August 12, 2022

Overheard at a social impact conference

Yes, we have been eavesdropping on your conversations.

2 min read


“You have to hand it to our sector. We are two years into a pandemic and nothing has changed. Look around the room—it’s the same people, wearing the same clothes, saying the same things. Even the butter chicken in the buffet—and the rush to get to it—is identical to pre-COVID-19.”

— Overheard in the lunch line


“Honestly, it feels like life has come around full circle. Now when I see that a conference is being held virtually instead of in person, I breathe a sigh of relief. I think, really, I just miss being able to put people on mute.”

— Overheard *during* the keynote speech 


“I’m so glad I ran into you. I’ve been walking up and down this area for the last 30 minutes trying to remember how to casually network and meet people I don’t already know.”

— Overheard outside the event venue


“Someone really walked up to me and said I didn’t look like the kind of person who’d be masked at this 500+ person event. Like??? I care about my health?”

“Didn’t you just say the mask helps hide your distaste for what the speakers are saying?”

“Yeah, but they don’t know that.”

— Overheard in the (maskless) smoking section

Mugshot of a pug against a teal background_nonprofit humour
Picture courtesy: Rawpixel


“My Zoom outfits are not translating well for this 12-hour day. Why can’t we network in more comfortable shoes?”

— Overheard at 5:00 PM, during the second tea break of the day


“Every nonprofit leader is here to meet funders, and all the funders are sitting in closed door conversations—which nonprofits aren’t invited to.”

— Overheard during the set up for said closed door roundtable

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India Development Review

India Development Review (IDR) is India’s first independent online media platform for leaders in the development community. Our mission is to advance knowledge on social impact in India. We publish ideas, opinion, analysis, and lessons from real-world practice.