First hybrid Social Enterprise World Forum opens in Nova Scotia, Canada

Around 3,000 people from 87 countries and territories are expected to join the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2021, which opened this morning in Nova Scotia, Canada. This year's event is a hybrid arrangement – with both online broadcasts and with face-to-face meeetings.

The opening ceremony began with a land acknowledgement and prayers from Stephen Augustine, hereditary chief on the Mi'kmaq Grand Council of Canada (pictured top).

Most of this year's SEWF delegates are connecting online, but there are also community hubs around the world – including in Pakistan, Turkey, Australia and Liberia – which bring people together in local venues where they can have conversations focused on their own area.

  • Read our interview with Auticon's Garth Johnson, who will be speaking at SEWF 2021 about social enterprises exploring new markets

Speakers during the two-day event include Harish Hande of India's Selco Foundation, Paula Woodman, the British Council's global head of impact economy, Carolien de Bruin of the World Economic Forum, Sean Barnes of Akina in New Zealand, Erinch Sahan of the UK's Doughnut Economics Action Lab and Mairi McAllan, a member of the Scottish government.

This main forum event follows 2021's Youth Forum and the Policy Forum, which took place in April. Still to come this year is a Rural Forum and an Academic Forum. 


Accessibility and diversity

Welcoming delegates, event MC, Joseph Huyer of Canadian event host organisation Common Good Solutions, said he was looking forward to a "jam-packed couple of days with content designed by the sector for people the in the sector".

Helene Malandain SEWF chair at opening ceremonyHelene Malandain (pictured), SEWF chair, said the digital format allowed more accessibility and diversity. She added that 30% of speakers and delegates were under 30 and 60% identified as female, non-binary or trans.

SEWF represents the "solidarity and humility of our movement", she said.

  • Explore the highlights of Social Enterprise World Forum events across the years in our SEWF collection

SEWF board member David LePage added that this year's SEWF would "build a stronger and more connected social enterprise network" across the world.

Pioneers Post is media partner to this year's Social Enterprise World Forum. Follow #SEWF2021 online for more.