Author Archive

Silver Lining: The Year of Going Virtual

December 15, 2020

There is no doubt about it, 2020 has been a challenging year, perhaps the most challenging of our work life so far. As a Benefit Corporation focused on in-person conferences and events (not currently allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the dynamic team at Social Enterprises had to take the operating world as we know it and create a new path. The heart and soul of this company are based on gathering leaders in-person to collaborate, learn, and drive action around best practices for social causes to obtain maximum impact. Quickly, we had to figure out how to achieve the same or similar impact that we typically accomplish onsite at an event, on a new and unknown virtual platform. How do we best deliver the same program content, expert speaker learning, networking collaboration, and partner experience online?

Somehow we did it immediately, through extensive research, trial and error, and hands-on learning. Our last in-person events in 2020 were WOHESC at the University of Oregon and Veloz’s Electric Transportation 2030 meeting the first week of March. Since then, the team has brilliantly executed only virtual events encompassing full conference programs, with a similar amount of speakers and an even larger viewing audience, since travel to virtual events is not allowed/advised.

Starting with the Eco-School Network Stand With Our Children Stand for the Earth Virtual Benefit on June 5th, we help to raise over $50,000 to fund school compost programs, switching to durable silverware, school gardens, student green teams, herbicide-free schoolyards, and training parent leaders. Next up, Pac-12 Team Green organized A Future We Can All Believe In Lessons from COVID-19 on June 24th, which took the place of our normal in-person annual conference. We had the opportunity to use this shared global pandemic experience to inform a more just and sustainable world via current and former Pac-12 student-athletes turning their platform into an opportunity for activism, the NCAA forming a COVID-19 Advisory Panel focused on athletics action and academics from Pac-12 schools demonstrating the tie between the curve and climate change. 

The 10-year anniversary of the GoGreen Conference in Seattle went virtual, originally scheduled for Earth Month in April, focused on where stand in fifty years since the first Earth Day and creating a low carbon, prosperous and equitable economy. Delayed to September 8th (hoping for an in-person/hybrid event to no avail), we covered priority topics including green transportation, building decarbonization, bridging the urban/rural divide, climate action, diversity, equity, inclusion, and thinking intergenerationally. A new client in 2020, ASHA International brought us the annual Grit & Grace Conference on September 18th, which brings together women from across cultures to inspire, educate and empower each other to take charge of their mental health and cultivate resilience and well-being.

Our multi-year client and bi-annual conference Rewards NW, the only total rewards conference in the Pacific Northwest region, delivered a half-day virtual event in place of their in-person conference originally scheduled on October 6th. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in person next year at our new event venue the Hyatt at Olive 8, on October 1st, 2021. The Washington State Solar Summit organized by new client Solar Washington went virtual for the first time with our help, reaching those engaged in solar deployment, education, and advocacy in Washington state. 

October closed out with a bang featuring our second event in the Pac-12 Team Green virtual series – Amplifying Voices for Change. With this event, the Pac-12 Conference moved their commitment to social justice forward by providing information and education on the importance of voting along with promoting change by preparing students and future leaders to be involved not only this year but moving forward.

Finally, the national E-Mobility Equity Conference, produced in partnership with long-time client Forth, went virtual to explore and facilitate real conversations about strategies and best practices for engaging diverse communities.

It has been a heck of a year of ups, downs, and lots of new learning. We truly appreciate the opportunity to work with new impact-focused clients and projects to make our virtual event world a new reality moving forward. Working at our home offices on a daily basis, we appreciate the time we make to connect with clients and team members on a weekly basis so that we don’t lose our connection and communication while making it all happen in a pandemic. Here’s to a fresh start in 2021 and our continuing world of new beginnings!

GoGreen ’09 Conference Line-Up Announced!

June 12, 2009

Business Owners Get Their Green On at GoGreen ‘09
40 Business Leaders Share Secrets and Value to Building a Sustainable Business

Social Enterprises, Inc. is thrilled to announce the full-day itinerary and speaker line-up for the second annual Go Green Conference, which will take place in Portland on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at the Gerding Theater in the Pearl District. Go Green ‘09 will present the regional business community with the unique opportunity to learn from over 40 local business leaders, who will share their expertise on a variety of sustainability topics, aimed at giving business owners and professionals new ideas and strategies for increasing sustainability in all areas of the workplace.

