In a conflicted Europe, EFC conference to shine light on solidarity


Alliance magazine


Europe is currently experiencing a time of great uncertainty. Democracy is under threaten in multiple countries, particularly Poland and Hungary. In an attempt to navigate this uncertainty, the European Foundation Centre (EFC), an international membership association of foundations and corporate funders, will bring together more than 500 philanthropic leaders and representatives from foundations, non-profits, academia and policy-makers in Warsaw for its 28th Annual General Assembly. The conference – titled ‘Courage to re-embrace solidarity – Can philanthropy take the lead?’ – will be held from 31 May until 2 June.

According to the chair of EFC, Ewa Kulik-Bielinska, ‘We chose the theme of solidarity because we feel that the multiple challenges and problems we are facing today – climate change and migration, growing inequalities, poverty and discrimination and the ambivalent role of new technology and social media – require us to go to the heart of the problems and search for solutions rooted in basic human solidarity.’

Throughout Europe and the world, fundamental values of democracy are currently being questioned. It is the obligation of philanthropists, who work for the wellbeing and progress of society, said Kulik-Bielinska, to stand together in solidarity and strengthen democracy, civil societies and social justice.

The three-day conference will serve as a platform for participants and speakers to learn from each other and exchange ideas concerning some of the biggest challenges of institutional philanthropy today. Professor Jerzy Buzek, the prior Prime Minister of Poland (1997-2001) and President of the European Parliament (2009-2012), as well as a solidarity activist in the 1980s, will open the conference with questions about solidarity and philanthropy’s role in solving the complex and shifting challenges Europe is facing.

The conference will include speeches, discussions, interactive workshops, themed site visits and debates confronting the many facets of solidarity and how it can be achieved.

For more information, see here.

For more on solidarity, listen to our Alliance Audio podcast: Solidarity & Philanthropy.

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