Policy | SEWF Events

What to expect at SEWF 2022 Policy Forum

by Mirabelle Morah / May 2022

“Policy is not just relevant for public sector actors or ‘policy’ people. It plays a role in every sector across every industry”. – Maeve Curtin, SEWF Policy & Research Manager 

About SEWF 2022 Policy Forum (24-26 May) 

For the social enterprise sector to thrive, effective policies are essential, locally and globally.  Alongside our 2022 Co-host, White Box Enterprises (Brisbane, Australia), Social Enterprise World Forum ⏤ SEWF ⏤ is kicking off this year’s annual programme of events with the SEWF 2022 Policy Forum (24-26 May). Whether you’re a policymaker, agency, intermediary involved in policy development or social enterprise seeking to understand more on how policies affect social enterprise, you’ll be able to connect and learn at this event. This year’s Policy Forum will be held virtually on Hopin and is free to register and attend. 

The growth of Australia’s social enterprise sector 

Mark Daniels, Chief Operating Officer of SEWF 2022 Co-host White Box Enterprises, reflected on the importance of hosting SEWF in Australia this year:

“Social enterprise in Australia is entering a new stage. We have seen the rapid acceleration of the social enterprise movement in recent years with the development of social enterprise strategies in Victoria and Queensland, the establishment of social enterprise networks in every state and in 2022, the launch of Australia’s first social enterprise peak organisation (Social Enterprise Australia). Australia is ready to host the biggest social enterprise event in the world and we see it leading off the next stage for social enterprise, a national strategy”. – Mark Daniels, Chief Operating Officer, White Box Enterprises (SEWF 2022 Co-host)

Why does social enterprise policy matter? 

Maeve Curtin and David LePage
SEWF 2021 Policy Forum: (L-R) Maeve Curtin and David LePage reflecting on social procurement policies around the world

According to Maeve Curtin, SEWF’s Policy & Research Manager, 

“So much of the work that happens in the social enterprise sector is community-led at the grassroots level. This work is essential and can often be the lifeblood of a community ⏤ it’s something we’ll explore more in the community-led solutions block of the Policy Forum. It’s about the grassroots work of social enterprises and the policy infrastructure put in place to support and scale their work, where appropriate and wanted.   

“In this respect, SEWF advocates for bottom-up policy development that is driven by sector need and advocacy. Policy is important because it creates a vision and outlines priorities for organisations, communities and societies. To truly ‘mainstream’ social enterprise, an enabling ecosystem driven by policy is necessary. Importantly, social enterprise leaders themselves are often the ones who know what is needed most in terms of ecosystem development. This is why SEWF advocates for policies that are collaboratively developed and, where possible, even co-produced from design through delivery”. – Maeve Curtin, Policy & Research Manager, SEWF 

Key themes and what to expect at SEWF 2022 Policy Forum (24-26 May) 

The Policy Forum will engage sector leaders through discussions, 1:1 conversations and panels to co-create the future together. This year’s themes are: 

  •  Policy & Systems 
  • Climate Solutions 
  • Future of Work and 
  • Community-led Solutions 

In addition to inspiring panels, the event will also feature: 

  • Online networking 
  • Discussion sessions
  • OnDemand recordings for ticket holders

If you think this is going to be an event where participants only watch people talk, think again! There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction, connection and discussion, including during breakout sessions where there will be the opportunity to dive deeper into specific topics covered by the different speakers ⏤ including developments from Australia and around the world. 

I don’t work in policy, why should I attend the Policy Forum? 

Maeve further explains that for policy to be effective, people need to buy into it and strive to align with the policy’s overarching strategy.  

“Policy is not just relevant for public sector actors or ‘policy’ people. It plays a role in every sector across every industry. Even if you do not work in policy directly, your expertise or engagement with social enterprise can positively impact the shared policy vision we hope to develop together for the global social enterprise movement through the Policy Forum.

The Policy Forum will provide opportunities to share local and regional challenges and best practices around policy to facilitate learning, connection and dialogue that can lead to more supportive policy environments for social enterprise. Further, the Policy Forum will continue to highlight social enterprise as a key tool to solving some of the world’s most pressing grand challenges”. – Maeve Curtin

Speakers and programme 

SEWF 2017 Christ Church NZCheck out the event programme on our website and make sure to add sessions to your calendar so you don’t miss out. Speaker announcements coming soon!

There will be four blocks across 2-3 days to enable live participation from wherever you are. Once registration on Hopin is complete, the event dates and times will sync with your calendar. 

If you are interested in social enterprise policy, then be sure to get a free ticket to attend the Policy Forum (24-26 May 2022).

Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF