Milan, 20-22 May 2015

Brussels, 13 May 2015 – Just days after the opening of the World Expo 2015 in Milan, over 700 key figures from the world of philanthropy will convene at the European Foundation Centre’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Conference: “Philanthropy: Visions and Energy for Change” which takes place from 20-22 May 2015 in the Mico-Milano Congressi.

“Closely paralleling the EXPO theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, our conference will not only embrace the challenge of the sustainable development of our planet but will go beyond to also focus on youth driving change, government and corporate engagement for social equality and community resilience,” said Gerry Salole, Chief Executive, European Foundation Centre.
“As the world rallied round to provide immediate relief following the tragic effects of Nepal’s two devastating earthquakes yesterday and two weeks ago, helping to support community resilience and reconstruction is now crucial for rebuilding the country and its communities.  As foundations we have a critical role to play and our session ‘Community resilience in the context of emergencies’’ will help us focus on the priorities for Nepal by learning lessons from session speakers talking about their experiences in New Orleans, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Aceh, Indonesia.”

Keynote speakers at this year’s conference plenaries include Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace and the first African to head the organisation; Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund and an impassioned advocate for international human rights and environmental sustainability; Aristos Doxiadis, a Greek economist specialising on the institutional aspects of the present Greek economic crisis; Patrick Holden, founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust; and Camilla Toulmin, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development.

During the opening plenary, the EFC’s Compass prize, which pays tribute to the pioneers, navigators and visionaries that have broken the mould of European philanthropy, will be awarded to celebrate the exemplary work and contributions of an outstanding individual.  The Prize is awarded only in special circumstances rather than on a regular basis.

As well as the opportunity to hear a diverse array of experts in the field of philanthropy, the conference provides the chance to network with other philanthropy professionals and experience successful Italian philanthropy in action through several organised site visits, including Città Olinda, a collective venture that converted a former psychiatric hospital, Paolo Pini, into an integrated cultural space, and the Caritas shelter which was created to provide homeless people shelter for the night.