Social Capital Conference – Designing the Future

Pamoja Cleantech participated in SOCAP Europe May 8-10th 2012, with the world’s leading social impact innovators, the event gathered 400+ of the world’s pioneering impact investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, government and civic leaders, and innovators to design a future that’s better for all.

I felt thankful having the chance to participate in the SOCAP Conference as one of the sponsored social entrepreneurs. I have been actively engaged in the Nordic social entrepreneurship scene since 2008. It has been an uplifting experience to see this trend and community grow and reach a momentum where many young entrepreneurs sees making a difference as a natural driving force for becoming an entrepreneur at all.

We have immense global challenges and solving them with entrepreneurial means constitutes one significant force that will aid us in shaping our future to the better and as a social entrepreneur anybody can be part of the solution.  The SOCAP conference gathered pioneers and top minds of social business from all around the world to discuss the facilitation of social business to best support this trend to become a systematic part of fighting climate change, dealing with social inequality and erasing poverty for example.  I was there to connect with likeminded entrepreneurs and investors.

The conference turned out to be a sum of extremely interesting conversations with super relevant people. Pamoja Cleantech is preparing its business pilot for bio mass gasification in East Africa. At SOCAP I had the chance to meet colleagues  from Acumen fund and Shell foundation for instance. These are organizations and people that facilitated the development of Husk Power Systems in India and further invested in the social venture to scale up their operations in sustainable biomass gasification – we are in the same industry! Interestingly enough the investment in Husk Power systems is brought up as one pioneering example of how to facilitate and support early stage investments in social businesses.

Apart from this inspiration spark I met hundreds of inspiring people and one of them was part of a most relevant seminar – sustainable business beyond the electricity grid. Having the chance to discuss with Xavier Helgesen,  who founded Off Grid Electric, about challenges of African renewable energy markets was definitely something very motivating. I had never imagined finding such a specific and niched group of experts in a seminar room in Malmö.

Apart from all international experts I was thrilled to see such a strong group of representatives from all Nordic countries. This region is and has even greater potential to stand as an innovation hub of global change making. I would imagine that our traditions in the Nordic Welfare state and the current mutation of this model must constitute an interesting foundation for shaping a larger structure for significant social business.

Peik Stenlund

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