Conference on social enterprise

From local reports

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The second annual Appalachian Conference on Social Enterprise will be held on May 19 and 20 at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

Learn from top social enterprises from across the nation. Mountain Tech Media hailing from Berea, Ky., is a digital media firm that helps small businesses and organizations reach higher peaks. Democracy at Work Institute, coming all the way from Oakland, Calif., is the only national organization dedicated to building the field of worker cooperative development. Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, from Athens, spurs southeastern Ohio economies as a small business incubator. Liberty Mobility Now, from Lincoln, Neb., brings ridesharing to small urban and rural populations through an app designed for areas with low or no cell signal. Zero Waste, from Athens, promotes the development of a zero waste economy by providing education on recycling, assessing the waste of homes and businesses, cleaning up dumpsites, and “zero-wasting” events.

Want to explore a certain topic? Register now and share your idea for our Free Range Skill Session. This activity will be an opportunity for attendees to participate in self-directed exploration. Table facilitators will provide short presentations, handout materials, and then will open the conversation up for discussion and group-problem solving. Table topics and facilitators will be chosen based on interest during registration.

“What brings me to ACOSE is profound hope and excitement about what’s happening in the region around Social Enterprise,” said Barbara Wyckoff, executive director of the One Foundation.

Last year’s inaugural conference drew more than 130 attendees.

“One of my favorite things about doing work in Appalachia is meeting the amazing young minds that are here and are so eager to be a part of the future of this place. ACOSE is such an example of that,” said Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia.

ACOSE is sponsored by Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, One Foundation, The HIVE Network, National Community Investment Fund, Rural Action, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, WVU Department of Geology and Geography, Generation West Virginia, and Appalachian Regional Commission.

Registration is $80 (including all meals) for the two-day conference. Students, military service, national service, and need-based registrants may attend for $20. Check out ACOSE.org for the growing list of presenters, registration, and hotel accommodations

Rural Action is a member-based sustainable community development organization. Their mission is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. Learn more about Rural Action at www.ruralaction.org. You can also keep up with their work on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, and Instagram.

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