The quest for collaboration in Asia

Andrew Milner

The potential advantages of far-reaching collaboration underpinned AVPN’s conference in Singapore. But it is a virtue more often preached than practised.

Underlying all the themes at the recent AVPN conference in Singapore was the idea of partnership and collaboration. It was almost a leitmotif of the whole proceedings and was present by implication in the conference’s overall aim – breaking the boundaries between social and more mainstream finance and encouraging cooperation along what AVPN calls the continuum of capital in pursuit of social goals. What the conference also showed, however, is that collaboration is a virtue more often preached than practised. Yet, the advantages appear self-evident – greater concentration of funding on key areas, a greater pool of expertise and experience to draw on.

Among the conference speakers who played on the collaboration theme were Singapore’s minister for environment and water resources, Amy Khor, who stressed that to mitigate the effects of climate change, government ‘can’t do it alone’, and Eileen Rockefeller Growald who noted that her family’s philanthropic strategy has always been about partnership.

Complex problems can be solved only by cross-sector coalitions that engage those outside the non-profit sector.

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