The Social Venture Institute (SVI) is an annual gathering of founders and leaders who run companies that are working to use their businesses as an instrument for good. It is a remarkable organization stewarded by Hollyhock, Renewal Partners, the contagious passion of Joel Solomon and enthusiastic leaders like Mike Rowlands and Pamela Chaloult. I’ve just registered for my 5th year as an attendee and I’m proud to have spoken at various sessions and led the men’s group on occasion.
I was asked recently by a friend who runs an organic food company if she thought that SVI might be an event she should attend. Here are the five reasons I thought she should and that others might too if they were interested in attending:
While this is a business conference, and there is always the edge of presenting oneself professionally at any business gathering, SVI at Hollyhock, through some combination of the people, the food, the place and the intention, is the kind of place where not only can you be your real self, you’re asked, wanted and appreciated for doing so. The experience thrives on authenticity. Real beauty, real challenges, real people. The ones who get the most out of it are the ones who are to the most authentic while they are there.
It’s the People
While it’s always the people who make any conference and idea sharing event the thing that matters, some events attract passion people, some don’t. SVI is packed with passion people. If you have a passion for the power of business for good to give, to share and get, SVI is your place.
It’s the Range
Businesses of every size attend SVI. That range of challenges in some conferences might seem unfocused, but at SVI, the quality of the challenges that early stage companies and everything up to 50+ million a year businesses have are great assets to inspire and learn more about.
It’s the Experience
While we’re already blessed to live and work in this part of the world, just being at Hollyhock, eating good food, enjoying the rain or shine inspires the soul. Add into that some great oyster events on the beach, house parties, good music and even I, a proud introvert, has a great time being with all the people at SVI.
It’s the Ideas that Work
We all need inspiration to stay focused on our work. Great ideas, shared with others, inspired by the success and challenges of others are the magic of why any of us attend an event like this. Personally I don’t find ideas hard, what I’m looking for are ideas that work. SVI is wonderfully structured to learn from, share and engage in not just new ideas, but ideas that people are trying, wrestling with and experimenting with. Ideas that you can bring home and put to work.
If any of these things are things you might have to share or need and your business is focused on using business for good, SVI just might be your place. Register early. SVI sells out every year.