The final day of the 2018 Global Philanthropy Forum was about connecting the dots. Whether it’s digital media and democracy, climate change and conflict, or hunger and health, speakers emphasized the importance of understanding the relationships between issues in order to craft effective solutions.
Digital and social media have upended not only the news industry, but entire concepts of governance. Ray Suarez, visiting professor at Amherst College and co-host of WorldAffairs, sat down with Jennifer Cobb, director of United for News, Eileen Donahoe, executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University, Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, and Gerald Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, to consider the ways digital media impact public life. Speakers agreed on the importance of being clear-eyed about the dual nature of digital technologies. While many assumed the disruptive effects of technology would favorably support civil society, they have often had the reverse effect. At a time when many are calling for change in the digital media ecosystem, all agreed philanthropy has an important role to play in supporting new experimental business models.
— Bridget Gallagher (@GallaGroupNYC) May 4, 2018
If you can make it trend, you can make it true. Once something goes viral, Media is caught in a double blind: they either cover it and give it attention, or don’t and it becomes a conspiracy. @tristanharris #futureofmedia #fakenews #GPF18
— Jess Fleuti (@jessfca) May 4, 2018
— kristen molyneaux (@k_molyneaux) May 4, 2018
Vulnerable populations are a direct result of conflict. Jane Wales, founder of the Global Philanthropy Forum, sat down with Deepmala Mahla, country director of Mercy Corps Iraq, and Franck Bousquet, senior director of the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group at the World Bank, to discuss the connection between conflict and poverty. Bousquet highlighted the importance of addressing the root causes of fragility and pointed out that it is not linked with income levels. “It’s not only an issue of financing, it’s about making sure funding is done in a resilient and inclusive way,” he said. Focusing on reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Mahla stated that rebuilding the social fabric and trust of society is just as important as physical reconstruction.
“When we engage in a fragile country, we are not going to just strengthen capacity of the state or look at specific sectors. We are looking to see where we can have the biggest impact.” – Sr. Director Franck Bousquet, @Deepmala_Mahla and @janewales discuss fragility at #GPF18 pic.twitter.com/1WDFWp2O6x
— WBG Dev For Peace (@WBG_Dev4Peace) May 4, 2018
— Connect4Climate (@Connect4Climate) May 4, 2018
“Aid works. But not with cookie cutter solutions. These are people with lives and emotions, it takes time.” @Deepmala_Mahla director of Mercy Corps Iraq speaking on reconstruction efforts in the country #gpf18
— Claire McMahon (@clairemcmahonn) May 4, 2018
Food insecurity and death from preventable disease continue to devastate fragile populations around the world. David Lobell, deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, Lustia Nkhoma, enterprise development officer at Clinton Development Initiative Malawi, Nithya Ramanathan, CEO and co-founder of Nexleaf Analytics and Anushka Ratnayake, founder of CEO of myAgro, spoke with Heather Kinlaw Lofthouse, director of special projects at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, about innovative ideas being developed to address these issues. Speakers highlighted the importance of information sharing, both in terms of bolstering local knowledge as well as in strengthening partnerships between different sectors.
Our CEO @NithyaRamanath1 is live onstage at the Global Philanthropy Forum, speaking with leaders from @myAgroFarms @ClintonFdn and @FoodSecurity_SU on how to take on global challenges in hunger and health with ingenuity. Watch here: https://t.co/WkH30IznQt #GPF18 #nobystanders pic.twitter.com/LYXNGPBGCr
— Nexleaf Analytics (@Nexleaf) May 4, 2018
I’m always inspired by the work @DavidBLobell, Lustia Nkhoma, @NithyaRamanath1, Anushka Ratnayake and Heather Kinlaw Lofthouse are doing to help the 11% of the population living #hungry. #GlobalHunger #GPF18
— Jane Wales (@janewales) May 4, 2018
A new trend for the private sector, a “CSR 2.0” is starting to emerge as private companies partner with nonprofits to develop social solutions for emerging economies, says Heather Lofthouse of @Blum_Center #GPF18 #nobystanders pic.twitter.com/aFh0o8ZvJF
— Natalie Evans (@TheNatEvans) May 4, 2018
The forum ended with remarks by Jane Wales, who reminded the audience that the overarching challenge is rebuilding trust through social capital and individual agency. Speakers throughout the past three days demonstrated how collaboration is the most effective tool to combat this distrust. The forum ended on an upbeat note with a capoeira performance, a Brazilian dance that embodies the principle of trust.
Encouraged by conversations today about how we shift philanthropy to solve complex, long-term problems. More than grants & deliverables, it’s essential to unlock full influence & expertise of donors so they drive policy/systems change for communities. Harder but smarter. #GPF18
— L Pace (@globalgamechngr) May 4, 2018
Thanks to #gpf18 for a terrific conference. Key takeaway from a panel on collaboration in global philanthropy-“you can accomplish big things when you give credit to someone else.” https://t.co/CK4E086pZU
— Varun Gauri (@varungauri) May 3, 2018
So many takeaways from #gpf18. Conversations on big bets, systems change, tech for good, etc. Grateful to have been a part of it. Journalists can’t be bystanders either if we want to make progress on goals like the #SDGs. Thanks to @gpforg & all who shared their time & ideas! pic.twitter.com/ubY5KbzRGq
— Catherine Cheney (@catherinecheney) May 5, 2018
Closing out #GPF18 with capoiera! No Bystanders! “Even the smallest thing knows it has a place to fit in. The meaning of life could be here or on the street.” Thank you @gpforg for another wonderful Forum! pic.twitter.com/geupQdrwE1
— Conveners.org (@theconveners) May 4, 2018