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. ]
"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."
"...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."