2013 Un/Conference Content Curation | Leading through New Models of Social Change: A Look at Social Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives

The Minnesota Rising 2013 Un/Conference: Cultivating Capacity for Collective Leadership was held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 10:00AM – 4:30PM at DLR Group offices in Minneapolis, MN. Hosted by and for emerging leaders, the Un/Conference engaged emerging leaders across Minnesota in an energizing day of innovative learning and dialogue, skill-building, and network-building with their peers!

Minnesota Rising is pleased to curate feature the content of our insightful and engaging breakout session speakers and presenters. In our Content Curation series, we highlight the ideas and materials of our 2013 Un/Conference presenters!

Photos by: Jon Reynolds Photography | jtreynolds.com
Young professionals in Minnesota are getting behind the values of social entrepreneurship: investment in long-term social, environmental, and fiscal value while working in a career with meaning.  On November 14th the Social Enterprise Alliance co-sponsored the Minnesota Rising Un/Conference with emerging leaders filling up the DLR Group space in downtown Minneapolis to discuss Cultivating Capacity for Collective Leadership.

Photos by: Jon Reynolds Photography | jtreynolds.com

One of the breakout sessions entitled “Leading through New Models of Social Change: A Look at Social Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives” explored the challenges of our current economy which encourages cost externalization to the detriment of our environment, incentivizes the exploitation of vulnerable workers, and imparts legal requirements for publicly owned corporations to maximize profits to shareholders.
The session focused on social entrepreneurship as an enterprise level (rather than individual or systems-level) tool to inspire our current market system. Leaders that create social enterprises can create compelling success stories to ultimately inspire market systems (reallocation of capital, engagement with new vendors, commitment to sustainable practices etc.). Cooperatives were highlighted as a specific, well-developed business model that employs social enterprise principles. 
Minnesota emerging leaders explored the values and principles of the cooperative business model and generated a robust list of local cooperative examples. Cooperatives are designed for democratic leadership, an excellent model for the Unconference’s 2013 theme of collective leadership.
It turns out the attendees were quite knowledgeable about social enterprise and cooperatives! Jenny and Emily would like to ramp up the conversation to the next level: participants interested in getting engaged with local programming with the Social Enterprise Alliance can contact Jenny Kramm (Co-Committee chair of the Social Enterprise Alliance and Grants Associate at the Lutheran Community Foundation) at Jennifer.kramm@gmail.com, and folks wanting to advance the cooperative movement should reach out to Emily M. Lippold Cheney (Cooperative Organizer) at e.m.lippold.cheney@gmail.com.

Photos by: Jon Reynolds Photography | jtreynolds.com
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