European Philanthropy Learning Initiative: Discovering Philanthropy, Discovering America

In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, the role of national governments as societal standard-bearers is changing, and civil society is both threatened by illiberalism and empowered to drive the changes essential to ensuring an equitable and sustainable future. Philanthropy and civic engagement have a fundamental role in ensuring the essential freedoms of citizens.

The Discovering Philanthropy, Discovering America initiative was launched by the European Philanthropy Learning Initiative to explore an essential question, central to philanthropy – who is the steward of the common good?

Bruce Sievers from Stanford PACS (Philanthropy and Civil Society centre) at the Discovering Philanthropy, Discovering America lecture series for the French philanthropy community and Sciences Po students hosted by Sciences Po and the Centre Français des Fondations, a complementary activity to the course lectures part of the initiative.

The first phase of the initiative is a Master level course at Sciences Po and a complementary lecture series with the Centre Français des Fondations, featuring US and European experts, intended to become a research and learning/teaching curriculum and dialogue involving US and European universities, academics and experts.

The objectives of the courses, research and dialogue are to explore this issue through a multi-disciplinary approach to the role of philanthropy and civic engagement in the US and Europe and how it can be a catalyst for strengthening civil society and democracy for the future.

The current initiative began in 2009, with the founding of the European Philanthropy Learning Initiative by European foundations through NEF to promote research and learning in the European philanthropy sector.

The first phase of the initiative is funded by US foundations with European foundations joining in its second phase in the autumn of 2017.

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