Attendance at the 2nd annual Social Capital Markets Conference cleared 1,000 people, representing a 70 per cent increase over last year. Attendance at the 2009 Council on Foundations conference in May of this year was 1,200, a 35 per cent decline from previous years.
Something big is happening at Fort Mason in San Francisco. In just two short years the SoCap conference has emerged as one of the few must-attend events for people interested in social capital markets. SoCap doesn’t feature awards, dinners and vendor booths. Instead it is full of fast-moving breakout sessions where up to half the time is taken up with questions from the audience. At the end of the session at which I presented about building a new narrative for social capital markets, I only half jokingly suggested that I and the other panellist move to the audience and let audience members like Dennis Whittle of Global Giving, Jocelyn Wyatt of IDEO, Janice Schoos of Growth Philanthropy Network, and Tris Lumley of New Philanthropy Capital take our place and run the session for a second time with a new take.