The thinking behind EventsForChange.
For millennia, you could argue that the most powerful influences on the planet were religion and a long parade of nation-states. But more recently, there is a growing appreciation of the power of business to impact our lives. That’s because businesses control huge resources: money, people, time and effort, and often information. Here in Vermont, we figure Ben & Jerry got it right when they said that “the most powerful force in society is business.” And when you think about it, every event is really like starting up a new business: you have your objectives, you create a plan to make it happen, you execute, and you expect a return on your investment of resources. If there were more ways to increase that ROI after all of that work, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of them? And by returns, I’m not just talking about money. I’m also talking about solving problems, educating people, inspiring them to action, getting things built, and making connections so that people can collaborate and continue to make a positive impact long after the event is over.
This is part of maximizing the impact of your event and injecting more meaning into the effort, no matter what your fundamental objectives may be. You may not be able to solve world problems with one single event, but you can make a significant impact on one corner of the world and, collectively, we truly can (and do!) change the world. Event managers can play the role of social entrepreneurs (and sometimes vice-versa), collecting and organizing available resources to create positive social and environmental changes. As an industry, we’re already doing a lot—maybe more than we all realize. Green and sustainable practices are quickly becoming more the norm. Planners are factoring environmental and social concerns into their site selection criteria. Community service activities are being woven into all types of event programming. But even so, many planners don’t recognize all of the opportunities they have, or they don’t feel like they can devote enough time or focus to taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, the public is quickly coming to appreciate and simply expect socially responsible practices as a way of operating.
Warren Benis said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” And that’s exactly what EventsForChange is based on: sharing collective wisdom and experiences and providing a forum for us to act as consultants for each other. Most people want to do good, but by far the most common barrier to action is, “What can I do?”, followed by “How do I do it?” Let’s help each other answer those questions.
What would you like to see changed or improved in this world? What are you passionate about? How are you using the power of events to make it happen? Share your thoughts by commenting on posts and by adding your own stories to The Idea Bank.