Expressions of Interest to host a SEWF 2021 Community Hub are now closed
Enthusiasm for the Community Hub model has been inspiring with organisations around the world coming together to explore how to support their local social enterprise ecosystem.
We are currently having conversations in Botswana, England, Pakistan, South Africa, Liberia, Denmark, Canada, Rwanda, Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Scotland, Netherlands, Ireland, South Korea, Turkey, New Zealand, India, Ghana, Zimbabwe, USA and Belgium.
What is a Community Hub?
In 2021 we will develop a network of Community Hubs to support groups from around the world to self-organise to hold local events during our flagship forum SEWF 2021 (28-29 September).
Community Hubs will have the opportunity to host their own experience tailored to their communities. Some Hubs may choose to hold a two-day event with live content streamed from SEWF 2021 with local in-person breakout sessions, discussions and networking. Others may take a more light-touch approach, providing a space for their community to come together to view SEWF 2021 content (live or on demand) and have local conversations, while connecting globally through SEWF 2021 event Q&A, chat and networking.
Why Community Hubs?
In 2020, due to COVID-19, we pivoted from holding a global in-person event in Nova Scotia to hosting a fully digital event, which followed the sun to enable live participation from all time zones with attendance from over 100 countries. While online events have many benefits, including reduced environmental impact and increased reach and accessibility, the benefits of in-person gathering cannot be denied. We have developed our Community Hub concept building on lessons learned from SEWF Digital 2020 and following feedback from our Community Consultation, as well as looking at other hybrid event models.
SEWF has developed the Community Hub model to address some of the following issues:
- Technology: Strong broadband at Hubs can improve participant engagement. One of the requirements of becoming a Community Hub is adequate broadband and other tech (sound, screens etc.). Hubs will stream live or recorded content from SEWF 2021 with participants joining via their individual devices to connect with others around the world, join live Q&A and networking and access the marketplace and other areas of the event.
- In-person networking: The post event evaluation for SEWF Digital 2020 highlighted that people are equally interested in networking and content. No digital platform can match the experience of interacting in-person with peers in formal and informal settings. Community Hubs will facilitate local networking to strengthen the local ecosystem.
- Local content: In addition to streaming live and/or recorded SEWF 2021 content, Community Hubs are developing their own programme of locally relevant content.
- Increase accessibility and reduce carbon footprint: The Community Hub model is not just a reaction to the limitations on travel in 2021, it is part of the long-term SEWF engagement model and addresses environmental and accessibility issues. In 2022 and beyond, we plan to reintroduce in-person attendance with reduced numbers and continue with online participation and Community Hubs.