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FORSE 2008: Forum For Social Entrepreneurs

Raj Melville

ForSE 2008: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs 

Last year TiE Boston’s Social Entrepreneurs Group together with Boston University and the Deshpande Foundation held the first Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, also known as ForSE 2007, at Boston University. The response to ForSE 2007 was overwhelming. The oversubscribed event was a first-of-its-kind opportunity for Boston’s emerging and established social enterprises to identify and recruit talent, meet potential partners to support their organizational growth, share best practices with peers, and interact with senior executives from Boston’s leading companies, non-profit/social ventures, foundations, philanthropies, and beyond.  

This year TiE-Boston’s Social Entrepreneurs Group, Boston University and the Deshpande Foundation will once again host this event, ForSE 2008: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, at Boston University on October 10th, 2008.   

ForSE 2008, Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, has added a number of interesting features and topics this year.  

The Forum will start with a plenary session consisting of a Keynote Panel discussion led by Nishith Acharya, Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation. He will be joined with Naveen Jha, Director of Programs, Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Meenakshi Verma Agrawal, Program Officer, Global Exchange Programs, Deshpande Foundation and other leading Deshpande Fellows.  

After the plenary session, the Forum will break into multiple tracks to maximize interaction between attendees. The key themes for the six tracks are:

  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Mobile Solutions for the Masses
  • Beyond Microfinance: Opportunities for change
  • Sustainable Ventures for non-profits
  • Building a Sustainable Food Supply
  • Cultivating a Generation - Engaging Young Entrepreneurs
 Each track will have:
  • An in-depth discussion with a panel of practitioners and experts in that field. Each track will open with a panel consisting of leading implementers, providing their perspectives on what are the major issues in that area and how innovative organizations are helping to address them.
  • A case study discussion with an emerging social entrepreneur. This year the Forum has added a case discussion session to each track where the audience will have an opportunity to get engaged with a social entrepreneur. Selected entrepreneurs in each track will present their work and discuss their challenges of scaling and growing their organizations. This will be followed by a moderated discussion to help explore alternative solutions that might address their needs. This format should get attendees more engaged with social entrepreneurs and should also leverage the combined experience and resources of the audience to provide constructive suggestions for the case presenter.
  • Additional "How to" workshops led by key professionals who will help equip entrepreneurs with the tools and techniques to grow and manage their enterprises.
  • Additional panels that will highlight some of the ground-breaking work in the various tracks.

The event will conclude with a closing keynote from Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Yearup.org. Gerald has over 20 years of committed experience working with urban youth. Gerald was the recipient of the 2003 Social Entrepreneurship Award by the Manhattan Institute. Year Up is an intensive training program that provides urban young adults with hands-on skill development and corporate apprenticeships.  

Attendees will have a chance to network at several breaks as well as at the closing reception after the closing keynote. 

In an attempt to make this event accessible to most attendees, a discounted rate will be available to the first 180 attendees. Registration and further event details may be found at: www.bu.edu/forse 

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