Impact First: Highlights from Dasra Philanthropy Week 2018

 

Evans Rebello

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It’s been Dasra’s most ambitious Dasra Philanthropy Week so far, we undertook a bold initiative to take collaboration in India to the next level.

To unleash the power of collaborative action we aimed to bring visionary leaders on a single stage to collectively find high-impact solutions for India’s complex social problems. The efforts, we feel, have met with unprecedented success.

The Dasra Philanthropy Week, now in its 9th year, is an annual event that brings together philanthropists, NGOs, government, foundations, corporates, and development sector experts to discuss India’s critical development challenges, share learnings, and foster collaboration to accelerate social change.

At the Collaborative Action Forum, we got together 70+ multi-stakeholders, including the government, individual philanthropists, bilateral and multilateral agencies, non-profits and foundations to foster collaborative actions on key social issues from improving water and sanitation, to strengthening systems for democracy and governance, to improving the lives of vulnerable adolescents.

Later on in the week, at the Dasra Social Impact Forum, we saw over 150 leading social entrepreneurs learn from their peers, prepare for the rise of an Indian philanthropic movement and advance the conversation on collaborative action.

Lastly, at The Dasra Philanthropy Forum, was dedicated exclusively to philanthropists, both families and corporates, and aimed to expand and strengthen the philanthropic community in India through sharing of experiences, knowledge, as well as trends in philanthropy. Dasra launched ‘ImpactFirst, an initiative to enable adoption of a mindset that puts actual lives at the forefront of philanthropic work, and jointly invest in solutions that work. ImpactFirst aims to inspire accountability and foster convergence between key stakeholders, towards achieving measurable outcomes such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

What does it mean to be ImpactFirst?
1. Putting actual lives at the forefront of conversations, strategy, planning, action and collaboration
2. Being problem solvers, data analysts and agents of change
3. Defining exactly what problem one wants to solve, and mapping out how you will go about solving it
4. Willingness to be a first mover in areas that may be considered risky or challenging and looking for new approaches to old problems
5. Holding oneself accountable to high standards of measuring effectiveness and success
6. Realizing that changing lives is a long-term investment
7. It implies urgency to be catalytic in one’s approach to funding, programming and strategy

The conversations about the complexity of philanthropy have been mature, intelligent, grounded and passionate. They dream of an India where every individual has the opportunity to realize their potential. It is the empathy and powerful intent of each of the stakeholders that will together drive us to transform lives. The seriousness, scale and complexity of India’s problems – from rising inequality to climate change – call for collaborative action and to invest in outcome-led solutions to transform lives.

Evans Rebello is the Communications Team Lead at Dasra


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