EFC Belfast conference highlights and lowlights

 

Charles Keidan

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Charles Keidan

Amidst the excitement of the EFC Belfast conference, here are some personal highlights and lowlights:

Highlights

  • Different Drums of Northern Ireland – a fusion of drums from across the sectarian divide electrifying the opening plenary.
  • Geraldine McAteer and Jackie Redpath speaking about the Shankill-Falls partnership during ‘The Troubles’.
  • Justice Albie Sachs’ plea for ‘soft vengeance’ for the crime committed against him – the creation of democracy, equality and the rule of law in South Africa.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust receiving the Raymond Georis Prize for its ground-breaking philanthropic work in supporting the most vulnerable, and in conflict resolution.
  • David Emerson, CEO of the Association of Charitable Foundations, dressed in black and showing us his (former) stage manager and pin point production at the plenaries.

Lowlights

  • The Belfast rain.
  • The tourism video apparently designed to entice us to the 2013 EFC conference in Copenhagen.
  • The mysterious late relocation of the Gates Foundation’s Ray Murphy Lecture from Queens University Belfast to the Hilton Hotel – my sympathies go to the unfortunate Director of Development at Queens.

I feel this was a landmark conference in the history of European foundations. Why? A longer, more reflective piece will follow tomorrow.

Charles Keidan is director of the Pears Foundation

Tagged in: EFC Conference Raymond Georis Prize


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