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Session reporter: Victor Kuo
Summary of the content of the session:
Lien Centre for Social Innovation (Tan Chi Chua)
AVPN’s second annual conference is one of the major catalyst in the regions
The intersection between venture philanthropy and the Lien Centre is about powerful
collaboration for social change. New technologies and ways of doing things have advanced
change. The Lien Centre wants to facilitate the two-way flow between this region and the
Private philanthropy can act as risk capital for society, because philanthropists can
experiment, can embrace long time horizons, and can afford to fail; venture philanthropy
embraces this approach to risk
Since last year’s conference, we have completed “Levers for Change” which examines
philanthropy in South East Asian countries. A key recommendation is to grow the sector. We
are completing a study on venture philanthropy and impact investment with support from
the Rockefeller Foundation.
Regionally, given the historic diversity and different manners and stages of development,
the main commonality is the social deficit in the region. There have been years of economic
growth, by global standards, but there is an uneven distribution. Weak social safety nets
have left many vulnerable. A rising tide cannot lift boats that are submerged. There is more
inequality and social tensions are rising. These gaps leave those in the margins behind.
Traditional philanthropy has helped plug some gaps but doesn’t address the underlying
issues of these problems. South East Asia needs new solutions for these problems.
Last year, we sensed a huge momentum, and this year, we have taken a step forward.
AVPN (Douglas Miller)
Networking, Knowledge Sharing, and Inspiration were the key themes last year.
Three words frame this year’s conference: Can’t, Urgent, and System Change.
“Can’t” should spark the idea of opportunity. It’s an opportunity to do something different,
to build coalitions.
“Urgent.” The social issues, like education and the environment, affect millions of people
EVPA and AVPN have a total of 340 members from an initial 15. They’re spread across 40
countries. We’re just scratching the surface. We’re broad but not deep. We should be aiming
for 5,000 members. Urgent means beginning now.
“Systems change.” Individual projects we do are commendable, but they’re just pilots, and
you have to move to systems change. To do so requires considering the means of
philanthropy, how people approach philanthropy, and how philanthropy can replicate scale.
A tri-sector engagement requires private, social, and government sectors coming together.
It’s only possible if you engage government. You have to engage at the city and national
levels. They set policy and have more money.
Feedback/Take-Aways for the AVPN:
Can’t, Urgency, and Systems Change are the key themes for the second annual AVPN
Private philanthropy can serve as risk-capital for social change. Partnering across sectors:
private, government, and business is the only way to achieve large scale social change.