Because I just can’t get enough of that planet-lovin’ feeling, I went to the 6th annual DGDW conference that is held by IESE business school in Barcelona each year. This year it was also Net Impact’s major EU conference, and was sold out! IESE is right up the hill from ESADE, and I had fun making up stories about the (imagined in my dangerously fertile imagination) rivalry between the Jesuits who started ESADE and the Opus Dei who started IESE.
The conference was more pleasant than the US conference because it was smaller and had fewer panels to choose from. Thus, I didn’t feel like I was going to miss some life-changing presentation by picking the “wrong” panel. The Friday networking dinner was great, we had a private room at the back of a great restaurant, and the cool thing about dining with mostly “extranjeros” was that the smokers in our group didn’t realize that in Barcelona it is not only legal, but practically compulsory to smoke in restaurants. So we enjoyed a smoke-free evening of scintillating conversation on CSR and so much more. We had a very interesting mix, and really gelled, so it was a great evening.
At the career fair, I discovered a sustainability consulting firm I hadn’t heard of, and talked to a couple of other companies I’m interested in working for. It was smaller than the one in the US, but not by much. The big takeaway I got from the panel on sustainability consulting, the career fair and the speakers was a reiteration that if you want to work for an NGO or in sustainability consulting, you’re much more valuable if you start out in traditional consulting or management roles. Noted.
The Social Entrepreneurship panel was really fun for me, not only did we get to hear from the founders of Kiva, First Book , and My Bank but the panel leader also asked for some social entrepreneurs from the audience to do elevator pitches. Since I am at a point with my business idea that I could do this, I volunteered. It was really fun to try and get the key value proposition across in under 60 seconds, and I did it! A few people told me they liked the idea, which certainly gave me more confidence. Unfortunately, none of them are my target segment, but that’s what my customer survey is for. My Social Entrepreneurship professor asked me to pitch it to our class as well, and I’m hoping to get deeper feedback from that.