Looking Forward to the 13th Annual SVI Hollyhock

I'm about to do my 13th annual Social Venture Institute (SVI) at Hollyhock. Renewal added one in Toronto in April this year and that makes it a little harder to know if this is the 13th or 14th, but who's counting? They have all been extraordinary.

We have an outstanding list of attendees and a fabulous team who is working on the many agenda details of 6am to wee hours planning and logistics that are needed.

Of course there will be 130 of us to spread across all those hours and the main idea is to offer options such that many different types of people can create the conference of their own personal design. And most want to fit in a famous Hollyhock bodywork session somewhere during the day. 5 Rythyms dance and movement with Soasis and her talented back up musicians. Kirtan (call and response devotional singing) with Elizabeth Burr and Hannu Huuskonen and another set of talented musicians. Bio luminescence kayak paddles with Mike Moore and Misty Isles Expeditions. DJ Michael Ziff. Rhian Walker and Hemingway's Gun for Happytini's night (those are martini's made with Happy Planet juice smoothies). The oyster barbecue at the beach. Poetry, song, performance, poignancy, passion, and pathos.

And I'm only talking about the "extras" so far. SVI is a many year refined experience and learning intensive. Having fun and remembering and attending our whole person as entrepreneurs and resource people is an essential part of the formula. Pamela Chaloult and her team at Renewal and our colleagues at SVN, spend most of the year designing, recruiting, and refining the 5 days. It's all feasible due to Lead Sponsor Vancity, along with a stellar group of other sponsors. Keynotes this year are Alison Lawton, Mark Deuschmann, Adrienne Marie Brown. Real News, Twice Shy, and The Centre for Art and Social Change will serve as main stage case studies for the whole group to derive insights with.

I can hardly wait. Apologies to those who were unable to get a space. To the now hundreds of prior attendees unable to be with us this year, we miss you. Bravo to the 80 first timers currently signed up, and deep gratitude to the 50 returnees. We love you who make this part of your annual cycle, like perhaps 13 time faculty David Berge of Underdog Ventures, and many time faculty Elizabeth Crook of Orchard Advisors, newer regulars like Deena Chochinov, Michael Tippett of NowPublic, Brant Cheetham or BiroCreative, and other long timers like Suzanne Siemens of Lunapads, John Richardson of Pivot Legal, Mark Deutschmann of Village Realty, Mickey McLeod of Salt Spring Coffee, the SubPop team, Tides Canada, Strategic Communications, and Horizon Distributors and many others.

What will it be like THIS year? What great new people will I get to know? Who will meet whom and become long term associates? What big aha's will sweep the room? When will humour bring us to tears? How will we get people to suspend their meal time conversations to move on to the next highlight? Will northern lights appear?

I WILL get enough sleep! My wife and CEO of Hollyhock, Dana will make sure of that, thankfully.