Conferences are one of the best ways for building a community of interest. They allow people to meet others who share their concerns, and to find out who is doing what in the field. The opportunities to network often lead to collaborative ventures at a later date. Conference presentations are also valuable - they educate those attending, and they foster leadership in those presenting. New ideas are discussed and debated, and strategies developed, often during organizational meetings that 'piggyback' on the conference to cut down on travel costs. Another major part of any gathering of this nature is the publicity campaign that goes with it - first to get the word out about the event, and then to get the proceedings covered by the media. This is especially important when they include special awards of recognition for individuals who have made significant contributions to the field. Such awards are often presented at national conferences.

The social investment field makes good use of conferences, with the national trade associations organizing at least one each year. Two prominent ones in the US are the annual SRI in the Rockies, and the Investors Pasquinade.

[For a good listing of upcoming events related to social investment, see the Green Money On-Line Guide Events Calendar. ]

SRI in the Rockies

"The national conference for the socially responsible investment community, SRI in the Rockies was held September 11-14, 1997 at the Big Sky Resort near Bozeman, MT. This event, hosted by First Affirmative Financial Network (FAFN) and the Social Investment Forum, is the largest annual gathering of socially responsible investment (SRI) professionals, portfolio managers, product representatives and prominent experts and leaders in the SRI community. Attendance exceeded 250 participants."

Investors' Pasquinade [web page no longer available]

"...the Investors Pasquinade was held in Boston last May. Franklin Research and Development brought together business leaders, academics, policy makers and the SRI community. The conference featured an alternative transportation parade and presentations by twenty responsible public companies sharing their financial outlooks and social programs."

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