We finally settled on a theme for the 10th edition of PIRATE Summit: #SolveRealProblems. Why? Time is a limited resource, and we’d love to encourage more entrepreneurs to think about the problems they spend their time on. In the end, we will have more solutions to the challenges that really matter.
Focusing on solutions – not on problems
PIRATE Summit is a conference for entrepreneurs on their journey. It is about connecting, debating and learning. Focused on real life experiences, learning from failure and success. It’s about the messy reality of the entrepreneurial roller coaster. Raw and authentic. We intend to keep it that way.
Therefore, we will keep it practical. We don’t want to define problems and debate their severity, scope or importance. While that might be an interesting exercise, we will draw from others that have already done so. We will showcase and discuss solutions and learn from the journeys of those that #SolveRealProblems.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Calling on entrepreneurs to #SolveRealProblems can have a paralyzing effect. Especially for young entrepreneurs. “I am not working on a Real Problem” should not stop you. Neither should “this problem is too big for me”. We get it. That’s not how startups are built.
Real Problems don’t have a size. And the small ones are worth solving too. In fact that is how pretty much every entrepreneurial journey starts. Step by step. Growing over time.
You are not only a “good” entrepreneur if your mission is to solve world hunger. #SolveRealProblems is also not a theme focused on non-profit oriented organizations. It’s focused on all organizations. Especially, as doing good and doing well can perfectly go hand in hand.
What is a problem worth solving? You decide.
#SolveRealProblems is having an inner compass and holding yourself accountable. What is a “real” problem is a very personal decision: Is this – for me – a problem worth solving?
Ask yourself: Is this worth spending my time on? This might just be the most powerful question of entrepreneurship. Especially if you value your time and care about your impact. Startups take longer than anticipated. And you will spend a lot of time with the problem you choose. Choose wisely!
Also, the answer to what is a real problem is very context-specific. The problems currently solved in Silicon Valley are often not “real” problems in emerging markets. And vice versa. MedTech solutions in Africa might look very different from those in Europe. And rightly so. Real problems here, aren’t real problems there.
Lastly, problems might not always look how you expect them to. You might think I’m a gaming startup, how could this ever be a solution to a real problem? They can be. It’s your chance to demonstrate what you do matters and has meaning in a global context.
#SolveRealProblems at PIRATE Summit 2020
Even if the definition of real problems is personal and context-specific, we will have to define them for PIRATE Summit 2020. We haven’t quite decided yet. We are thinking about using the UN sustainability goals as a framework and add/take out a few. That means curating the agenda around entrepreneurs that are tackling issues such as climate change, education, energy, health, waste etc.
Of course, we will keep tactical learning and discussion sessions. Thus, topics around HR, growth, sales, culture etc. are always welcome and will be a substantial part of the agenda. Ideally, framed in the bigger picture of our overall topic.
Call for Contribution – We need your input
Starting today, we’re opening the Call for Contribution for PIRATE Summit 2020. We would love to get your suggestions for entrepreneurs and experts that
- are building companies that tackle real problems.
- have built a great reputation for their approach to culture, fundraising, marketing, organization, sales, and other operational challenges.
- have an outstanding story to tell (that hasn’t yet been heard by a larger audience).
We are especially interested in topics that are controversial, experts that are not speaking at every conference, and grasping stories that are seldom told.
You can refer yourself, but we give preference to those that are referred by others.
Send us your ideas for PIRATE Summit 2020.