Although we measure time in units – a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a season, a year – these units are all connected.

We all have distinct, separate identities, but connect to each other through time… and through place. When something significant happens in our lives – a birth, death or marriage – we remember the time and place where it happened. Since humans first began leaving evidence of their lives, they have left traces of ceremonies and gatherings where they literally marked the passage of time.

In 2017 I attended the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch, New Zealand. During the opening address, we were called to focus on both our ancestry and legacy. By looking backwards to achievements and lessons from the past and forwards to a future we wanted to create, we shared a powerful moment. This perfectly focused our mind for the following three days conversations about realistic, time-based approaches to finding socially innovative solutions for some of the challenges we face.

Last year, The Melting Pot – Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation – celebrated its first decade. We marked the passage of time, as humans always have done, by gathering together and sharing stories, good banter and food. The landmark gave us cause for reflection on what we have learnt, to share our intent, create deeper connections and sustenance for the journey ahead.

A year on, the Social Enterprise World Forum is marking its first 10 years, returning to Edinburgh, the city where it all began. I am personally looking forward to reconnecting with some of the incredible Social Innovators I met last year and making new connections. I am also excited to be able to return some of the warm, generous hospitality that I received in New Zealand, and share a dram or two with old and new friends alike. As the founder of The Melting Pot I am also very proud that we can join the Social Enterprise World Forum at this milestone as partners, so together we can show off this wonderful city and the wealth of Social Enterprise it supports.

Claire Carpenter, Founder and CEO of The Melting Pot