AVPN’s Thai Members provide suggestions and insights for Bangkok 2017


Allison Hollowell


Only two months after wrapping up a successful 2016 AVPN Conference in Hong Kong, it’s hard to believe we are back at it — kicking off the planning for our 2017 Conference in Bangkok!

In 2016, after 3 years in Singapore, AVPN decided to ‘take the show on the road’ to Hong Kong and it was our biggest and best conference yet, bringing in more delegates and more members from Northern Asia than ever before. Through keynote speakers such as Bernard Chan, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and John Tsang, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the conference highlighted some of the successes and opportunities in the Hong Kong social sector. Additionally, through our Investment Showcase and media outreach we were able to feature several impressive Hong Kong-based social enterprises—all of this spotlighting Hong Kong’s important contribution to the social sector in Asia.

In carrying on with the idea of expanding AVPN’s network across Asia, and showcasing the unique successes and opportunities of different countries across this diverse region, we have decided to focus on Southeast Asia for 2017 and are delighted to be hosting Asia’s now largest Social Investing Conference in Bangkok. Given the desire for a special focus on our host country the team felt it was important to provide a forum for our Thai members to share what is relevant to them and suggest content and formats that would be most productive for 2017.

AVPN Thai gathering-3

To that end, the AVPN team visited Bangkok last week and hosted a gathering of members and friends at the beautiful offices of Thomson Reuters Foundation overlooking Lumphini Park. This intimate gathering was a great opportunity for the AVPN community to connect and share with one another, as is the case for so many of AVPN’s events. But, what made this event noteworthy was the energy and passion that filled the room when we began to talk about what our Thai members wish for the AVPN conference next May.

As a relative newcomer to AVPN, I was blown away by the level of interest this group had in helping to shape the social sector in Thailand, and the AVPN conference itself. Having spent the last decade in marketing for the luxury and consumer goods sectors, I warned my colleagues to keep the presentation short and let members mingle, drink and eat, since in my experience this was the draw at these kinds of gatherings. However, I was happily proved wrong when as we wrapped up our AVPN updates and encouraged our guests to enjoy themselves, no one made a break for the wine or snacks or private conversations, instead the entire group sat riveted as the real discussion began.

There wasn’t a quiet person at the table as this diverse and knowledgeable crowd shared their insights and hopes for Thailand and the social sector in general. From how to better prepare social entrepreneurs and engage corporates in strategic philanthropy, to multisector collaboration or industry-focused working groups on education, agriculture and tourism—the discussion was the highlight of the event.

AVPN Thai gathering-1

I can say with confidence that everyone left the evening feeling energized and excited about the 2017 Conference with many ideas on how to contribute. The AVPN team and I are looking forward to many more riveting discussions in Bangkok and across the region in the coming months as we begin to map out the topics, formats and participants for next Spring.

For a sneak preview of our discussion see the audience-ranked conference topics below and let us know your thoughts. We would also love to hear from your organization if you have ideas to contribute to this early list…

Top Conference Suggestions:

1. How does Social Investment Reduce Poverty?
2. Women Social Entrepreneurs in Asia
3. Digital Transformation and the Use of Technology to Drive Impact
4. Impact Measurement – too early for Southeast Asia?
5. Capacity Building and the need for more Social Incubators
6. Social Innovation Project for the Disabled and Elderly
7. Energy Access and Renewable Energy
8. Moving from Philanthropy to Impact Investing


A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training


Allison Hollowell

Allison is the Chief Product Officer at AVPN, overseeing the development and expansion of AVPN’s core products and services that support the full spectrum of social investors in Asia. In her role as Chief Strategy Officer from 2018-2020, Allison led the organisation’s market expansion efforts, developing a global footprint with representatives across 13 markets. Coming to the organisation with a decade of corporate marketing and brand management experience, Allison has been the steward of AVPN’s brand strategy since 2016 and continues to oversee marketing and events in her role as CPO. Allison previously worked in consumer brand management for Mondelez International (Nabisco Portfolio) and has been a brand strategy consultant for numerous social enterprises. Prior to that, she spent 6 years in the luxury watch and jewelry industry at Richemont North America and Roberto Coin. She has an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BA in Communications from Villanova University.

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