Previous Event:

Christchurch 2017

Hosted By: The Ākina Foundation

THEME: Ka koroki te manu - Creating our tomorrow



The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 won the second place prize, in the ‘Best Conference’ category, at the International Eventex Awards!


The Ākina Foundation is the main intermediary growing social enterprise in New Zealand. Ākina led and won the bid to bring the event to New Zealand in 2017, with a strong intent to create a unique opportunity to grow the country’s bubbling social enterprise sector.

SEWF 2017 was held on 27-29 September 2017 in Christchurch, Canterbury. New Zealand’s most resilient city was a natural choice to welcome the event. After being crippled by a series of catastrophic earthquakes in 2011, Christchurch is a city reconstructing itself on every level and it has become an international model of community resilience and innovation – characteristics at the heart of social enterprise.

SEWF 2017, themed “Ka koroki te manu – creating our tomorrow”, was set up to be about participation, celebrating diversity and learning from each other. The organising team led by Ākina designed and planned SEWF 2017 in line with values of collaboration, respect, openness, and humility. From day one, collaboration and co-creation have been at the heart of the event’s design, engaging and consulting with partners and supporters, as well as the wider community.


  • Over 300 stakeholders were involved in design of the Forum
  • 1,616 delegates
  • 28 countries represented
  • 159 speakers from 18 countries
  • More than 5,000 individuals touched by the event via the Transitional City Stream programme
  • 25% of delegates (348 individuals) could attend thanks to various bursaries and scholarships
  • 655 people attended Satellite Events, on the fringe of the Forum
  • Accessibility Gold Standard by Be. Accessible
  • 40% of Forum’s expenditure went directly to social enterprises
  • 288,000 litres of water saved with repurposed handbooks
  • 81% of waste was diverted from landfill
  • 32% of delegates paid to offset their carbon footprint
  • 93% of delegates surveyed rated their experience as either excellent or good.


Outcomes for sector growth

At SEWF 2017, we saw some commitments and announcements that will significantly support the scale and ambition of our sector:

  • Launch of an Impact Investing Report
  • Proposition of a new legal structure
  • Signature of the Asia Pacific Declaration
  • The NZ government reaffirmed its long-term investment in capability development
  • New Zealand Post launched a new B2B ‘Social Marketplace’
  • Launch of the ‘Impact Enterprise Fund’
  • Launch of the ‘Impact Investment Network’
  • Intent to form a ‘National Advisory Board on Impact Investment’ that will connect New Zealand to the global social finance market
  • Key corporate partners exploring global partnership with SEWF.

To find out more about SEWF 2017, to listen to interviews and watch videos from the event, visit



Country No's
Edinburgh 100

If you are interested in finding out more about this year’s SEWF, click here

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