The area our Foundation operates within was once a hive of economic, social and cultural innovation. … Now Ivrea is in a state of complete decadence, but has no awareness of it. In order to mobilise the residual resources in our community, we need to open the doors of our town and let some fresh air in and this Program might just be what we need.
The worlds of international cooperation and local community development have been at odds for many years. ... The dissonance ultimately lies in the manner [in which] each side approaches the idea of development. ... It is time to move beyond the banality of the aid effectiveness debate to finding local solutions to local problems and how these problems and solutions are taking on a transnational character.
Governments, civil society and philanthropic foundations globally are all increasingly seeking closer engagement with grassroots in evaluating their impact and reach, in considering strategy, and sometimes in making decisions. This is because it is generally agree[d] that lived experience informs problem analysis and solution approaches.
I have met people whose selflessness in the face of both poverty and great wealth have shown me that philanthropy is not about what’s in the pocket but about changing the lives of others in one small act of kindness at a time. Their generosity, self-reliance and social responsibility despite their circumstances are the one constant that changed how I envisioned my career path in international development.
Never in the 28 years since Poland regained independence has philanthropy been so relevant. This is a pivotal moment for the future of many worthy social initiatives, including community foundations, which will depend on the development of philanthropy and of corporate giving in particular.