The second visit was to Barcelona, the venue for the Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) Forum (30 May – 1 June). This event brought together 750 Philanthropists, Foundations and NGOs for the first time, with a theme of “Philanthropy United – The Time is Now”.
Ripple Effect’s Trusts & Foundations Manager, Richard Napper attended and found it encouraging to see that many foundations can and want to do more. This has never been more important; the challenges facing our society and planet mean we must collaborate in ways we’ve never done before.
The interconnected relationships between food security, climate, health, human rights, conflict, democracy and equality – areas where we are facing our biggest challenges as a global society – emerged as the main thread running through the conference. And at this time of reduced institutional funding support, particularly here in the UK, interconnecting the areas in which philanthropy works is critical to finding successful solutions to today’s challenges – and the need for continued multi-stakeholder partnerships to make this happen.
Very understandably, a key focus for philanthropic support at the Forum was for Ukraine, but also how this conflict is a challenge for all of Europe and the entire world order. There was a deeply moving presentation, expressing both hope and resilience, by two CEOs of organisations working to support internally displaced people in Ukraine. Eugenia and Inna had travelled over thirty hours from Kyiv to be at the Forum, and gained huge support from the delegates.
A second key focus, more directly relevant to Ripple Effect, was climate and health, and how can philanthropy best help mitigate challenges such as the climate emergency, food security and global health which are so intrinsically linked.
One of the related breakout sessions was hosted by Beltina Iseli, Programme Director for Welthungerhilfe, which triggered passionate discussions around enabling communities themselves lead to a sustainable climate resilient future and how can philanthropy contribute to building resilience in the face of aggravated inequalities in the context of Covid-19 and more recently the war in Ukraine?
A truly uplifting and hopeful session was led by Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Movement and author of ‘From What Is to What If’. As a champion of the collective imagination, Rob facilitated an exploration of how we might rebuild our shared imagination and why it is so vital that we do so.