The Social Finance team have just returned from a productive 24hrs on the Kent coast where we ventured to discuss the recently penned 3 year business plan and share thoughts and feelings about the future of the organisation and the social investment market. The discussion ranged from past successes through current social issue areas to future social investment product ideas. Without giving too much away, there is certainly plenty of creative energy and optimism about the future growth of the social investment market and Social Finance’s role in driving this forward.
Though it wasn’t all serious, the team took the opportunity to get to know one another better through an excellent programme of events that included the odd embarrassing personal tale and a pub quiz-round themed on the staff that make up Social Finance. We now know, for example, whose fledging modelling career was cut off in its infancy and whose pyrotechnics disrupted their headmaster’s speech.
Pines Calyx played host to the main event this year and it proved to be a venue with a difference! It’s a zero-carbon conference centre set amongst 6 acres of beautiful gardens, which were fully explored during break-out brainstorms. Built out of reclaimed chalk, the venue avoided any cheesy team-building exercises. Instead the team took up the task of foraging for food (fortunately after a delicious lunch in the midday sun). Instead of picking the items on the menu, they were photographed which is certainly beneficial given the beef main. More photos can be seen on the Social Finance flickr page.
Finally, a big thank you to the lovely The White Cliffs Hotel who hosted our first evening and bbq: food and food for thought as we planned for the future. Overall, the event proved a roaring success and the team has returned with renewed enthusiasm and some questions to ponder.
By Harry Hoare, Analyst at Social Finance