Conclusion: day one of the Global Social Enterprise Forum 2022

With over 2,000 representatives from over 90 countries, the Global Social Enterprise Forum is the largest conversation on social enterprise in the world. Here’s all the news from day one.

The 2022 Global Social Enterprise Forum kicked off today in Brisbane, with over 2,000 industry professionals representing over 90 countries taking part in in-person and online social impact sessions.

The first day of the forum opened with an address from Queensland MMinister for Jobs and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills, Di Farmer, who announced additional funding for the social enterprise sector and encouraged leaders to lobby their governments to ensure that social enterprises have a place in address labor shortages.

CEO of White box companies Luke Terry shared his excitement for the future of social enterprise, announcing “it’s time for our sector to shine” and citing the development of the new state-of-the-art national body, National Social Enterprise Strategyand business and government cooperation as key advancements for the sector.

Then there was a fireside chat with Laura Thompson, Clothing Gaps CEO and co-founder who spoke about her journey in creating the social enterprise, free aboriginal flag and the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement on his work.

The conversation of First Nations leaders continued in the session titled “Transferring Power and Creating Space for Indigenous Business” where Common Ground CEO Rona Glynn-McDonald forcefully discussed the need for change the concept of leadership in Australia.

She noted that non-Indigenous people need to step back to make room for Indigenous people and return funding and power to First Nations communities to better support self-determination.

Leaders from companies such as Good Market, Cambiatus, Yume Food and Infoxchange came together to discuss the need for use digital transformation to help social enterprises build their capacity – and especially to deal with the impact on Australians who are digitally excludedincluding those in rural and regional areas, who come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and have low levels of education.

Elsewhere, a lively debate over the overly narrow definition of social enterprise opened up dialogue on creating impact regardless of structure, before a second fireside chat with the 2022 Australian of the Year and disability activist Dylan Alcott AO, networking and additional virtual sessions rounded out the day.

The two-day hybrid event co-hosted by White Box Enterprises is themed around “co-creating the future”, with speakers from various companies around the world, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

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