GoGreen ‘09 will offer participants concrete steps and solutions for making their business more sustainable through interactive panel-style sessions with valuable Q&A opportunities during each topic.

Featured Conference Topics/Sessions for 2009:

  • Portland’s Best Sustainable Business Showcase: Learn from Portland’s 2009 BEST Business + Oregon’s 100 Best Green Companies Award Winners
  • Electric Vehicles: Investment, Implications and Economic Opportunities for Business
  • Social Media and Your Sustainable Message: Maximize Outreach through Online Forums
  • Writing Your Sustainability Plan: Develop a Framework and Process to Advance Sustainable Objectives
  • Authentic Storytelling in the Age of Green washing: An Interactive Dialogue and Discovery of Fact, Contradiction and Possibility
  • Improve Your Sustainability Credentials: Opportunities for Continuing Education and Certification
  • Oregon on the Leading Edge: Public and Private Initiatives Creating Economic Opportunities
  • Carbon Footprint Analysis: Tools for Measuring and Reducing Your Company’s Environmental Impact
  • Growing Green Ideas: Develop Solid Business Plans to Increase Funding Opportunities
  • Trendsetters: Business Culture Shift to Sustainability

Featured 2009 speakers include Governor Ted Kulongoski, Kate Brown/Oregon Secretary of State, Jeff Cogen/Multnomah County Commissioner, Susan Anderson/Director, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Rob Bennett/Director, Portland+Oregon Sustainability Institute, Scott Marshall/Associate Dean, Portland State University, Nik Blosser/Founder, Celilo Group, Carrie Farrar/The Standard, Marsha Willard/Founder, AXIS, Inc, Ruta Stabina/University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership, Charlie Allcock/Portland General Electric, Mark Perry/Nissan Americas, Anne Weaver/CEO, Elephants Delicatessen, Sarah Hall/Wells Fargo, Scott Davis/From the Rooftops, Mark Brady/Oregon Economic Community Development Department, Josh Skov/Principal, Good Company, Colin Sears/Portland Development Commission, Alison Sokol Blosser/Sokol Blosser Winery, Gary Hirsch/On Your Feet, Mike Mercer/Northwest Earth Institute, Clark Brockman/SERA Artchitects, Michael Jung/Silver Springs, Chris Enlow/KEEN and Jason Graham-Nye/Founder, gDiapers to name just a portion of the line-up.

Eco-entrepreneurs Ericka Dickey, Founder of Social Enterprises, Inc. and Stephanie Knight, Founder of Greenlemonaide started the Go Green Conference series because they saw a need for knowledge and idea sharing regarding the best and latest sustainable business practices. They wanted to create an event that would have a sizeable positive impact for businesses like their own, the local community and the environment. The result is a learning laboratory with leading experts, committed eco-minded business owners and green community activists to forge a new business model which looks upon the green line and the bottom line as equally important.

Full-Day Registration is $150 for a full day pass, $125 with the purchase two or more.

We hope you will join us!!

Living Future + Bouquet of Hope = Fantastic Week of Events

May 16, 2009

Living Future '09
It is so nice to finally rest after 4 straight back-to-back days of events by Social Enterprises last week May 6, 7, 8 and 9th. Living Future ’09, Cascadia‘s annual conference, was at The Nines this year. Gina Franzosa and her team created a magnificent conference program kicked off by a fascinating keynote by Janine Benyus ~ a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Learning all about Biomimicry was something that everyone should invest in. The Nines was a beautiful venue and the conference went off without a hitch!

Bouquet of Hope 2009
On Saturday, May 9th ~ The Bouquet of Hope burst forth on the scene and left many of us with tears in our eyes after Sister Cathie Boerboom’s “stories” about the homeless and abused women she helps every day at Rose Haven (over 100 each week in Portland). The School of Oregon Ballet Theater and Aaron Meyer’s performance, amongst the MOST amazing event set by PDXGabe Designs and our Fete de le Fleur competitors ~ Swanky Tables (winner!), Starflower, Quince Flowers & Events and Anna Mara Flowers ~ was a sight to behold. Thank you Jasmine Photography for a most fabulous photo gallery of this event. HUGE KUDOS to the amazing Social Enterprises team and most particularly to Mai Tram Tran, who I now cannot live without!!!!

