Global Pro Bono Summit, New York City – To sum it up…

Written by Banu Raghuraman

An exciting milestone was realized this year when Endeavour’s founder and President, Andrea Wong, was invited to attend the Taproot Foundation’s Global Pro Bono Summit in New York city.

The Global Pro Bono Summit is an annual gathering of leaders with a shared vision to make the talents and skills of the business community accessible to organizations serving our collective good. This year marked a new threshold in the development of the pro bono marketplace as 100 pro bono leaders from around the globe and across sectors and industries gathered over four days for the 2013 Summit.

Along with Endeavour’s President, the attendees were a group of enthusiastic people who are working towards promoting and organizing pro-bono work in their respective cities and communities. We reached out to some of the participants to see what they learnt, and how that learning would impact the work they are doing.

1Adrián and Laura, attendees from Costa Rica, enjoyed meeting other people from around the world who are also promoting pro-bono work. They emphasized the importance of the contacts they made at the summit; sharing their best practices gave validation to the work they do. With all the information they obtained, they now have ways to tackle some of their daily challenges. In Adrián’s words, “We have many more live cases of people doing similar things around the world that we can use to promote certain projects or ideas that we need.”

2Planning is a big contributor to the success of pro-bono projects is a take-away that Amelie will be pondering during her trip back to Sweden. With the interest in pro-bono growing considerably, skill based volunteering will be something she is looking forward to implementing in the future. “Live as we learn!”, says Amelie, who is also excited to start practising what she preaches by utilizing pro-bono help for the work she herself is promoting.

3Not limited to Germany, pro-bono extends as a global marketplace that will have significant societal impact and relevance – this is what Claudia  realized after attending the summit. And in spite of being global, the language of pro-bono is something universal. “I understood how much corporations can leverage their daily business for the social cause” she says and now she can also reach out to corporations to encourage them to do so – which may assist in meeting some of her daily challenges.

4Currently working at Taproot in the US, Peter has his vision set on starting a pro-bono organization in South Korea. With a start-up in his mind, Peter found many useful contacts for partnerships, sponsorships and ideas for his business plan. The global expansion and presence of the pro-bono movement is encouraging for his new venture, in spite of potential cultural differences. “There were some challenges that I didn’t even think of”, says Peter and he was lucky to have received some great insights, prior to his start-up venture.

5Representing France, Yoann and Patrick, found their discussions with international counterparts extremely engaging. “I’ve learnt that “pro bono” has become truly global”, Yoann says, yet it is catered to the domestic environment. They had a chance to discuss and get inspired by the variety of business concepts and models that each country has adopted and become successful in. Seeing so much global participation, it is little wonder that they felt rejuvenated and more motivated to continue their work. They also hosted a webinar using an application provided by Pro Bono Lab to develop a partnership in China. This laid the foundation to enable anyone, anywhere, to use their application.

6Sun Hee can be called a pioneer, since pro-bono service is something very new in the country of South Korea. Even though it is a relatively new concept, the country boasts of almost eight hundred corporations that actively engage in pro-bono service. Starting with books and the internet, Sun Hee can now move on to using resources that were provided and discussed at the summit. Sun Hee says. “Since the summit, I am starting to consider how we can set up an environment that would be flourishing probono service.”

Seeing such interest, participation and drive to do more for social causes, Endeavour is even more excited to be part of this international wave of inspiration and action. Andrea, representing Canada mentions her takeaways, “New connections, great ideas, and inspiration. I returned home energized and motivated by the people I met, the things I learned, and the opportunities I saw.”

We are very glad that we could take part in the summit and are looking forward to participating in similar events for active collaboration and partnerships throughout the world. We wish all the fellow attendees all the very best in their Endeavours and hope that our paths will cross soon again!

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