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The Deshpande Foundation lays the groundwork for more robust and sustainable communities. They do this by using a “bottom-up” approach, supporting and harnessing the power of financial capital and educational opportunities at a grassroots level.
The Deshpande Foundations calls this work building “sandboxes.” These sandboxes have expanded to Fredericton, New Brunswick, with the Pond-Deshpande Centre (PDC), and Massachusetts, however, they found their start, and their inspiration, in Hubballi, India.
Recognizing that building ecosystems is difficult work, and in the spirit of continual learning and improvement, the Foundation hosts an annual Development Dialogue at its Hubballi sandbox.
The Dialogue is an international social entrepreneurship conference that brings together more than 600 community-minded entrepreneurs, civil servants, academics, and students to engage in a two-day dialogue about building ecosystems that support and sustain entrepreneurial activity.
Every year, the Pond-Deshpande Centre sends a delegation of students, entrepreneurs, and representatives to participate in the Dialogue. At the 2015 conference, PDC’s Executive Director, Karina LeBlanc, spoke about some of the major challenges facing New Brunswick and how the PDC and its partners are applying the sandbox principles to tackle them.
In this clip, Karina speaks about one of New Brunswick’s most talked about trends: youth outmigration. She shares with the audience the Millennial Dream’s hypothesis that supporting the growth of social entrepreneurship initiatives will be a major driving force for younger generations to stay in the New Brunswick, return after leaving, and, if we do it right, encourage dreamers and doers from outside the province to make the move here. New Brunswick could become a global trend-setter in the world of social entrepreneurship.