September 2009

Discontinuous thinking for a crisis

Volume 14 , Number 3

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September 2009

Discontinuous thinking for a crisis

Volume 14 , Number 3

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Guest editor for this Alliance special feature is The Economist’s Matthew Bishop, who poses two vital questions: how has the world changed? And what are the new opportunities for philanthropy?

This special feature includes interviews with Sonal Shah of Obama’s new Office of Social Innovation and Civil Participation and Susan Bell of the Hewlett Foundation.  Both Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui in Mexico and Reuben Abraham in India argue for a new catalytic role for philanthropic capital. Peter Blom of Triodos Bank in the Netherlands says that it’s time to put sustainability before profits while Jordanian business entrepreneur Fadi Ghandour insists that the private sector must become a major pillar of development. Both Hadeel Ibrahim and Firoze Manji stress the need for Africans to take their future into their own hands. Finally, Katherine Fulton draws the threads together.

The September  issue of Alliance also includes: tracking the recession; an interview with EFC chair Emilio Rui Vilar; Filiz Bikmen on philanthropy’s Turkish models; Oxfam’s Duncan Green looking for the silver lining in the current recession; Jacob Harold on why regranting is smart and Barry Gaberman on ‘Obama mania’.

Special feature

Saying something different

1 September 2009
Matthew Bishop

‘Same old, same old’ – this was the phrase I could not get out of my head at this year’s Skoll World Forum at Oxford in March. The attendees at what Jeff Skoll calls the ‘Woodstock of social entrepreneurship’ were individually as mind-blowingly inspirational as ever, but somehow, for me, the whole amounted to less than the sum of the parts. So much talent was gathered, with so much potential to change the world. Yet …


A bad case of Obama mania?

How did it happen that this issue of Alliance has no less than three separate images of Barack Obama? Are we at Alliance suffering from a serious case of the Obama mania that Barry Gaberman cautions against in his column? I willingly admit to sharing in the general upsurge of hope that overtook much of the world when Obama was elected as president of the United States last November, but that is not the reason for the photos. For me what they represent is the ever-changing context in which philanthropy operates – and Obama himself is defining much of that …


Payout again: Mark Kramer and Tim Ogden respond to Barry Gaberman

Mark Kramer & Tim Ogden

I want to respond briefly to Barry Gaberman’s thoughtful analysis of the challenge of setting appropriate payout levels (Alliance, March …

In support of John Sommer

Carolyn Hayman

I very much enjoyed John Sommer’s article about building organizations rather than funding projects. This is very much the approach …

CEP responds to Aaron Dorfman

Phil Buchanan

I appreciate Aaron Dorfman’s kind words about the impact of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and the quality of …

Patient gardeners needed

Rayna Gavrilova

Pavol Demes’s comments on the ‘new local donor organizations that have evolved in Central and Eastern Europe’ (‘Then and now’, …

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