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”.

Working our way towards a Single Market for Philanthropy

Posted on 25 May 2018 | Foundations' operations

Growing nationalism and deepening populist sentiment across Europe make it all the more urgent to bolster our shared European values. Civil society, which includes philanthropy, is essential in this. But if civil society remains legally hemmed in by national borders, then it cannot work and interact on a level playing field with other sectors of European society. A Single Market for Philanthropy would ensure that the sector can realise its potential as a full partner in the vibrant, innovative and democratic European society that so many of us have long worked towards.

Give Chance a Chance – a Lottery Decides Which Daring Research Ideas Receive Funding

Posted on 18 May 2018 | Research, science & technology

When deciding on the eligibility of project applications, strict formal and technical specifications play a role, and the projects are also subjected to careful examination by experts. However, it is sometimes difficult for exceptionally creative research projects to survive this selection process because their full potential is not always perceived. In order to give such hidden pearls an equal chance, the Volkswagen Foundation is taking a new path.

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