Social Enterprise World Forum: Who you’ll see from Ākina Foundation

With the Social Enterprise World Forum just around the corner now, we’re so proud to have some of Ākina Foundation’s very own sharing their expertise.

We talked to Alex Hannant, Louise Aitken, Rowan Yeoman, Seán Barnes and Anake Goodall about their events and what they will be talking about.

Alex Hannant
Chief Executive, Ākina Foundation

 

 

Previously based in the UK, Alex was Director of Programmes at LEAD – a global network focused on leadership and sustainable development. He was also Head of Partnerships, and a member of the senior management team, at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) – a global initiative providing technical advice and services on climate change and development to decision makers in developing countries.

Speaking at:
Mini-Plenary 6: Networks & Intermediaries adding value
Thursday 28th September
3:45PM – 5:15PM
The Piano, Concert Hall

I will be talking about the evolving role of intermediaries – from providing straight-up business support to becoming facilitators of more collaborative innovation within a systems context (be that defined a place, sector, or issue). I’ll also be talking about the challenges that intermediaries consistently face. How do they resource their work, especially while needing to take a long-term approach? How do they retain independence and gain credibility when working between sectors? How do they attract and retain talent?

Speaking at:
Participative Session 10: Global governance
Friday 29th September
10:30AM – 12:00PM
The Piano, The Box

In this global governance session I’ll be trying to bring a different angle to the discussions that relate to definition, diversity, and identity within a expanding and converging social enterprise space. I’ll also be trying to surface what’s really important as it relates to sector governance, and on what we really need to hold the line without being overly prescriptive – on intent, integrity and accountability. I’ll also be arguing for the very practical benefits of a well designed certification and/or legal form, and how getting this right can be a massive value driver for trade, investment, and impact.

Louise Aitken
General Manager, Ākina Foundation

 

Louise Aitken

 

Louise joined Ākina in 2016 as the General Manager, overseeing the operational management of the Foundation. Prior to Ākina, Louise was with Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest company, where she worked for the last 11 years, both in New Zealand and in the US. Following four years looking after The Coca-Cola Company, Louise was privileged to lead Fonterra Milk for Schools, New Zealand’s largest Corporate Social Responsibility programme, and KickStart Breakfast, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Sanitarium for the last two years. Her passion for community investment and social impact was ignited, which lead her to join Ākina.

Speaking at:
Mini-Plenary 10: Corporate supply chain – fertile ground for social enterprise?
Friday 29th September
1:30PM – 3:00PM
Isaac Theatre Royal

Along with Sam Edmonds from Social Traders, my focus will be on the supportive framework required for corporates and suppliers to enable impact through social procurement. I will discuss the development of this in the NZ market and the opportunity that it will delivery, along with that Ākina is doing to support corporates who want to move to implementing a social procurement approach in New Zealand. The key outcome is to start a conversation about how we really activate the New Zealand social procurement process.

This will follow the Working on Purpose day where we will explore how to bring this to life in NZ, with a 1-pager Ākina Consulting Service overview being available. We will make this available at the Plenary as well.

Rowan Yeoman
Venture Manager, Ākina Foundation

 

Rowan Yeoman

 

Rowan is a startup entrepreneur, investor and advisor. He also consults to social enterprises, high growth startups and large corporates on innovation and how to go from brand new idea to viable enterprise as quickly and as safely as possible. As part of the Ākina team, Rowan has worked with dozens of early stage social enterprises to help them map a path to validate their business model ideas and put them on a path to success. During the course of this work and in partnership with Ākina, Rowan developed the Social Lean Canvas, a tool for social entrepreneurs to make sense of the challenges of starting something new.

“I am really excited about having many of the most advanced social enterprise thinkers and practitioners all in one place. There is so much going on globally and having the opportunity to meet and compare notes with the world’s most insightful social enterprise thinkers and doers is extraordinary.”
Rowan Yeoman

Speaking at:
Workshop 2: Introduction to Social Lean Canvas
Thursday 28th September*
10:30AM – 12:00PM
Isaac Theatre Royal

In this workshop I’ll be talking about how The Social Lean Canvas gives us a format to apply the rigour of lean startup to social enterprise ideas.

