Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators

What is Your Convening Purpose?

Oftentimes we look at convening as just hosting an event. As an Enterprise Support Organisation, convening can be one of the most impactful tools in your toolbox. To get the most out of this tool, it is important to have clarity of purpose.


This section provides some activities and worksheets to help clarify your convening purpose. Having a clear definition of success will let you know if you achieved everything you hoped to with your event.

What is my purpose for convening?

Welcome to Build Back Better - Purpose First Convening Framework. The first question you should ask is: What is the purpose for convening? 

As you think about your accelerator program, convening shows up in a few different ways. In how you build trust and connectivity between your cohort, how you connect mentors with your cohort members, howe you build connections between investors and your cohort, and also how you built connections between mentors or between investors. 

In doing all of this you're convening throughout your program.    

And being very clear on the purpose for each of those sessions will imply what design is going to work best for you. 

There are two key tools that we want to emphasise. The first is a Purpose Statement Madlibs. So completing this sentence and filling in the blanks will leave you with a clear purpose statement: My core community is blank, and when they leave this convening they will feel blank, think blank, and do blank. 

Make sure you're including a verb and also really push to be specific. The more specific you are, the more clearly your design will be implied by your statement. 

Another exercise is using the From/To/Think/Do Matrix. As people arrive to your event they are arriving from somewhere. Are they arriving tired are they arriving exhausted are they arriving energised and excited? And as they leave your event you want them to leave in a certain way as well. 

Thinking about the transformative nature of your experience, especially if you have a very actionable objective like pushing a transaction, an investment into entrepreneurs. 

So as people arrive they're going to have a set of preconceived notions of what they think about social enterprise or what they think about early-stage companies. And as they leave your event there may be an education component there where you want to teach them to think differently. 

You may also want to inspire them to take action. So being clear in that quadrant could help to frame your design for your session. 

So we recommend taking that Madlibs sentence that you saw on the previous slide and filling out your purpose statement. So you think of a session that you're going to be running in an upcoming event or one - if you don't have one on the horizon - what's something that you did for a previous event? 

And you're going to distil that into your purpose statement, which is coming back to: My core community is blank, and when they leave this convening they will feel blank, think blank, and do blank.

Purpose Statement

Fill in the blanks to clarify your purpose statement:


My core community is _______________, and when they leave this convening they will feel _______________, think _______________, and do _______________.


It can help to think in terms of the goals for your participants. Be as specific as possible.

From / To / Think / Do Matrix

With this matrix, you want to articulate what your participants think and do BEFORE they show up to your event and what you want them to think and do when they LEAVE your event.

Purpose-First Convening Framework

Use this worksheet to assess your readiness for convening from clear objectives, to a unique strategic value.


Overview of the 12 Convening Objectives

The 12 objectives for which convening is a useful tool