On Oct 21-23, 2013, I attended the BOP Summit put on by the William Davidson Institute at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The major theme was creating a road map for the future of serving the 4.5 billion people living on less than $2.50/day. While I greatly enjoyed the plenary sessions put on by BOP experts such as Stuart L. Hart, I have to say that my favorite part of the three days happened after the conference had ended for the day.
Perhaps this is common knowledge, but for some reason this conference really drove it home for me: it was more about the people than the sessions. The conversations held during dinner and drinks were more fruitful and lasting than the brief interactions I had with people during the conference. And so I applaud the William Davidson Institute for putting on a good conference with an important task, but more so for attracting just the right group of people to create interesting synergies and lasting connections – all in the name of creating market-based solutions to global poverty.