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United Nations Civil Society Conference

September 7, 2019

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The Rationale: UN SDG

Fostering Entrepreneurship in Boston

October 3, 2017

 

After the Greater New York City area (including the northern New Jersey chapter), after the Washington DC Metro area (including Maryland and Virginia), after the Greater Philadelphia area (including the southern New Jersey chapter), the Halsten Enterprise civil society participation is now in the Greater Boston area (including Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut) as well.

 

On September 27th, 2017, I had the privilege to join the Café des Sciences at WeWork  offices in Cambridge, MA. The Café des Sciences is a series of events promoted by the General Consulate of France in Boston, an equivalent to the Conferences 934 of the General Consulate of France in NYC, or the events hosted by the French Embassy in Washington DC. However, this event in Boston included also other delegations of the Francophonie world, such as participants from the representations of Belgium and Switzerland in the U.S., as well as people from Québec and Canada-New Brunswick.

 

This event was about the topic of social entrepreneurship: utopia or panacea ? Presented by a Northeastern University (Boston) fellow Sophie Bacq. In a very important context for our civil society work, numerous examples of social entrepreneurship were mentioned, such as Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, a "bank of the poor" sort of entrepreneurship, as well as Toms Shoes, Aravind Eye Care System, Indego Africa, Kaboom, Kiva, and Sanergy (an initiative created by MIT students). In all these cases, the utopia angle is present as there is no economic driven mission, as well as the panacea's as all of them laud for resolving a plethora of issues worldwide.

The results of this research lead to 3 challenges:


- Individual: what are the elements that form the will for social entrepreneurship ? 
- Organisational: how to merge multiple objectives that are potentially incompatible ?
- Societal: how to measure the concrete impact of social entrepreneurship ?

 

The rule of the bank as corporate or cooperative has been invoked, in the sense of how the financial institutions can create interactive space dedicated to brainstorming with social entrepreneurs. Although this process being iterative, it would take several more years to notice change of the banks attitude. In a context of Economic Development, this factor would create wealth from a societal/communal aspect.

 

The partial results of this research depends of:


- Change of aspirations and individual needs;
- Change of the organizational landscape (SDGs)  
- Paradigmatic change: Blended value and 
shared value; meaning that merging the economic to the social is a win-win pattern for individuals as well as organisations.

 

Note. Wellesley College will be organizing on October 20th and 21st, 2017 the Education and Gender Equality Symposium. This event is promoted by the General Consulate of France in Boston and featuring, among participants, Mrs. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (Former French Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research), and Mrs. Christiane Taubira (Former French Minister of Justice).

 

The Halsten Enterprise was represented by Youssef Bahammi, Senior Consultant | United Nations

 

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