During the sixth annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy, two new important initiatives were announced.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has made a commitment of $150 million in a joint effort with Johns Hopkins University to forge new ways to address the current global deterioration of civic engagement worldwide, and facilitate the restoration of open and inclusive discourse that is the cornerstone of healthy democracies. The gift establishes the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, as an academic and public forum bringing together experts from fields such as political science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, ethics, sociology, and history to examine the dynamics of societal, cultural and political polarisation and develop ways to improve decision-making and civic discourse. They will also design and test mechanisms for strengthening democracy through dialogue and social engagement, and bring together experts expressing different perspectives to explore new approaches to divisive issues. Additional information about the SNF Agora Institute is available here.
In addition, the SNF also announced the details of a collaboration with the FC Barcelona Foundation to implement FC Barcelona Foundation’s FutbolNet methodology programs that aim to help refugee children and teenagers by preventing conflict and encouraging social inclusion and integration in hosting communities. SNF’s support will allow the FC Barcelona Foundation to help children in refugee camps in Europe and the Middle East. More than 3,000 children in Greece, Italy and Lebanon will be the direct beneficiaries of the FC Barcelona Foundation’s refugee program. Additional information about the collaboration with the FC Barcelona Foundation is available here