Can philanthropy recognize and address the systemic nature of the multifaceted crises we face? Can those of us working within a field that exists because of a concentration of wealth and power use our resources to support structural reforms that can lead to deep democracy, a sustainable future and economic justice for all?
Some 250 donors, funders and civil society allies came together at EDGE Funders Alliance’s annual conference in April to address these questions, deepen our collective understanding of the interconnected nature of today’s challenges, and lift up emerging intersectional strategies for social and economic transformation. In place of traditional workshops we convened daily within seven thematic ‘Engagement Labs’, allowing for deeper conversations and opportunities to share information, insights and strategies across the funder/grantee divide. Together we asked what long-term systemic change looks like within our collective areas of interest, and what key insights, recommendations and new institutional and individual practice we want to take forward within our wider communities.
These efforts, framed as a transition from an ‘extractive’ to a more social, living economy, will continue, as collectively we work to encourage and strengthen donor initiatives, affinity groups and collaboratives moving resources to deep, long-term structural change.
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