editions of the Global Social Economy Forum were held in Seoul, South Korea (GSEF2013 and GSEF2014); Montreal, Canada (GSEF2016); and Bilbao, Spain (GSEF2018). This 5th edition will be celebrated for the first time on the Latin-American continent, bringing a focus on the issues of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.


Virtual - 2020 Inclusive Diversity Conference

Shaping Inclusive Workplaces Through Data, Influence, and Change Management

Creating a Diverse workforce is critically important for organizational growth and innovation however, in today’s polarizing environment, it’s fraught with obstacles, challenges, and deep frustration.  We fight for a diverse workforce, for balance and gender equality, for those who are smart, innovative, and eager to succeed – employees who deserve a chance but don’t have a voice as strong or as respected as their colleagues.

Discouragement leads to exits.  A growing problem is diversity retention –highlighting the stark difference between diversity and inclusion and why there needs to be an equal focus in both arenas for talent to stay.

Successful organizations achieve this balance by creating an inclusive employee experience that incorporates active manager participation, a focus on equity and fairness, and an emphasis on the future.  How do we know where to start?  Experts in the field will demonstrate how Data/Analytics gives us guidance, influence, and leadership buy-in, plus when combined with the ability to guide and manage change we're able to create inclusive employee experiences that will engage, retain and generally elevate the entire workforce.

Join us at HCI’s 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Conference and network with like-minded colleagues, learn from expert keynotes, and attend life-changing workshops, coaching sessions, and smaller focused data labs.  It’s the best two-day investment you can make to achieve accelerated personal and organizational growth.


Women of Color Connecting

Why Attend?

  • Engage in real talk about diversity, inclusion, and equity

  • Diversify your network

  • Become an agent of change

  • Learn how you can help more Women of Color Entrepreneurs succeed!

 


SPECTRUM 2019

LET’S JOIN FORCES

The next innovation boom isn’t coming from New York or San Francisco — it’s radiating from cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Memphis, with a new wave of talented pioneers who are building game-changing socially conscious solutions across industries. The fastest-growing population of American entrepreneurs — people of color — are leading the charge, responding to the real needs of their communities and creating conscious companies that have a purpose beyond profit.

But while brilliant minds are plentiful, investment in and support for leaders of color is not. The racial equity gap persists, preventing great startups from scaling and thriving. Innovators and founders of color are systematically under-recognized and under-resourced. Now is the time for change.

At SOCAP and Conscious Company Media, we know the urgent need for access, inclusion, and impact. For over a decade, we’ve surfaced new solutions by gathering diverse perspectives to address the unique obstacles that we all face when markets fail. Together, we strive to better understand the challenges at hand and implement strategies to overcome those barriers. Let’s explore the full range of possibilities for creating equity and shared prosperity.

This June in Atlanta, GA, we’ll host SPECTRUM — a two-day immersive convening to bring together business leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, cross-sector practitioners, and investors to identify ways to build an impact economy based on equity, diversity, and inclusion where everyone can thrive.

Join us in Atlanta, GA on June 12-13, 2019 to unlock the full range of possibilities.


Convening for Impact: Latino Policy Summit 'Day of Action'

This May the Latino Community Foundation (LCF) convened 300 Latino community leaders, advocates, and elected officials at its fourth annual Latino Policy Summit to discuss policy solutions that will positively impact Latino communities in California. The Summit showcased an array of impact-focused convening best practices, including an inspirational keynote from Xavier Beccera, the first Latino Attorney General of California, and a march to the State Capitol. As the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the country, LCF is a connector and convener who knows a thing or two about the power of convening for impact. Conveners.org's Nayelli Gonzalez spoke with Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of LCF, about the role that convening plays to LCF's growing network, and how the organization convenes for impact.

1. What role does your annual Latino Policy Summit—and convening in general—play in advancing the Latino Community Foundation's mission?

LATINOS are a force. The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) exists to unleash the power of Latinos in California. LCF fulfills its mission by building political power for Latino communities, creating a movement of Latino philanthropists, and investing in Latino-led organizations that are advancing opportunities for youth and families to thrive.

LCF serves as a connector, convener, and advocate of Latino-led organizations to advance policy and system level changes. The California Latino Agenda, one of our initiatives, amplifies the Latino voice and facilitates participation in public policy. LCF works to ensure that Latino leaders have the tools, resources, and information they need to effectively advocate for change. Our annual Latino Policy Summit has become one of the most sought-after events in Sacramento and has brought together more than 1,000 Latino leaders—from emerging youth leaders and nonprofit executives to seasoned advocates and corporate executives—to our state’s capitol.

