Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World Entrepreneurship Forum 2010

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As a member of the Euclid Network, a growing community of civil society professionals who want to connect across borders for a stronger, more innovative and sustainable European civil society, I got invited to the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, France. So here I am sitting in my hotel room with some time to kill before the event kick-starts tonight. Trying to be productive, I figured I might as well blog about it.

The Forum is held now for the third time around and is organised by EMLYON Business School and KPMG. Attendees consist of famous business people, politicians, academics and social entrepreneurs such as myself. My profile is up on the Forum website along with everyone else so feel free spy on us.

On my way from the airport to our hotel I shared the cab with three other participants: an Internet entrepreneur from Norway, a freelance journalist from the States and a business woman from Turkey. Somehow I got the feeling that this gig was going to be international. For my Turkish colleague this was already the third time around she had taken part in the Forum and she seemed to think it was worthwhile to come here again. Sounds promising. Apparently there are some big names joining the ranks too as she mentioned that the first female presidential candidate for Cameroon (if I remember right) was also joining us. Exciting.

In a couple hours time we'll have a dinner followed by the first talk. The first speaker will be the Bengali Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC. And here I was thinking that I had just managed to leave Brick Lane's Banglatown behind me! No worries though, I love the Bengalis and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed sounds like an interesting character based on his bio. Just need a break from the curry, please.

As a social media consultant, I've got to wrap up with talking  yes indeed  about social media. Long gone are the days when news took weeks to drizzle to those who were not physically present; now anyone can tune-in live and join digitally by e.g. keeping tabs of the conversation on Twitter. Heck, you can even have a 'tweet' yourself and join in the conversation! Isn't that fabulous?

So follow @WorldEntreprene which is the official feed for the event and keep an eye on the hashtag #WEntrepreneurF too where you can follow the conversation thread around the Forum and see what e.g. the attendees (who are tweeting) are thinking about. I'll try to be tweeting too so feel free to follow me too.

Alright, must take a short nap so that I'm all alert once the show begins. I'm expecting to be inspired, but also to be able to test some of the ideas for my own social enterprise which I've been developing. Signing off...

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