1350 words and nine concrete actions for a better future for foundations


Liisa Suvikumpu


The way I take notes is deeply rooted. Therefore, in busy group work situations, I get anxious when I can’t tap all my thoughts on the computer. What happened in Madrid, however, was remarkable: although my computer was mostly closed, a file named ‘Notes PEXforum2020’ appeared on the screen.

There is a sense of enthusiasm and haste in the notes. The document contains 1350 words of keywords, quotes and long excerpts from presentations. There are five pages in total and each is filled with hope for a better future. Better for foundations and better for my job. The first page is the best: it is filled with nine bullet points, which are pure concreteness. Nine good or great things I can implement in my work whenever!

Gathering energy, creativity and new impetus for the development of European foundations is the result of two days of discussion, brainstorming, presentations and planning by 120 participants. The first PEXForum ever featured effectively facilitated sessions in Madrid where no aspect of the foundation’s work was left unaddressed. At least it felt like it.

Now only thing I miss is an empty week in my schedules so that I could digest everything I’ve heard and experienced. That’s probably the biggest problem with the forum – almost too many good ideas.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that #PEXForum2020 was the best foundation conference which I have ever participated in. I’ve been in the field for 20 years, so that says a lot.

Thus, save the end of January 2021 in your calendars and buy your train tickets to Istanbul. Train tickets? Naturally we are coming by train because by then we all should have signed the Funder Commitment on Climate Change!

Oh, and what were those nine action points I picked up? They are my brain food – you can come to Istanbul and pick your own!

Liisa Suvikumpu is CEO of Association of Finnish Foundations

Tagged in: Next Philanthropy

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