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From the Arab Spring and the financial meltdown to weather extremes and civil conflict, we are experiencing rapid and sometimes wrenching change that no single sector can manage on its own. In an age when resource demand often outstrips supply, new actors and unexpected collaboration are ushering in the evolution of the social contract—the means by which societies allocate responsibility and resources for advancing the public good.

Watch the plenary addresses from the 2012 Global Philanthropy Forum Annual Conference, taking place in Washington, DC, April 16-18. The conference will explore new approaches to philanthropy that are challenging the status quo, lessons learned from the private sector, and how philanthropy can play a role in building good governance. The agenda will consider the evolving social contract in places like India, China, Brazil, Egypt, and the United States. Speakers ranging from former heads of state to comedians to social entrepreneurs will challenge attendees to think and act in new ways for social good.

Following are the sessions that steamed live on April 16-18, and that are now archived on the Global Philanthropy Forum website.

Monday, April 16

11:00am EDT: Welcome and Opening Plenary—Toward a New Social Contract: New Roles. New Responsibilities

Resource-strapped states unable to meet their citizens’ basic needs turn to the international community for help. Yet OECD states face both fiscal and political constraints, as their citizens’ increasingly challenge international aid budgets, no matter how modest. Going forward, when the demand for governmental resources outstrips supply, how can to the public, private, civic, and philanthropic sectors combine their resources and core competencies to provide the basic necessities of life? Each is part of a new social contract that recognizes that none of us is secure in an insecure world, none of us is healthy in an unhealthy world, and none of us can consistently prosper in a world that is not prosperous.

12:45pm EDT: Untethered Journalism: The Role for Independent Media

By bringing societal choices and governmental actions to light, a free press can provide the transparency needed for the parties to the social contract to hold themselves and others to account. Yet many governments seek to curb those freedoms either through outright censorship, or through more subtle measures that have a chilling effect on independent reporting. At the same time, advances in information technology have given birth to a new class of citizen journalists. But it has also enabled the narrowcasting of information that can distort the story, and contribute to polarization. Panelists will highlight the importance of accountability in our social contract, and the essential role the media plays.

4:00pm EDT: Innovation in Philanthropy

Transparency, accountability and competence are essential to governance. And each has shot to the top of the public agenda wherever citizens demand that government provide public goods both reliably and equitably. What are the new ways in which the philanthropic sector can play a transforming role in promoting good governance? How can we encourage, strengthen and fulfill this role for philanthropy?

7:00pm EDT: Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize Dinner

At $1.5 million, the Hilton Prize is the world’s largest humanitarian award. Inaugurated in 1996, the award is presented annually to a nonprofit organization judged to have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions in alleviating human suffering.

Tuesday, April 17

9:00am EDT: Not Your Parent’s Giving: Leveraging All Sectors for Change

Modern-day philanthropists are redefining the field to encompass all private means of financing positive social change. Panelists will include a corporate leader from Nigeria, a Member of Parliament from Singapore, and a philanthropist from Brazil with a family foundation—dynamic leaders solving problems and contributing to positive outcomes for the societies in which they live and far beyond. Whether it be to put their company to the service of social goals, to connect the public and civic sectors, or to devise a strategic grant-making program, these leaders for change are having a profound impact in new ways. In the process they are changing both the definition and the practice of philanthropy.

10:00am EDT: A Different Kind of ROI: The Role for Private Capital

Both private and philanthropic capital has a role to play in spurring economic activity in developing economies, and producing not only economic, but social and environmental benefit. Panelists will focus on the ways that private capital—including risk-loving capital—can be deployed. And they will explore the ways and which investment capital and philanthropic grants can be combined. Finally, speakers will consider whether and how transparency and accountability can be assured.

1:30pm EDT: Social Good: By All (Private) Means Necessary

The world of development finance offers real opportunities to leverage public, private and philanthropic capital in new as well as traditional ways. Over the past few years, private capital has been mobilized to address public goals in developing economies and emerging markets. Ms. Littlefield will discuss the ways in which the private sector is uniquely positioned to target and maximize growth in emerging markets, and consider how these efforts can be best complemented by public and social sector contributions within a coherent strategy.

As the cohort of actors pursuing social impact expands and diversifies, the role for private finance evolves along with it. Panelists will highlight new mechanisms for financing the social good as well as creative twists on the old, including “variable rate impact bonds” and pricing schemes that factor in the true cost of social impact. Panelists will discuss the importance of engaging stakeholders across sectors to shape giving and investing strategies, and the forms of catalytic investments necessary to help investees grow and succeed.

