Letter from the co-chairs – Just Giving 2017
Dear friends around the globe,
Do you also have the feeling that the fundamentals of our world are shaking? That unexpected news too often shakes our day and our agenda, leaving us searching within the torrent of opinions and analysis on social media to make sense of yet another shocking event, which, after all, was kind of expected?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like disillusioned voters slapping the face of mainstream elites, the intentional destruction by desperate madmen or the abuse of mother earth will stop tomorrow. We must connect the dots to understand how the social, political and environmental distortions that shake our home – this planet – are symptoms of the same exploitative logic that is inherent to the system we are living in.
We have to re/organise power for systems change – the theme of our conference this year.
That’s what we will attempt at the next Just Giving Philanthropy conference, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from 25 to 28 April, and which we have the honour to chair. Two hundred funders and movement partners will come together to analyze the political context, sharpen our strategies to respond to the global challenges of our time. We will seek to better understand the implications and solutions around racialized, right wing populism, unprecedented global migration, climate disruption, work and labor rights across borders, gender justice and feminism and more.
The conference will be organised around three thematic areas:
- People power (how can we reenvision and reclaim democracy?)
- Systemic alternatives (how can we “build the new”?)
- Progressive philanthropy (how can foundations support – and be part of – the change?)
EDGE’s annual event, being held for the first time in Europe, is our conference: It will be an opportunity for us to learn more, collaborate more and engage more, to ask the questions we are grappling with, and to meet new colleagues from other parts of the world. We will be inspired by social movement leaders and learn about their victories, challenges and movement building strategies, and explore how funders can provide better support and solidarity to the social movements and frontline communities around the world.
But we need all of us – including you – to make this happen.
In order to build our future in the cold fog of these dark times we need our collective thinking and our collaborative energy. No one has all the answers, but with your session ideas, together, we will generate insights, questions, strategies for action and hope.
Looking forward to receiving your ideas, and see you in Barcelona!
In solidarity, determination and hope,
Donal Mac Fhearraigh, Open Society Initiative for Europe
On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee