‘Giving for Sustainable Change’, held on 1 and 2 April in Seattle, Washington, USA, was the second gathering of a new community of global donors – Pacific Northwest Global Donors. The conference was attended by over 180 donors, encompassing representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Affairs Council, the Channel Foundation, the Seattle Foundation, the Seattle International Foundation and the Washington Women’s Foundation, to name a few, plus family foundations, members of the giving circle Pangea, and individual donors.
The conference provided insights and education on many of today’s significant global issues including agriculture, climate justice, human rights and technology. The opening plenary, entitled ‘How Does Climate Change Affect Donor Strategies’, looked at the impact of global climate change on international development, including issues of human rights, public health, agriculture and food security. Speakers all expressed concern about the lack of real actionable outcomes at the Conference of Parties in Cancun last autumn. Howard Frumkin of the University of Washington discussed the glaring effects of climate change on health and emphasized the importance of communications and messaging given that global warming was ranked second from the bottom of their list of key priorities in a recent poll of American citizens.