Talking social enterprise with Priscilla Rouyer, Co-Chair of Harvard’s 2015 Social Enterprise Conference

blogimage_seconblog1We’re excited to be attending and participating in the Social Enterprise Conference (SECON), an annual event hosted by the students of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. Our Executive Director, Neil Britto, will serve as both a panelist and moderator for two panels on the “Ecosystem of Social Change,” which will explore the role of cross-sector collaboration in scaling social impact and creating shared value.

SECON, now in its 16th year, brings together thought leaders, practitioners, and students who are passionate about social enterprise. The conference includes a host of panels, keynote address, workshops, and problem solving labs.

We sat down recently with Priscilla Rouyer, one of SECON’s three co-chairs, to discuss the theme of this year’s conference, “Intent. Action. Impact.” and to get her take on what to expect from SECON 2015.

The theme of SECON 2015 is Intent. Action. Impact. Can you explain what this means in the context of social enterprise?
Participants will have opportunities to reflect on the different stages of social entrepreneurship: from the intention to create social change to its implementation and the measurement of its impact. Because our participants come from a very diverse range of background and expertise, we thought it would be interesting to navigate the field of social enterprise through these three lenses and better understand how to successfully turn intent into tangible results.

What do you expect will be the “hot topics” at this year’s conference?
We are very much looking forward to hearing from our four keynotes, David Bornstein, Bill Drayton, Elisa Villaneuva Beard, and Noa Gafni. They represent multiple views on social enterprise and will help us think “big”! In terms of hot topics, I think creating an ecosystem of change around cross-sector collaboration will definitely be at the center of all discussions. Our panels on education, healthcare, technology, and the role of gender in social enterprise will most likely be big hits as well!

What else should we know about SECON 2015?
Since 2009, when named the conference one of the “Top 12 most influential andexclusive executive gatherings” — an honor we share with the World Economic Forum, TED, and the Clinton Global Initiative — we have worked hard to make this event unique, not only for the quality and depth of the expertise shared during the two days but also for the diversity of our participants, practitioners and students, coming from the United States and the rest of the world!