A Letter from Cari Hanson | SOCAP is going Virtual!
“Always remember I am not, you are not, they are not alone in this world so we’re gonna need a bigger tent.” – An Ode to Big Tents
I hope this finds you safe and well. Depending on where you are on the planet, we are beginning to see governments, states, and cities start the slow process to re-open from COVID-19. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we are still under a shelter-in-place order. A new normal, which is anything but normal, is starting to emerge with social distancing, face masks, and continuing remote work. Against this backdrop, I want to share with you SOCAP’s plans for 2020 and looking to the future.
For 2020, SOCAP will shift the flagship conference to a fully virtual convening. I am pleased to announce SOCAP Virtual: A Global Impact Summit on October 19-23, 2020. This has been a difficult decision. I am saddened that we will not physically gather under the “big tent” this year on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. I am saddened that we will not be able to pass out hugs and shake hands in greeting. However, at this time it is the best decision and course of action for the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone involved.
While I am sad, I am also truly energized for what is next. Moving to a virtual gathering will allow us to create greater connections globally at a time when information and resources from this community are most needed. The spirit and intent of SOCAP Virtual is to gather the field together and invite even more voices and perspectives to the systems-level change conversations this current moment calls for so acutely. The world needs more thoughtful, creative, market-based solutions. We need a bigger tent! Our goal for SOCAP Virtual is 10,000 attendees from across the globe.
While we cannot simply take SOCAP “physical” and plop it into a virtual setting, I can assure you that we are developing alternative connection strategies that will be meaningful and significant. SOCAP will continue to create spaces “to connect, collaborate, catalyze, mobilize, be surprised, and unify.” The amazing SOCAP team has done a deep dive into platforms and experiences. We have chosen Pathable for its robust features and familiarity within the community. Pathable will allow us to weave together other platforms and types of experiences to mimic some of the networking and connections that are core to the SOCAP experience. SOCAP will continue to feature curated, cross-sector content via multiple tracks and themes with high production value.
Here’s what is possible and new with SOCAP Virtual:
- Democratize content more than ever before. SOCAP Open launches next week! Stay tuned for themes and get ready to submit your ideas. Your imagination is truly the limit on session formats. Check out our virtual event formats for ideas.
- Smaller virtual events and formats will allow you to really dig into a theme by having access to live and recorded content before, during, and after the main event.
- The SOCAP Social Entrepreneur Scholarship application process will open in June. Be inspired and learn from enterprises around the world.
- Connect, radically collaborate, and catalyze with many of the leading organizations in the impact investing community, mission-driven companies, and corporations seeking to move the needle and inspire greater investment in positive impact.
- Watch, listen, and participate with innovators, thought leaders, businesses, and investors from around the world in intimate fireside chats to virtual workshops.
- Join the Digital Pavilion with interactive sponsor booths and a robust marketplace.
- Networking opportunities in one-on-one and small meeting formats, hosted by a partner or on your own.
- Local watch parties. Our hope is that by this fall we will be able to gather in smaller groups. Activate and mobilize local impact ecosystems by beaming SOCAP Virtual to your community. Updates with details and opportunities will follow in the coming weeks.
I will keep you updated as we introduce new plans, opportunities and features. SOCAP Virtual will continue to support the physical convening and I am pleased to share that we have already secured our dates for SOCAP21, October 26-29, 2021 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. We look forward to seeing you there!
There is no roadmap for any of this, but with your partnership and support we will continue into uncharted territory together. The wellbeing of our communities and vulnerable populations is our focus. Our trust in the important contributions we can make together will remain our guiding light. We’re gonna need a bigger tent.
VP of SOCAP