“It was a joy [at] my first EDGE conference to find a community that ‘gets it’…has commitment and staying power to tackle the system as an orchestra—many instruments playing together, each its own sound.”
The 2015 Conference
April 8-10, 2015
This spring, 200+ foundation leaders and activists gathered in Baltimore for the 4th annual Just Giving conference. As always, we explored the farthest edges of philanthropy: where all our issues intersect, and where grassroots movements are the engines of the deeper, systemic transformations we seek.
Our world’s mounting social, economic, and ecological crises demand this courageous and radical work of us. We cannot make progress apart. Instead, we are called to collectively identify and align ourselves as funders and activists working toward a Just Transition that decommodifies nature, reimagines work, liberates knowledge, and democratizes wealth.
EDGE Funders is a place within philanthropy for an explicit journey of exploration of the deeper philosophical ideas that animate contemporary politics, economics and culture.
As we assess the current state of our world and consider together the elements that are essential to a ‘just transition’, and ultimately, a just economy, we are called to consider four goals: to decommodify nature, reimagine work, liberate knowledge and democratize wealth. These are interrelated, especially as they demand attention to the notion of enclosures – the private appropriation of resources previously held in common – and to the need for an alternative collaborative economy promoting the common good. We should consider:
- How are nature, work, knowledge and wealth being appropriated for private ends?
- How can such enclosures be resisted, and transcended?
- How are local, translocal and transnational movements engaging in this work?
- How can philanthropy support their efforts?
What People Said About Just Giving 2015
“I liked the mix of “big picture” ideas and analysis and the more grounded workshops and engagement labs”
“I most liked the practical examples from those doing philanthropy better.”
“This conference is for folks who have and are interested in a “systemic analysis.” Particularly the work of the grassroots.”
From the 2015 Conference Survey
“I am glad I attended, because what I learned and experienced at Just Giving 2015 will be useful to me in my work”
“Participation in Just Giving strengthened my view that progressive philanthropy should seek to address root causes of our social, ecological, and economic crises.”
Harriet Barlow, Blue Mountain Center/Donor Advisor
Nikhil Aziz, American Jewish World Service
- Aditi Vaidya, Solidago Foundation
- Akwasi Aidoo, Humanity United
- Tanya Dawkins, Trustee, CarEth Foundation
- Matthias Fiedler, Director, Bewegungsstiftung
- Cuong Hoang, Chorus Foundation
- Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities
- Heike Loeschmann, Boell Foundation
- Holly Bartling, General Service Foundation
- Laine Romero-Alston, Ford Foundation
- Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Sister Fund and Solidare
- Nicolas Krausz, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer/FPH
- Samantha Harvey, Overbrook Foundation
- Sarah Hobson, New Field Foundation
- Stuart Clarke, Towne Creek Foundation
- Sarah Mersha, Grassroots International