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SOCAP Energy Serves as Indicator of the Sector

Anshula Chowdhury June 29, 2011

I’ve come to see that the energy of SOCAP is a good indicator of this sector, so I was pleased to sense a maturation of the conversation at SOCAP/Europe. No one seems to want to talk about abstract concepts at the conference. This is similar to a trend I’ve seen in my own work, people want to see the equations behind our measurements more and more, which is a sign (to me) that people are moving beyond the euphoria of the idea towards the hard-nosed mindset of the implementation.
Yet, I was surprised at the lack of Canadian presence. I had tried to setup some interviews with Canadian attendees for SocialFinance.ca, but was disappointed to find out that there weren’t any Canadian scholarship recipients at the conference. I worry that the dearth of Canadians at these events means that we won’t be making the connections necessary to be on the cutting edge of developments in this space.

Social Asset Measurements (SAM) has recently started working with the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) in Toronto – the Canadian version of co-working space – to help CSI measure their impact. At SOCAP/Europe I had a chance encounter with Leander Bindewald from Hub Brussels (with whom I have worked in the past) and we were able to chat. The technology he showed me, when paired with the SAM measurement tools is perfect for some of our work with the Centre for Social Innovation. Just by showing up at SOCAP/Europe, SAM crossed a major hurdle in our work with CSI (and created a cross-Atlantic collaboration).
In terms of the development of my own work, I’m currently working at Social Asset Measurements (SAM) , serving as the CEO. We use a unique, interdisciplinary approach to social metrics to understand what social impact our clients are creating and how they’re achieving it. And we try to take interesting measurement challenges in our startup phase, with the Centre for Social Innovation being one such example. Co-working spaces have been a particular challenge for social impact measurement, so figuring that out has been a lot of fun.
I’m looking forward to attending future SOCAP conferences – they always seem to meet and exceed expectations.
 

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