Climate change is an ‘everything’ problem – philanthropists can make it an ‘everyone’ solution

Posted on 5 October 2018 | Environment & sustainable developmentFoundations' operations

Ten years ago, Europe’s first philanthropic organisation devoted solely to cutting planet-warming emissions sprouted from the soil of my native Netherlands. Its successful growth in the years that followed has helped to define our times.

What does a mission-driven HR department look like?

Posted on 4 September 2018 | Diversity, migration & social inclusionFoundations' operations

At the Ford Foundation, we believe it’s important to model the kind of change we hope to see in the world. And so our efforts to disrupt inequality must start in our own organization. Our human resources department plays an important role in making sure that in every area—from grant making to administration, operations to the leadership level—the foundation is staffed by people who bring a diverse array of talents and experiences to their roles.

The Development Set and its role in perpetuating poverty

Posted on 30 August 2018 | DemocracyDiversity, migration & social inclusionFoundations' operationsGlobal challenges, peace-buildingHuman rights, citizenship & democracy

In 1976, an exasperated development worker, Ross Coggins, attending his umpteenth futile meeting to discuss poverty in a fine hotel, penned a poem entitled ‘The Development Set‘. Several years later I joined a leading charity, dutifully following their extensive orientation courses and briefings, talking theory ad nauseum. I cannot stress enough how the opening lines of Coggins’ poem resonated with me.

Can foundations contribute to social cohesion in Europe?

Posted on 9 July 2018 | Arts & cultureDemocracyDiversity, migration & social inclusion

I want to explore with you how foundations can contribute to the European agenda of democracy, diversity and social cohesion. What is the unique role that foundations can play in this context, do they actually play that role and what are the bottlenecks they have to face.

Helping amplify your work on diversity

Posted on 5 July 2018 | Diversity, migration & social inclusionEmploymentFoundations' operations

Writing about being a model or an exemplar is tricky. Neither the Trust as an organisation, nor I as its Chief Executive, are models. We are more straw effigies that are flawed and can be easily knocked down. That is not being falsely modest. I am proud of what we have achieved at the Trust in relation to diversity and moving the issue up the organisational agenda, be that in governance, management or operations; but we have much to learn and implement. It is a bit like getting older – the more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know!

Building a strong future for European science: Brexit and beyond

Posted on 11 June 2018 | Foundations' operationsResearch, science & technology

Decades of cooperation have made Europe a great place for research. But as science and politics change, we need to adapt to keep up. Europe must work together to secure our global scientific leadership. As Wellcome heard at our summit of European research leaders recently “research is the only way to maintain our standard of living”.

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