At the Clinton Foundation, we believe that the best way to solve the complex problems of our time is through creative cooperation. That means bringing together people with diverse backgrounds to find new or improved solutions. And that’s just what 20/30 is about. Our members – the future leaders of our world – are an important group to engage and they are bursting with ideas.
This was evident earlier this month, when we organized an event where 20/30 members could think through challenges and strategies for maximizing the impact of social enterprises that are fighting climate change, improving community health, and empowering economies.
The concept and structure of our discussions were framed by SOCAP 365, a year-round event series serving a global network of impact investors, social entrepreneurs, conscious corporations, philanthropists, government agencies, and innovators in every sector. A Hundred Years, a team of designers, strategists, storytellers, technologists and change-makers helping organizations create long-term impact, designed and executed the dynamic roundtable discussions. And food and beverages were provided by socially-conscious companies Hampton Creek, Hot Bread Kitchen, Wtrmln Wtr, Runa, and Kuli Kuli.
With partners on board, and more than 100 emerging leaders in the room and eager to start, we got to work.
We began with a discussion on economic empowerment, which interestingly, and perhaps reflecting the times, was identified in a survey as the highest-interest area of focus for the group. Hugh Locke opened the conversation by talking about his personal journey from an NGO-focused approach to singular reliance on Social Enterprises as an agent for change. He prompted our tables to discuss the challenge that he sees as key to the future: how to allow smallholder farmers to access more markets by lowering the barrier to entry of fair trade and organic certification. As might be predicted, technology won the day as a key tool.
The conversation then turned to health. With some little-known, yet frightening statistics on maternal health in the US - including that we are the only developed nation where maternal mortality is on the rise - Square Roots engaged our audience to discuss how to get more expecting mothers to adopt a birth plan, empowering them with the information they need to make the best personal decisions. As healthcare costs impact the US economy, Square Roots took these table discussions with them when they announced their CGI America commitment this past week in Atlanta: mobilizing a network of cities to improve the quality of their maternal health outcomes. A gain for US mothers is a benefit to the US economy, and 20/30 is thrilled to be a part of their CGI America conversation.
BioLite introduced our third and final round of conversation with their story about fighting climate change, energy poverty, and poor health outcomes through a simple consumer product. This Brooklyn-based start-up is helping urban dwellers go “off-the-grid” for the weekend, hiring staff, generating sales, and spurring economic activity right here in the United States – all while giving developing-world people and communities access to clean, renewable energy, and offering them a chance to thrive. This perfect example of a social enterprise generated great discussion about other ways we might pair first-world consumer demand with a developing-world basic need to create more flourishing businesses around life-changing products.
Jonathan Cedar, CEO of biolite Speaks to 20/30 Members
This event was important because it gave the next generation of leaders an opportunity to discuss issues of the day and consider new approaches. Thankfully, this is just the beginning.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #CF2030, #SOCAP365, and #SocEnt. Read and share our Facebook album, where you can learn more about the evening and find links to all our partners. And join 20/30 if you aren’t a member already so you can be a part of the action at our next workshop event where we’ll engage the next generation of leaders in a conversation on how to build a better world by, for, and in 2030.