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The Bellagio Initiative Daily Report: More Questions than Answers

So do we have all the answers after two weeks of great brainstorming, talks and networking? Hardly. But that was never the point. This two-week Bellagio Initiative Summit set an ambitious agenda for itself to discuss the future of philanthropy and development in this fast-changing world. It ended with everyone vowing to continue the work that had started. The summit brought together world’s leading thinkers, activists and development workers from the field of philanthropy and international development as the role of philanthropy is becoming very important in international development.

In the concluding day, the themes that resonated across different meeting rooms continuously were trust and risk. The day started with three breakout sessions on Trust, Finance and Risk. You cannot solve social issues if you are not innovative and willing to take risks. But how much risk is allowed by philanthropic organisations which fund some of these initiatives? How would one get the financing when increasingly the funding market is getting  tighter? As the funds get tighter, trust and confidence among partners become a key challenge. How can that be enhanced? All of the three groups reported an array of solutions ranging from new opportunities through connectivity, improved communication, diaspora philanthropy, changing of ‘the  matrix’ before making a grant etc. The solutions were wide and varied. But did they go deep enough?

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Sponsored by the Institue of Development Studies, The Resource Alliance, and the Rockefeller Foundation.