Visionaries from the public and private sectors gathered last week at Shanghai’s inaugural Vision Day, hosted by Gongyi Xintiandi.
I’ve mentioned before that the social sector in Shanghai, while growing, does suffer from a lack of coordination. This is to be expected in such a young area. Many organizations are disparately working for causes they see as important. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to duplication in effort and a misunderstanding of best practices.
The Vision Day brought together 60 of the city’s most dynamic leaders in the social space with the aim of increasing collaboration and creating a long-term initiative for Shanghai’s social sector. In my mind, this is a critical first step in adding credibility and impact. It takes what many consider a passing fad – social sector work, philanthropy and corporate responsibility – and codifies the sector. The Vision Day also launched a conversation between corporate and public organizations. In a city where the social sector is demarcated in silos, particularly amongst corporate entities, generating an exchange of ideas harkens a shift in mindset.
To facilitate this conversation, organizers placed participants in several working groups. These groups discussed such issues as social innovation, building competencies around sustainability, engaging the corporate sector, scaling and public participation. At the end of the day, each group shared the outcome of their discussion. The next phase is to begin implementing these suggestions and creating a visionary strategy for the future of Shanghai’s social sector. Expect further updates as this takes shape early next year.