Lunch & Learn
Philanthropy for systems change

Lunch & Learn 52 🔹  Mardi 18 juin 2024

🇬🇧 Edition anglophone

Philanthropy for systems change: What foundations can do

For the past decade, we have witnessed a “systems turn” in the nonprofit sector. Informed by systems thinking, groups of nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and philanthropists have embraced an alternative way of tackling social and environmental challenges. The central idea here is to address the root causes of complex problems, not just symptoms. Instead of directly helping beneficiaries, “systems change” enthusiasts aim to map and shift the conditions holding these problems in place. To do so, they focus on an array of system elements that contribute to undesirable societal outcomes: unequal resource distribution; unjust rules, incentives, and policies; vertical power relations; entrenched routines, customs, and habits; deeply held values, norms, and mindsets. One important feature of this movement is a criticism of traditional funding practices imposed on “systems leaders,”  such as modest, restricted, one-year grants with excessive application and reporting requirements. Professional networks and advisors such as Ashoka, FSG, and New Philanthropy Capital have published guidelines to help grantmaking foundations support nonprofit organizations with a systems mindset. Yet we still know little about how foundation leaders think about systems change and how much they “walk the talk” and do systems change work with their grantees. This seminar builds upon recent academic research and concrete examples to discuss what foundations can do in this regard.

 Intervenantes :

🔹  Marya Besharov, Professor of Organisations and Impact, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; Academic Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

🔹  Silvia Steisel, Director Europe, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Former Managing Director (2014-2024), Degroof Petercam Foundation.

➡️ Biographies des intervenantes

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