We strongly believe that our community partners working on the frontlines of social change have the talent, skills, and wisdom to create opportunities for Latino families to thrive—we want to bring their solutions to our decision makers.

2. A focal point of this year's summit was an organized march to the California State Capital, which was a few blocks away from the meeting location. Once there, summit attendees were organized into groups for a "Day of Action" of special visits with state legislators at the State Capitol. This is a unique example of convening for impact—can you please share more about why LCF includes this "Day of Action" as part of its annual summit, and what you have learned from doing this? 

We organize the legislative visits immediately following the Summit because we want to move from discussion to action. LCF organized 66 legislative visits for community partners to meet with their representatives and staffers to share specific recommendations on policy changes they want to see happen to address the issues discussed at the Summit. Many of the participants of the Summit have not had the opportunity to participate in advocacy or even visit their local representatives at the State Capitol. We are determined to build a culture of political participation and action. Most Latino nonprofit leaders intimately understand the issues as well as the solutions that will transform the lives of youth and families. We want to provide the space and platform for our Latino leaders to build relationships with decision makers and work together to make the necessary policy changes that will increase opportunities for Latinos to excel—especially in education, economic mobility, and civic engagement.

Through the Afternoon of Action, we have learned that community leaders need more opportunities for relationship-building and direct advocacy with their policymakers. The people serving on the frontlines of social change have the talent, skills, and wisdom to achieve community transformation. They just have rarely been offered a seat at the decision-making table. These legislative visits help to instill a culture of advocacy and accountability so that our leaders on the ground get accustomed to speaking directly with their legislators on tough issues, while legislators get accustomed to hearing directly from Latino community leaders.

3. One might assume that the vast majority of attendees at a Latino-focused summit would be Latino; however the speakers and audience at this year's summit were fairly diverse. What does diversity mean to LCF, and why do you think it's important to include diverse voices at your convening? 

A strong and vibrant Latino community will result in a stronger California and a thriving democracy. To achieve a robust state, we need to engage people of all ethnicities and races and across all generations. Latinos are 39% of California’s population. We need to build bridges across other racial/ethnic groups and work together to advance the hopes and dreams of all Californians. In the end, residents in our progressive State share similar hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Our work is about getting those who have historically not been part of the decision-making table, to the table, making sure we all have a voice in how we move our community forward.

We also know that the issues that impact millions of Latinos also affects the lives of African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, immigrants and refugees, Native Americans, Muslims, and other persecuted and marginalized populations. We need and must work together to create the changes we hope to see in our communities and families.

4. Hosting an annual summit is often par for the course for many foundations and nonprofit organizations. Why does LCF host its annual summit—and how do you keep content fresh each year?

Positioned at the intersection of corporate, political, and grassroots power, LCF creates and champions relationships designed to amplify and accelerate impact in unprecedented ways. We host the annual Latino Policy Summit to educate community leaders on significant policy and budget issues, to inspire thought partnership among California leaders, and to spark regional collaborative efforts to create policy change.

We are committed to building political power and advancing economic mobility for Latinos throughout California. To accomplish this we will remain focused on pressing issues like higher education, voter turnout, environmental justice, civic leadership, and community organizing—until we achieve breakthroughs in these areas. During the Summit, we are able to dive deeper into one or two of these issues each year exploring opportunities to advance policy changes across the issues.

We also keep the Summit’s content fresh through our robust relationships with our community partners on the ground and our strategic partners in the public policy sector. These partnerships allow LCF to stay current on both the needs in the community and the opportunities in the legislature.

5. Aside from your annual summit, how do you engage your community year-round? What are some best practices that you could share with the Conveners.org community about year-round community engagement?

LCF’s Community Conversaciones bring together our community partners, donors, advocates, and community members to discuss vital issues and timely solutions that will move the needle on topics impacting the Latino community. Held several times a year across the state, these convenings elevate Latino leadership and community rooted solutions. We also regularly post articles on our Nuestra Voz blog and share them along with news stories about Latino issues and key policy updates on social media. LCF’s monthly newsletters keep our champions and stakeholders informed and engaged in our work.

LCF has made building trust and authentic relationships a priority. We see ourselves as a justice-focused grantmaker, convener, and advocate. Our work and achievements depend on having genuine relationships with a broad range of partners. You have to know their hopes and dreams. You have to ask, then you have to show up for them as well.


