Strike up the band! SEWF 2018 opens with a bang

"In front of me are 1,400 of the most game-changing and inspiring people on the planet. Every day you wake up and try to make the world a better place."

These are the words of Social Enterprise World Forum 2018 host Alan Mahon of Brewgooder, who addressed delegates at the opening ceremony of the event in Edinburgh, Scotland following an introductory performance from drum and pipe band Clanadonia (pictured).

The first SEWF took place in Edinburgh in 2008 and since then it has travelled around the world, hosted in cities including San Francisco in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and most recently Christchurch in New Zealand.

This year, people have travelled from 47 different countries to take part in the three-day forum. As Mahon pointed out, the aim is to make social enterprise across the world "bigger and better and more impactful for the people we serve".

Scotland, the only country in the world to have a ten-year social enterprise strategy, is recognised as a global leader in social enterprise. Speaking at the opening ceremony, John Swinney, the deputy first minister of Scotland, described how 11 years ago the Scottish government invested a "relatively small" sum of money in growing the sector. "The opportunity was seized to create a more vibrant social enterprise sector that now populates the length and breadth of Scotland," he said. "Social enterprises are a full and proper articulation of the moral purpose we need in our society."


> Follow our content in the Social Enterprise World Forum Collection here, including our Chain Reaction series of interviews with SEWF speakers from all over the world, including Mike Curtin, Ailsa Clark and Melat Yosef.

> Read more about how the social enterprise sector has grown and strengthened in Scotland during the past decade in our Global Focus here.

> Our Global Perspectives on Social Enterprise Collection also features content from SEWF participants, including interviews with Egyptian women's rights campaigner Rania Ayman and Ethiopian educational pioneer Bruktawit Tigabu.

Our film and editorial team will be adding much more content here and on social media ( on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) over the coming days - so keep connected!