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Human-kind: How the better angels of our nature can drive philanthropy

Carol Tan July 13, 2022

In a capital-constrained world, governments are turning to philanthropists for help with financing public goods to drive equitable growth, fight climate change, alleviate poverty etc. While social innovation should already be mission-driven, we are in a moment when it is particularly important that philanthropists and the like heed their better angels and make good decisions to deploy limited capital.

For years, we have talked about capacity building, collaboration, empowerment, inclusion etc. – all critical elements for lasting impact. Yet, the conditions that set the stage for making the ‘right’ decisions remain hazy. More than we’d like to admit, we in social impact sometimes sacrifice the movement to meet the moment – wanting to collaborate and be patient, yet often falling short in the attempt. On the flip side, we might mull over opportunities too long and fail to meet immediate, tangible needs. Still, we believe that altruism and a desire for the common good runs through the heart of all – that’s why we’re called “human-kind”.

While recognizing the historical shortcomings of philanthropy, this session looks to empower those who seek to move the field in a better direction. As such, we will need help from the community to do so. Therefore, this session will workshop what effective philanthropy and investing in impact with integrity could look like as we examine different models of philanthropy in hopes that they may offer examples of positive deviance. We would ask difficult questions: How do we balance collaboration with claiming credit? How can evaluation overcome fears of accountability to further inspire transparency? What is the role of feedback in contributing to a new social contract between government, business, civil society, and individuals?

Ultimately, how could we ensure that our decisions stem from our better angels?



Meta Themes

  • Accountability

  • Power and Capital

  • Reimagine Systems


Philanthropy, Asia, Evaluation, Impact Management

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Inspire better angels-driven philanthropy, gather new-found collective wisdom and build habits of collaboration


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Government

  • Service Providers


  • NameLaurence Lien
  • TitleCEO
  • OrganizationAsia Philanthropy Circle
  • StatusInvited
  • NameVeronica Olazabal
  • TitleChief Impact and Evaluation Officer
  • OrganizationBHP Billiton Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameCarol Tan
  • TitleDirector, Policy & Coalition
  • OrganizationThe Rockefeller Foundation
  • StatusConfirmed
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