Imagining and Investing in our Future

Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam
26-28 May 2016

Taking place during the Netherlands’ Presidency of the EU, our 27th Annual General Assembly and Conference will convene more than 750 philanthropic leaders and representatives from INGOs, academia and policymakers in Amsterdam in May. The conference will engage a diverse array of philanthropic actors to find solutions to the most urgent issues – including the refugee crisis – within Europe and around the world. In particular, delegates will get to grips with how inequality is in many ways the key challenge when ‘imagining our future’ and how it undermines our responses to the other global challenges we face. We are looking forward to an exciting conference packed with visionary plenaries, hands-on parallel sessions , site visits and evening events.


Plenary sessions:

Thursday 26 May
Opening Plenary: The refugee crisis – alleviating today’s needs while developing tomorrow’s solutions

Welcome address: Kajsa Ollongren, Deputy Mayor and Alderman to the City of Amsterdam

Conversation: Kristalina Georgieva – Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, European Commission; and Peter Bouckaert – Emergencies Director, Human Rights Watch

Moderator: Jo Andrews

Performances by Kinan Azmeh and Eric Vloeimans

Friday 27 May

Plenary session: Foundation innovation – developing new capabilities to respond to new challenges
Keynote: HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

Conversation: Geoff Mulgan CBE – Chief Executive, Nesta; and Ruby Johnson – Co-Director, FRIDA

Moderator: Jo Andrews

Performance by PIPS:lab

Saturday 28 May
Closing plenary: The changing economy – new opportunities to cooperate and contribute

Debate: Peter Bakker – President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Teresa Ribera – Director, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)

Moderator: Marcia Luyten


Philanthropic actors must actively engage with other sectors in the imagination of the future to find new ways to invest in effective and innovative solutions to social issues. The 2016 EFC AGA and Conference will therefore focus on exploring the following sub-themes:

1) Responsibilities
Imagining the future requires a keen eye on the evolution of social issues and a careful consideration of philanthropy’s potential role in addressing them. We are faced with urgent themes such as mass migration, food and nutrition security and climate change, within all-embracing concepts of intergenerational solidarity and justice. How can philanthropy stage an effective dialogue with society clarifying expectations and boundaries to make the right choices?

2) Opportunities
In response to emerging challenges boundaries between civil society, government and corporate sectors are shifting. New actors and partnerships committed to finding shared solutions present themselves, as well as alternative funding mechanisms. Phenomena like the participatory society, social entrepreneurship and the sharing economy take shape. What partnerships, technologies, methods and tools are most apt to broaden philanthropy’s scope and raise its effectiveness?

3) Skills
Operating in ever evolving landscapes foundations continuously strive to become more responsive, professional and adaptive organisations. Leaders and staff must push themselves to acquire or engage additional competences and foster an open attitude towards issues such as evaluation, accountability and transparency. What may serve philanthropy to substantially improve capacity in areas such as innovation, repositioning, talent development and organisational change?

Please note that grantseeking is strictly prohibited at the conference