13th EVPA Annual Conference

Author: Casey Gale       

Bernard Uyttendaele, EVPA CEO, opening the conference

Event Details

Nov. 9–10, 2017


Oslo, Norway


About 530 EU-based attendees — nearly 100 more than initially projected — visited Oslo for the European Venture Philanthropy Association’s (EVPA) 2017 Annual Conference, one of the largest events in the world for venture-philanthropy organization members, investors, academics, and policy makers to talk social investment.

CHALLENGES When we first spoke with EVPA Operations and Conference Director Els Depoortere for a Pre Con profile a few months ago (convn.org/pre-con-evpa), she said that conference organizers were challenging session moderators to create intimate experiences for attendees. “A creative blend of formats,” she said, such as fishbowl conversations and small panels, were “used to create as much interaction and impact as possible.” Attendees thus had the opportunity to interact more with both speakers and their peers, Depoortere said, “building stronger connections and partnership opportunities.”

INITIATIVES This year’s conference theme was “Guiding Lights,” a nod to the aurora borealis that can be seen in Oslo. “Being in the Nordics, we wanted to learn more about the Nordic model and ecosystem,” Depoortere said. “We presented the key elements of the Nordic welfare state, took a closer look at what this means to a social investor, and how we could learn from each other across Europe in order to be more successful at scaling solutions between our countries.” During the conference, the EVPA community was invited to discuss venture philanthropy’s role in solving issues such as unemployment; food, health, and sustainability; social inclusion of migrants and refugees; discrimination; and opportunities for young people.

For more information: evpa.eu.com/annual-conference