The Development Dialogue (DD) is the flagship event of the Sandbox that brings together all the stakeholders of social entrepreneurship on a platform to discuss new and demonstrated ideas to implement change. It is recognized as an event of international significance, drawing renowned personalities, organizations and thought leaders from across the globe to gather in a tier-2 location in India, to discuss socially relevant entrepreneurship.
The first edition of the DD was hosted at the IMSR Business School, Hubballi, in January 2008. It gathered 200 delegates on a first-ever platform and brought together all the partners of the Foundation to discuss their work in the Sandbox. Through an introductory edition, DD 2008 attracted eminent participants such as Ashok Alexander, India Country Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Vijay Mahajan, Founder, BASIX Microfinance; Bala Warrier, Manipal Medical Foundation; SR Hiremath, Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, and Venkatesh Thuppil of St. John’s Medical College.
The discussions at DD 2008 revolved around topics related to management such as accounting, documentation and administration, growth & scaling and achieving goals & benchmarks.
The subsequent editions of DD showcased theme-based deliberations and events on the sidelines. In 2009, the theme was “The Sandbox and Global Perspectives,” focusing on the new transformational initiatives done by the partners. Over 300 delegates attended the event, hosted at the BVB College of Engineering and Technology. In 2010, the DD was larger in scale than its preceding editions, attracting 450 delegates and 40 speakers who spoke on various topics. The event had deliberations on topics that included sub-sessions, paving the way for in-depth and inspiring discussions. The theme of the DD 2010 was ‘Changing Mindsets’.
During the subsequent years, the DD editions evolved to achieve twin objectives: one, it showcased the work of the foundation and its partners in the Sandbox area. Secondly, it is a stock-taking time for the Sandbox and its partners to assess the progress achieved during the years. The themes have varied across “Thriving in the Ecosystem” during 2012, “Tipping Point” in 2013, “Counting What Matters” in 2014, “Scaling by Proving” in 2015 and “Execute Locally, and Innovate Globally” in 2016.