Webinar Recap: Strategies to Increase Participant Diversity

A core function of our work as conveners is to bring together communities and spur dialogue, peer-learning, and collaboration. Inherent to our success is the ability to convene truly diverse voices. In 2016, a cohort of conveners gathered to reflect on the issue of participant diversity—and more specifically:

  • Why is participant diversity important to our work?
  • How do we best achieve it?; and
  • When within our planning processes do we address diversity issues?

Individuals representing diverse organizations joined a Conveners.org webinar hosted on February 23rd to build upon that conversation. The webinar was moderated by Sujatha Sebastian, Director of Membership & Advisory Services, who shared learnings collected from last year's conversation, and charted strategies for how to continue this important work in 2017.

Some of the roadblocks to designing diverse convenings that were discussed include 1) competing organizational priorities, 2) lack of focused leadership, 3) ineffective strategies to build participant pipelines, and 4) event design that fails to consider diversity.

After sharing how their organization addresses diversity, webinar participants shared the following ideas to increase participant diversity at impact convenings:

  • As a conference organizer, take the 50/50 Pledge (a pledge originated in the technology conference space) and commit to have 50 percent of speakers be women
  • Train staff on emotional resiliency in order to create spaces for multiple voices to be heard without having to have feelings of threats internally
  • Find money to cover cost of diverse speakers; these cost should not be passed on to conference organizers
  • Include a virtual convening aspect to your conference, which is also a way to engage people who cannot travel or attend due to various barriers
  • Designate an ombusdman for your organization to ensure that diverse voices are represented
  • Make a personal pledge to not participate in convenings that don’t reflect an intention to diversify

These were the tactics shared by the group during the webinar. Do you have your own ideas? We encourage you to tweet your ideas to us @theconveners.


Three Tips for Diversifying your Convening

Guest Post by Christal M. Jackson, Founder of Head and Heart Philanthropy

 

Attendees make the convening. I have been in the business of convening now for the past five years. While it is a rewarding field, it can also be challenging to bring together the right mix of people.

 

In February, I had the privilege to work with Conveners on “Increasing Attendee Diversity”, a Co-Hosted Session at Echoing Green’s New York office. Given that the social impact sector is predominately white; initially, I thought solely about ethnicity. After thinking more about this topic, diversity extends beyond ethnicity to thought, religion, sexual orientation, class, experience, and even industry.

 

It is in the best interest of the communities we want to impact to make certain our convenings are as diverse as possible. It’s really serious business.

 

As you plan your next convening here are three practical steps to keep in mind:

  1. Host Committee: Identify leaders or influencers that reflect the community you want to engage. Invite them to be on your host committee, and share with them your explicit intention to recruit more diverse participants for your convening.  These committee members can help by serving as a champion for you in new communities and reviewing your materials and content to support your effort to speak to a new audience.
  2. Cultural Sensitivity: Does everyone feel welcome to attend your convening? From the invitation to the content, considering who you want at the table will drive your design.  Make certain everything from marketing material to meals reflects a level of sensitivity to a broader audience.  Be intentional about inclusion and not narrow it to a single panel presentation.  Culture is often times the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
  3. Cost: Let’s face it, cost is a huge factor.  We’ve all heard the statistic that on average women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity is even greater for minorities who may earn as little as 54 cents per dollar as in the case of hispanic women.1 If there are opportunities for people to leverage their skills, networks, or other valuable assets to gain full participation, it’s worth considering.  It would be great if social entrepreneurs had access to large professional development budgets but often times they don’t.

 

Hope these practical tips are helpful!  Look forward to hearing about your success in diversifying your convening.

 

Christal M. Jackson

Founder- Head and Heart Philanthropy

christal-jackson-headshotFor nearly two decades, Christal M. Jackson has adopted a philosophy of servant leadership deeply rooted in her Haitian family traditions and values. She is the founder of Head and Heart Philanthropy (HHP), a social impact agency that hosts convenings centered on the best practices in philanthropy, domestic and global initiatives of utmost importance to communities of color. A growing network of over 250 professionals, thought leaders, funders and social entrepreneurs, HHP gathers annually in Martha’s Vineyard with its cohorts to collaborate and exchange ideas. Since its inception four years ago, this network has facilitated nearly two million dollars in resources that address critical issues around health, poverty and education.

 

1Source: U.S. Current Population Survey and the National Committee on Pay Equity; also Bureau of Labor Statistics: Weekly and Hourly Earnings Data from the Current Population Survey.


