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ReVV’ing up Portland as a social innovation hub

   /   Apr 23rd, 2010News

Social innovation, impact investing, venture capital: These terms tend to be associated with leading global cities and top colleges: London, New York, San Francisco, the Ivy League. However, as social entrepreneurship goes mainstream, new changemaker hubs are forming beyond the usual centers.

Portland, Oregon is one in the making. Smaller, more laid-back and less conventional than Seattle or San Francisco, the Rose City has nevertheless been attracting entrepreneurial types, from technological innovators (it is the Silicon Forest, after all) to social sector trailblazers — all fitting given the state’s pioneer history.

In the wake of the Skoll World Forum, which lured a thousand people to Oxford, England last week, Portland is hosting a modest-size conference, ReVisioning Value (ReVV) aimed at pulling together a wide range of leaders in the fields of impact investing and social innovation.

ReVisioning Value, sponsored by Portland social-purpose organization Springboard Innovation, will take place on April 26-27. Speakers include Alex Counts, president of the Grameen Foundation (which helps replicate the Grameen Bank‘s microfinance model around the globe) and Tamzin Ratcliffe, founder of the South African Social Innovation Exchange (which encourages large-scale investment in social ventures).

ReVV creator Amy Pearl explains that the goal is to gather all the different kinds of people needed to make solutions happen: “Social investors, financial advisors, nonprofits, social businesses, social entrepreneurs, retired experts seeking a new career, educators, bankers, lawyers, accountants, students, community developers, academics…” She promises that attendees will gain exposures that will carry them outside their normal vantage points and will assist them in creative problem-solving.

Dowser contributor Rebecca Robinson will be blogging from the ReVV conference April 26-27. Check back for future posts.

Space is still available for ReVV. To register, go to

Photo 1: Zazzle
Photo 2: Megan Strand

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