The following summary was written by our dinner co-host Christine Mendonça, CEO & Co-Founder, of Humans on the Move:
On January 31, the Nexus Initiative on Refugees and Forced Displacement and Convening17 brought together 14 social entrepreneurs, impact investors and philanthropists to talk about the intersection of education and forced displacement. We had social impact leaders serving women and girls in the Caribbean, a funder working along the MENA-Europe migration route, and other practitioners focused on education solutions.
One of the largest challenges that education solutions face is being considered complementary rather than competitive to the formal education system. For both solutions that can be brought into the classroom, or ones that run independently within the community, this tension is a growing concern. Governments are often seen to stifle innovation and limit the possibilities of reaching some of the most vulnerable children. Leslie Falconer of Experience Early Learning Company spoke about the challenge she is facing as a solutions provider to find the right partners to really scale her solutions within markets, that already have the capacity and reach, and also have the ethics and principles to respect the company's intellectual property. On the other hand, Katie Godkin Morales founder of both Batey Girls and the Batey Project in the Dominican Republic, struggles to find the right programming partners who are consistent in their program delivery, and who can help her create a safe place for her clients regardless of whether Katie is there.
Powerful kinetic energy was unlocked as everyone around the dinner table that night was able to share what brought them to the dinner, where they needed help, and how they could help others. Starting that night and over the next two days of the summit, collaborations were being setup and hurdles overcome. The concept of having a small dinner in a quiet restaurant really fostered the ability to build relationships and uplift solutions.