3:00pm EDT: From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing

Attracted by the prospect of achieving the combination of market-rate returns and social benefit, traditional investors have begun to respond to the emerging asset class of impact investments. While there is good reason for their growing interest in impact investing, the number of investment-ready social enterprises will be constrained so long as supporters and would-be investors stay on the sidelines until the enterprise is ready to scale. Philanthropic grants and patient capital are needed for the planning and proof of concept phases of enterprise development. How can philanthropists most effectively use their grant dollars to propel inclusive business models forward?

7:45pm EDT: Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project Winners

Vodafone Americas Foundation launched the Wireless Innovation Project in 2009 to make a global impact through innovative wireless solutions.  Applicants compete for first, second and third-place prizes worth $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000.  The mHealth Alliance Award winner will receive an additional prize package worth $50,000, which includes strategic and networking support from the mHealth Alliance.

8:00pm EDT: The New Egypt and the Core Responsibilities of Governance

The next generation of Egypt’s leaders will have the opportunity to build a new social contract, one which trusts and empowers the citizen, offers consistent services, advances equity and protects human rights. Panelists will discuss the arc of liberation in North Africa and the challenges ahead in a revolution that is not quite over. They will focus on the role of nongovernmental actors, including faith-based and other citizen organizations. And they will describe the societal stresses and strains as a new social contract is forged.

9:00pm EDT: A Talk by Bassem Youssef, Host, The Bassem Youssef Show

Bassem Youssef, a physician turned satirist has emerged as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Shocked by the state media’s inaccurate coverage of events in Tahrir Square, Dr. Youssef made his own videotaped report from the site of the demonstrations that toppled Egypt’s government. It went viral via YouTube and he has since been offered his own television show, where he applies his sardonic wit to the coverage and analysis of events that are changing the world. He will share his views with the Global Philanthropy Forum.

Wednesday, April 18

9:00am EDT: How to Do What We Do—Only Better: The Role for Evidence

What have we learned and how has that knowledge informed our strategy? Measurement and evaluation (M&E) are essential learning tools when it comes to setting and honing the strategy pursued by donors, lenders and service providers—be they intergovernmental organizations, international agencies or private foundations. We will hear from three leaders– the executive director of UNICEF, the managing director of the World Bank, and the president of the Ford Foundation—who will describe the ways in which evidence has led to changes in their organization’s strategy. While M&E is an essential learning tool for grantor and grantee—in a new social contract there is a wider community to serve. M&E can also to contribute to field-wide learning. And so speakers will use the GPF as a means for sharing the knowledge gained. And they will reflect on the role for evidence in enhancing the contributions of each sector to the social contract.

10:45am EDT: Scaling Solutions in Global Health Delivery

Despite significant advances in health research and unprecedented levels of funding, much of the world still lacks the ability to effectively and efficiently bring health care to those who need it most. Why is this the case? What are the main bottlenecks?
Speakers will discuss the most promising interventions for health care delivery globally, and will highlight much-needed incentives across sectors to take health care interventions the last mile. Opportunities to leverage giving and for collaboration across sectors will be emphasized.

1:30pm EDT: Closing Plenary—Global Governance

1:30pm EDT: When States Fail to Protect

Individuals face mortal peril when the state they inhabit collapses into chaos or violent conflict. The loss of human life can be attributed not only to the violence that ensues but also to the widespread deprivation that results. In an important move forward, the international community embraced the norm of the “Responsibility to Protect,” which asserts that states are required to protect their citizens from mass atrocities. However, the international community is loath to intervene when states fail to meet this most basic obligation. They rely instead on UN agencies that provide relief as well as policing when possible. Working alongside these agencies are nongovernmental organizations, which offer traditional relief—shelter, food, water, health care—as well as assistance in mediating an end to the conflict and creating mechanisms for post-conflict reconciliation. They in turn rely on the support of donors, ranging from individual governments, to large staffed foundations to individuals responding to an appeal. Our speaker is one of those individuals. She has traveled the globe to help those who fall victim to civil conflict and state collapse. At home she is a voice for post-conflict de-mining so that future generations do not fall victim to the detritus of yesterday’s wars.

2:00pm EDT: The Case of Climate Change

At a time of fast-paced change, the demand for global governance outstrips the supply. No issue better illustrates this disparity than that of climate change. Many far-sighted commercial actors have altered their practices, reducing their carbon footprint and investing in technologies designed to prevent climate change or mitigate its effects. Concerned individuals have made energy-conscious choices both as citizens and consumers. National governments and regional organizations have advanced policies pricing carbon and regulating energy use. But—in the face of the existential threat that climate change can pose—a global agreement continues to elude us. Conferees will hear from an international leader committed to closing the gap between governance demand and supply.

2:30pm EDT: Conference Adjourns