abc* Continuity Forum: A Business Perspective for Social Innovation and Sustainability
By Maria Ana Barrera
On November 12, 2012, remarkable figures such as Kofi Annan, Emmanuel Jal, David Rothschild, Jeb Bush, and Jessica Jackley, among others, gathered at the abc* Continuity Forum to discuss global development, strategic sustainability, and socially driven economies. The event brought together entrepreneurs, renowned leaders, and potential investors around one shared interest – economic and social innovations addressing the world’s greatest challenges. Ongoing challenges include poverty, education, climate change, political stability, hunger, access to healthcare, and sustainable economic development.
The organization behind the event, Americas Business Council – abc*, was founded by a collective of Latin American media and business leaders focused on shifting the concept of philanthropy toward a business strategy, encouraging long-term social investment. abc* Continuity Forum’s annual event highlights and defines Continuity as “to invest in long term, ceaseless impact on the social and environmental challenges of our time” (http://www.abccontinuityforum.com/).
This definition of continuity relative to social investment corresponds with the concept of Triple Bottom Line by Design + Culture (TBLD+C): framing development through an inclusive approach that supports -people, planet, profit and culture- toward a healthy and benign economy.
CATALYST finds a connection with this concept, to how abc* drives innovation, scalability, and business initiatives; rather than focusing solely on philanthropy and sustainability as isolated concepts opposed to business ideals.
In addition to being a think tank of social ideas, abc* seeks to find social-investment opportunities for potential sponsors. During this year’s 2013 forum, three (3) out of thirty-one (31) generative ideas, by emerging leaders and entrepreneurs, will be selected to receive funding, economic, marketing guidance, and media support. The remaining twenty-eight (28) projects will have an opportunity to present their case and find external support, while sharing the stage with credible figures such as Adriana Huffington, Chair and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group; Buzz Aldrin, astronaut of Apollo 11; David Axelrod, Political Analyst for NBC News; and Fernando Cardoso, former President of Brazil.
Thanks to Executive Director, Camilo Galvis, CATALYST is excited and honored to attend this year’s abc* Foundation event to be held in Miami, on November 6-7th. Follow us on twitter for live broadcasting of this experience in design thinking. We look forward to following up after the event to share our thoughts as we seek to discover emerging CATALYSTS.