The History of the Forum


The Soul of the Next Economy Forum owes its creation to the Calgary West chapter of the Rotary Club.

For many years, the chapter had hosted the Calgary Microcredit Conference at the Danish Canadian Club. At the 2013 Social Enterprise World Forum held in Calgary, Bob Schulz from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary introduced Steve Rickard from the Calgary West chapter to Randy Poon, the Chair of the Business Program at Ambrose University. Steve was looking for a local university to come alongside the chapter to carry on the aims of the Microcredit Conference. From this initial meeting, Paul Gomes from the FigTree Foundation, along with Gary Ellis brainstormed ideas and the Soul of the Next Economy Forum was born with a broader focus building upon the Calgary Microcredit Conference’s international community development emphasis and exploring the role of business in fostering and creating both better business and a better society. This included the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, and Poverty Reduction (in collaboration with business). In the months following, the Derek Cook, Executive Director of the Canadian Poverty Institute, and eventually, Franco Savoia, Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Calgary became one of the hosts of the Forum.

From these historical roots, the Forum continues to explore ways business can positively influence society. New partners have emerged over the years and we look forward to new forms of collaboration.

Read more from the Rotary Club: "Rotary Supports Microcredit Forum in Calgary October 2014"