Local Love at SHOP/09

April 7, 2009

What a great day today amidst Portland’s shakers at SHOP Symposium put on by CRAVE Portland and Social Enterprises. Portland-based national success story Lisa Johnson kicked off the day with her inspirational four quadrants of the Free Agent Formula. Mindee Doney + Ryan Christensen stole the show at Start-Up Stars, sharing the success of their thriving companies in today’s economy. We loved the advice + stunning hand-made suit by Moderator Alice Dobson at Survival 101 – Revamp & Recharge in 2009. Amy Pearl at Springboard Innovation is doing amazing things to change the world. Mark Hayes of was back and stole the show yet again as a featured speaker at the Marketing Masters panel. Tarran Pitschka of Wicked Quick told local retailers how to get into Nordstrom and how to “be your brand” (nice pick up by Jon Cusack!). To wrap up the day, the Social Networking panel could have gone on for hours with an enthralled audience, thanks to Kent Lewis of Anvil Media + Dina Nishioka from Provenance Hotels (Lucia, delux, Max, Murano and Preston). Great examples of how to maximize social media for your company. Check out Kent’s articles on social media here. Reporter and blogger Michelle Rafter posts her great social media resources here. Thank you business leaders of Portland for making SHOP/09 a great experience!

Art of Weddings on Jan. 8th

December 18, 2008

The 2009 Art of Weddings is putting swank back into wedding planning! Newly engaged over the holiday break? You don’t want to miss this amazing event.

Featuring a couture bridal fashion show featuring hand-made gowns from Kate Towers, Amai Unmei, Garnish, Lucia Apparel and men’s suits by Duchess Clothier. Food by Culinary Artistry and Wine by Duck Pond Cellars. Bridal SWAG bags with goodies from participating vendors. Chocolate tasting with Missionary Chocolates! Try new bridal makeup and hair by Madi before demoing a bridal photo shoot with Jasmine Photography. $100 off custom wedding invitations by 1st Comes Love for any wedding booked at this event! Grand Bridal Raffle featuring amazing prizes: 1 hour engagement session with website and $50 print credit from Jasmine Photography (value $300), Custom Invitation Package from 1st Comes Love ($275 value). All proceeds benefit Go Red for Women. Special guest emcee Laura Shinn, Editor of Oregon Bride Magazine.

Living Future 2009

December 12, 2008

Social Enterprises is thrilled to announce that we will help manage the 3rd annual Living Future, the Unconference for Deep Green Professionals. Green building professionals from all over the world will join for two days of learning, dialogue and unbridled imagination to catalyze revolutionary change, May 6-9 at The Nines in Portland, Oregon.

CRAVE Holiday Shopping Party is going green on December 3rd!

October 21, 2008

We are excited to announce that Portland’s largest holiday event of the year – the CRAVE Holiday Shopping Party on Wednesday, December 3rd @ Luxe Autohaus – will be showcasing sustainable, local fashion and design at this year’s event. Get all of your holiday shopping done in one place, with over 50 local designers and boutiques offering special deals you can only find at CRAVE. Featuring sponsor Greenloop, one of the first eco-fashion retailers to kick off the burlap-and-Birkenstock stereotype, opting instead for hip, sustainable styles by fresh young talent with something to say. You will love their designs for the holidays! Gypsy Chic (you may have seen them featured on KOIN 6 news for our CRAVE Spring Market!) will headline our live holiday fashion show series on the catwalk which starts at 7pm. I hope you will join us…

BBQ & Barndance Fundraiser @ Staver

October 13, 2008

Our friends at Staver Locomotive are hosting a Hoe-Down for Obama at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland. A family night of live music, square dancing, and VIP speakers. Congressman Earl Blumenauer will be there at 7:00 pm. Check it out online here.

New local event: Social Innovation Forum

October 10, 2008

We were part of a fantastic new event series last night driving social change in Portland, Oregon – SPRINGBOARD Social Innovation Forum with different themes focusing on social/sustainable innovation each month. Springboard Innovation is a non-profit group that launches community-led, community change. Sign up and be a part of this amazing group of change agents!!