Thursday

1. Why a "Working Conference"?!!

Welcome to a "Conference With A Difference"!

Most conferences are organized with outlined agenda, specified topics, and fixed speakers. They help participants' learning through listening and absorbing. Useful as they are (as we also found in the 1st National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, last year), they miss out on two opportunities, viz.,

  • they fail to leverage the rich experience which the participants bring with themselves, and

  • they don't facilitate co-creation of new solutions, networks, alternatives through collaborative problem-solving.

    This conference, therefore, is designed as a “Working Conference”, and aims to shift from a speaker-centered to a participant-centered learning environment - it is designed to help the participants collaboratively explore, discuss, learn from each other, and co-create…

    specifically, designed as "interest-based", "facilitated working groups" the conference aims to:

  • facilitate learning by actively involving the participants in collectively solving real, live problems, which are of their interest and concern.

  • leverage the rich experience and competence available in the participants’ community to address real challenges, issues and opportunities facing the sector, and help learning from each other.

  • result in relevant and concrete “take-home” learning (solutions and alternatives) for the participants, which can be implemented.

    And of course!... in the process, the participants will also learn about numerous sustainable "Solutions for Equitable/Inclusive Development" which already exist, e.g,:

  • a venture which helps 250,000 people in the rural/tribal areas to develop their own health and sanitation facilities, livelihood options, etc.

  • an initiative which promotes financially sustainable organisations, formed and owned by illiterate unorganised workers, impacting lives of 360,000 people

  • an organisation which has works with 350,000 primary school slow learners to bring them into mainstream

  • a 'for-profit' business venture which trains and equips the under-educated to become economically active

  • a bank and and a business-school entirely owned and profitably operated by rural illiterate women

  • initiatives which provide skill development training, legal aid, etc., to thousands of migrant labor, and education to their children,
    etc. etc...
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