Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Exhibiting in Frankfurt

I spend Wednesday at the European Venture Philanthropy Conference in Frankfurt. Up at 5am I travel with the irrepressible Benoit Vauchy of Permira who looks like he is used to early starts. As I worry about something happening in an advocacy project in Lincoln he is running the AA and Saga Group from his mobile phone. He is possibly 35. As normally the youngest face as third sector events I wonder if our sector is missing out on th e energy and talent of young men like Benoit.

I arrive at the conference totally shattere trailing in Benoit's energetic wake. The event, he tells me is held in the former HQ of IG Farben, pharamceutical makers appointed by Adolf Hitler to come up with Zyklon B, used to efficiently kill people in their millions. Miraculously the building, a neoclassical 1930s monument so favoured by the Nazis. escaped major bomb damage and became the HQ of the US Army in the immediate postward period.

today it is the university and host to 400 people from firms, social businesses and vp organisations across Europe.

Its a strange mix, a bit heavy on people from the financial sector and academics, possibly a little thin on living breathing social entrepreneurs.

This hunch is confirmed in our workshop where I feel like a rare exhibit brought out of its box into the sun. People were extremely interested, which was grea but because I was the only person they had met all day who was doing something with VP money and help.

I catch the plane just in time to Londons excelent City Airport and fall through the door exhausted . The dogs need walking and Wilf's been sick I am told by Katy. Oh,and make me some cheese on toast....

piece of neoclaassi escaped major bomb damage and

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