Disrupt yourself! The path to a new era of Asian philanthropy

Laurence Lien

Asian philanthropy needs to make a quantum leap to fulfil its potential to create major social change

Since I started Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) eight years ago, I have been asked many times, what is Asian philanthropy, and how is it different? There is no simple answer to this, and to a large extent, we are still evolving the vision for how Asian philanthropy contributes to society.

The desire for a compelling vision comes from a heritage of Asian philanthropy that is long on generosity across generations while still short on positive societal impact. This is a promise that I believe philanthropy has the potential to fulfil.

The crises that we have to address are familiar – the climate emergency, the unprecedented learning loss among our young, the widening income and wealth inequities. The solutions to these challenges, however, cannot continue to be old, familiar methods, since these are not working.

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