If you’re an avid follower of Speak Social, you might remember a story we published a few months back about our leaders, Brad & Adam, meeting with a group of Pakistani delegates at the request of the U.S. State Department to discuss our methodologies in Social Media. Well we must have pleased someone (or at least didn’t tick off the U.S. State Department too much) because they invited us back … and they packed the house with some truly amazing people!
The topic of discussion was Rise of Social Entrepreneurship in the U.S., and the attendees represented 20 different countries, including: Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Czech Republic, Kenya, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen … whew!
“I was very impressed with the leadership displayed by so many countries that too often go overlooked,” said Brad. “Places like Casablanca Morocco, Nepal, or Nigeria & Tunisia are just a few of the very significant people that were in that room who we don’t hear from often enough.”
What was most special about the experience (beyond the number of new friends that we added to our “Must See Travel” list) was the significance of the date during which the event took place.
Our President, Brad, said it best:
To be able to represent the U.S. on a day like September 11th was a special and humbling honor. Particularly since we were able to share our perspectives on the future with so many from around the world, and also learn from them as to what other countries are creating. It really put into perspective that this world has many, many people working hard to create change.
The International Visitor Leadership Program, as commissioned by the U.S. State Department, dedicates itself to teaching delegates from around the world about the innovation happening in our country – specifically how we are using technology to drive social innovation and change.
“Something I found specifically interesting during our conversations was how differently Social networks perform in other countries,” Adam said. “In some places like Bahrain and Egypt, Twitter has massive political connotations that make it an ineffective tool for businesses that don’t want to be involved in the political rumor mill. Whereas here in the U.S., Twitter is one of the most powerful Social tools for driving sales, with or without the political landscape.”
International Visitor Leadership Program September 11 Discussion Topic:
Social entrepreneurs identify social problems and apply market-based solutions to organize, create and manage ventures that engage the community to solve the social problems. This project will focus on the concept of social entrepreneurship, as well as government initiatives that support civic engagement and innovation. Through examination of successful models of social entrepreneurship, the participants will explore the impact of new and social media on traditional methods of fundraising, grassroots mobilization and strategic collaboration. This project is designed for social entrepreneurs, as well as leaders of non-profit or non-governmental organizations, foundation managers, government officials, and academics that help promote, fund and advise social entrepreneurs.