Creating a business that can succeed financially is a massive challenge regardless of whether it is social enterprise or a regular profit making business. In the past 10 years there has been a revolution in the way we approach starting businesses. Customer driven approaches like Lean Startup allow us to take a new business idea and test out whether it is likely to succeed before we commit large amounts of time and money to the idea.

With the Social Lean Canvas we can reduce the costs of testing new ideas, reduce the time it takes to develop them and ultimately reduce the risk of failure.

*This workshop will repeat on Thursday 28th September at 1:30pm.

Dr Seán Barnes
Venture Manager, Ākina Foundation

 

Dr Seán Barnes

 

Seán works for the Ākina Foundation in New Zealand providing advisory services to support social enterprise and business across the areas of social procurement, sustainability, strategy, and capability building. Seán’s experience is in leadership and executive roles, primarily in the engineering industry in NZ and Australia. He is recognised as a creative thinker who builds strong and effective partnerships for collaborative action. Seán has brought his passion and enthusiasm, technical and communication skills to support the development and growing influence of the Social Enterprise and purpose-driven business sector. Seán holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Process Engineering, and is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Member of IPENZ Engineers NZ.

“Personally I cannot wait to connect with people from here and overseas, have my thinking challenged, and ultimately learn new things that we can apply in our work. I also am hoping I can progress some random ideas I have for NZ.”
– Dr Seán Barnes

I am co-facilitating a workshop that aims to enlighten social enterprise suppliers about what businesses are looking for in a procurement process, and how they can influence that process and make themselves more compelling to buy from. No doubt I’ll be dragged into the “how to” for Buyers as well! This follows nicely from the Working On Purpose day that will be showcasing the ways business can be more impactful through strategic intentional actions such as professional volunteering and social procurement. All of this is exciting and a culmination of a lot of recent interest and conversations with NZ business and organisations that represent business through our Market Connect work, and I think that we get a strong and willing group to take this conversation forward in Ōtautahi/Christchurch and New Zealand.

I am passionate about the potential for business to play a leading role in positive social and environmental change.

Anake Goodall
Chair of Ākina Foundation

 

Anake Goodall

 

Anake’s varied career background includes serving as the CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (the iwi/tribal authority for the greater part of the South Island) and before that being the tribe’s Claims Manager during the reconciliation of the tribe’s historical claim against the New Zealand government. He has also had roles as a labour union delegate in the meat industry, a founding director of the Makarewa Credit Union, a self-employed nurseryman, and a range of roles in community-based organisations.

Today, he undertakes mostly governance roles, and in addition to his Ākina role currently chairs The Hillary Institute of International Leadership and Nutrient Rescue Ltd. He is a trustee of donor-advised fund The Gift Trust, and serves on the boards of Meridian Energy and Te Pā o Rākaihautū, a special character school. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury.

Chair for:
Plenary 3: Social enterprise in recovery and regeneration
Thursday 28th September
9:00AM – 10:00AM
Isaac Theatre Royal

I’m particularly interested in the big ‘structural’ aspects of the work we’re involved in:

  • What does a supportive capital investment market look like and what do we need to do to get that underway and growing and maturing? How do we get the matching deal flow on place?
  • What are the biggest regulatory blocks and how do we address their resolution, in conjunction with central government, as a priority?
  • What are the opportunities to develop a national coordinating layer that isn’t ‘owned’ by any single entity and isn’t “top down”, but that equally ensures a level of effective coordination and accelerates the formation of a critical mass of activities from which skills and infrastructure can be developed more quickly?
  • How do we harness the values and focus of the Millennials to harness corporate commitment to the social enterprise promise, including for example procurement opportunities at scale and delivery against the SDGs?
  • How might our learnings and progress and infrastructure be made available to our Pacific neighbours on one hand, and our Māori and Polynesian communities here in Aotearoa on the other?
  • And in aggregate how do we develop and mature a genuinely Aotearoa New Zealand approach to social enterprise that both reflects and informs our increasingly unique and confident multicultural society?

You can follow the Social Enterprise World Forum updates on the live blog, hosted by Scoop.