Increasing Attendee Diversity at Social Impact Convenings: Strategies, Opportunities, and Areas for Growth

As conveners, our core function is to bring together communities for dialogue, peer-learning, and collaboration. Inherent to our success, is the ability to convene diverse voices. On February 9th, 17 impact-focused organizations and practitioners gathered in Manhattan to discuss the importance of increasing attendee diversity at convenings. The session was co-hosted by Echoing Green, Head and Heart Philanthropy, and Conveners.org. The two hour session, held at the Echoing Green offices in Manhattan, focused on strategies to increase attendee diversity and areas for growth. It also included a discussion of:

  • What does attendee diversity means to us?;
  • Why is it important?;
  • How do we achieve it?; and
  • When do we need to think about diversity within our planning processes?

Opening Conversation

To open the discussion of defining diversity and its role, session participants were invited to break into pairs and reflect on the following questions:

“What is your earliest memory related to diversity? How has this shaped your life?” 

and

“What is your relationship to diversity today? How does the topic of diversity influence or impact your work?”

The intention behind these question was to encourage participants to both introduce themselves to each other, as well as grounding personally to the topic at hand.  Following the lively paired discussions, the group then embarked on a reflection of the importance of diversity to their professional work - including its value, purpose, and role.

The discussion started with an inventory of our individual and collective challenge areas regarding attendee diversity.  Participants were invited to individually brainstorm as many challenges as well as their respective roots causes.  In small groups, they then compared and shared their lists.

Identified Challenges

A wide variety of challenge areas were identified and ranged from competing organizational priorities, aligning organizational leadership, improving attendee pipeline, thoughtful event design, and diverse speaker selection.

Competing Organizational Priorities

Diversity has to be an organizational priority that is clearly articulated at all levels from funding and design of the convening to impact outcomes. Without this level of commitment, it is easy for diversity to be an afterthought or overlooked altogether.

Organizational Leadership

In addition to the importance of organizational focus, the leadership must also have a clear awareness of the complexity involved with increasing diversity and a shared understanding of diversity as a value for the convening.

Attendee Pipeline

Two challenges in regard to pipeline were brought up. The first was on general attendee pipeline, with the same sources tapped year after year resulting in many of the same attendees. The second was that there tends to be a limited list of speakers, attendees, and organizations that are called on to represent their groups.

Event Design

Content and structure were two of the challenges raised when discussing how event design can hinder attendee diversity. When content is designed without a diverse audience in mind, the content can lack topics and speakers that attract and engage the intended audiences. The structure of the event can also pose challenges to everything from physical accessibility to attendance travel and ticket costs, and creating flexible and welcoming environments that encourage both discussion and constructive dissension.

Strategies and Solutions

What was particularly valuable was that participants highlighted both tactics they have found effective in encouraging attendee diversity, as well as when in the planning process diversity should be considered. The major take-away was that diversity has to be intentionally prioritized and fully integrated into all stages of the design and implementation process.  

The group then moved on to reflect on strategies to encourage attendee diversity and critical components for diversity success.  Individual and group answers included the following:

  • Incorporating diversity into the event’s definition of success from the outset;
  • Holding leadership accountable for attendee diversity;
  • Investing time in building relationships with community advisors;
  • Seeking stakeholder input during all stages of the design and implementation process;
  • Creating flexible agendas;
  • Using thoughtful event design;
  • Creating a diversity steering committee;
  • Investing financial resources to sponsor/subsidize attendee scholarships; and
  • Investing in building attendee diversity over the long term (and not just focusing on it in the months before your event.)

Outcomes

Following a collective reflection on areas of overlap between both challenges as well as strategies, the meeting concluded with an invitation for participants to share additional resources with each other regarding diversity and convening.  

In addition, the meeting’s outcomes included:

  • Upcoming Conveners.org guest blog posts to be written by specific co-hosted session participants;
  • A future co-hosted session on “Increasing Speaker and Facilitator Diversity at Social Impact Convenings” to be held at Opportunity Collaboration’s October 2016 convening in Mexico;
  • New “Recipes for Success”- adding  attendee diversity strategies to the Conveners.org online Knowledge Base (accessible to official Conveners.org members).
  • Invitation for conveners and social impact focused event organizers to participate in a Conveners.org Collective Impact Project to develop a “How to Guide on Encouraging Diversity at Social Impact Convenings” to be disseminated online.

Conveners.org would like to thank those organizations in attendance: