Sunday, November 24, 2013

World Entrepreneurship Forum - Day 4 plus Reflections!

WEF Round 4 plus Reflections

Sorry for the delay on this but I wanted to process the Saturday “master class” workshop on how we – as individuals – can help defrag and grow our own local entrepreneurial ecosystems. (OK, I still needed to type up all the flip charts that the breakout teams developed… They are well worth the wait!)

We kicked off with a short pep talk from ecosystem-maestro Brad Feld []*

                Quick icebreaker: “Are We There Yet?” How would you know if your local ecosystem was getting more entrepreneurial?
                A little background on the science / what we know about ecosystems, leading to first breakout:
                If the GEM and GEDI tell us that the two keys to a more entrepreneurial economy are mindset and ecosystem (or more formally, entrepreneurial human capital and entrepreneurial social capital)… so what can we do as individuals on each front?
                The initial round of team ideas was both energetic and highly plausible. (At this point, I think the WEF leaders there realized that we were starting to build a lengthy list of action items for WEF… ha!)
                Amazing how inclusive the teams were – without anyone having to work to get people to talk… or argue ;)
                The teams each presented and… funny, but you could categorize almost all of their ideas and all of their key themes under one of the four strategic directions proposed by Brad Feld in his recent book, Startup Communities:
1.       Needs to be led bottom-up, led by the entrepreneurial community itself
2.       Inclusive – need to support all the participants if possible
3.       Rallying points for community
4.       Long term perspective
So… we revamped the breakout groups and I tasked them to each tackle one of the “Feld Four”. Results? Unfrellingbelievable! J See the photos (I will transcribe them) for yourself.
                Finally, we tried a rapid fire round robin, asking each participant to tell us how “we” could help them… “we” defined as the WEF organization AND as each other.
                My favorite idea: Each of us do a short video.. teaching each other something. Can you imagine the library of short videos if every WEF member/delegate did this? (The JWEF team too… it is entirely possible that we will need them to teach us how to do youtube-style videos?)

Ecosystem = “flavor of the month”?
Since WEF, I attended the OECD’s big conclave on policy regarding entrepreneurial ecosystems. Some good stuff from policy makers [everyone's slides here; I especially recommend those by Peter Vogel]. By the time I spoke, I shifted gears from slides to talking about tactics. What the WEF confirmed for me is that if you’re going to be truly bottom-up and inclusive, then somebody better talk about things we can do... as citizens. Please read this [Ecosystem Tactics] and let me know what you think. It represents the convergence of what I’ve learned over the years (including Feld’s ideas), what I learned from the WEF delegates and what I learned that very day from my colleagues at the OECD event. I hope they will see their handiwork in my list of A+ tactics for ecosystem defragging!

Here’s one great ecosystem defragging tool from Kauffman – 1 Million Cups!

p.s. the OECD event made it clear that we need to separate enabling/supportive conditions from the processes/activities (Glenda Napier did a great job of showing this). again all the OECD slides are here

I also had the opportunity to plug the idea of doing first-rate ecosystem mapping (BIG shout out to my NACCE friends, Sheena Lindahl and Sarah Green of Empact and NACCE Fellows Tim Putnam & Gary Muller –they did the heavy lifting on this one!) [NACCE workshop slides]

I miss you all!
I wish I could personally thank everyone who attended the WEF master class workshop on ecosystem building- did not get your names. But let me thank especially Sassan and Essam from Dubai, Matt Symonds, entrepreneur/journalist  par excellence, Eythor Jonsson, Jeannine Javelosa and Hassan Nizrin (both were part of the 2012 WEF ecosystem session that made all this possible), Melinda Emerson, Steve Strauss, Rickie Moore and Dan Evans from Lyon/WEF AND the ever-energetic Viet Anh Vu of WEF who made all this sing. (Also thanks to WEF directors Caroline Le Brun and Angela Feigl for dropping by and not immediately running off in terror, LOL… )

* Mahesh Arungundam from the 2012 WEF ecosystem session did too [link]


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