Friday 25 September 2009

The end...

So it has drawn to a close. The final razzamatz for Hilary Clinton ( and Chelsea ) has finished . I admit I'm now keen to get home and to the Hound who has been missing me.

Amusingly as I was doing my Blog in a quiet corner this morning I am espied by Cherie Blair who bounds over and gives me a hug! I am a great fan;, indeed I told her I had been reading her Biog when I was on holiday in Korea. She gave a great speech at one of our ACEVO annual dinners. So it was good to see her. But a shame i never managed to get to see TB. Or rather , as I said to Cherie , a shame he didn't get a chance to chat to me...

An interesting session on private-public partnerships. The investment theme comes up again. But i am more than convinced a mixed approach is right. No one source of funding is entirely helpful , though the investment market is undeveloped in our sector so need s encouragement . I have a meeting with Sir Ronnie Cohen later and we talk about the huge opportunity for our sector if Government can be persuaded to go fora properly funded Social Investment Bank . I believe Ronnie's work in this area has been so important and we talk about how we might put more pressure on . We also talk about how the Social Finance and Social Investment sides of the business should work together. I wonder whether our Foundations need to look at how they move into the loan business as well as their grant making . I have been talking to David Emerson of the Association of Charitable Foundations about a get together to talk about potential . It is something the SIB would be interested in supporting , perhaps with match funding.

And then Hilary also talks about the need for investment as opposed to aid in her speech . She outlines a major US programme to invest in farming world wide.She said that development works best when it is based on investing , not aid. They are also consulting on how to develop all this. She wants a vibrant conversation and invited us all to take part; announcing you go to apparently . I have not tried that myself but you are welcome to.

During the course of the sessions Bill Clinton announces " commitments" to great fanfare . These usually involve saving thousands , if not millions of babies , trees etc. If it ain't big it ain't getting talked about here... But one interesting programme today was " Leapfrog Investments ". This is a for profit company that has been set up with the purpose of insuring the world's poor . They already have 25m customers and some $44m in their profit with a purpose fund . I understand Triodos bank are involved so I guess of some repute. The guy announcing it was cock a hoop about how he is helping the world's poor " opening the gates of the finance market to the ;poor " as he exclaimed dramatically , and MAKING A PROFIT FROM IT. Still I guess if they'd have seen an opening in the market , why not? I suspect the barriers and frontiers between the 3 sectors are diminishing and this is good.Apparently the awards dinner last night ( which I missed ) was so over the top one of the Brits headed on out to an early bed . After a while the relentless optimism and cheerfulness can get a tad palling . But on the other hand I did not hear one whinge all Conference! And there ias no doubt the Clinton Foundation has made a huge difference in the way it brokers deals and projects , particularly from big US companies.

So my last meeting finished I headed off for Macy's " The world's largest store" ( well it would be wouldn't it ) . if I return home empty handed I'm toast. And I am delighted to report I have a delightful and entirely OTT new collar and matching lead and harness for the Hound . NYC does have the most spectacular Doggie stores . A cornucopia of all that one could desire for one's Dog. Last time I was here I got a very Delicious pink collar for Hound . But a matching set is now the business. And to celebrate my purchases I went for a walk in Central Park as the sun set .

I traversed most of the Park , through Sheep Meadow , along the lake and through the rambles. It is the most special place in New York . A bus ride back , over to Carnegie's Deli ( a Jewish NY landmark ) for a burger and early to bed. The networking starts all over again in Brighton on Sunday at the Labour Party Conference . ACEVO has a fringe on Sunday evening with the union Community . The question is , will Brad Pitt be there?

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