Is the New Philanthropy Wise?
She says these are times where "our perceptions lag our reality" -- a "mixing up moment" full of rapid change, ambiguity, and new convergences. What's needed, she says, are entrepreneurial, cross-sector approaches to solving problems. One line in particular I liked is that "We are not just thinking our way into a new way of acting, we are acting our way into a new way of thinking."
At the end of her talk she says the question that has been bothering her for a while is "Will the new (venture) philanthropy be wise?" She thinks wisdom is scarce right now and wonders whether new philanthropy with its emphasis on business plans, benchmarks, evaluation models, etc. would fund something like the Civil Rights Movement today. It's a good question.
She cites those who did fund Civil Right initiatives back then as being funders who evidenced the qualities she associates with great philanthropy: risk-taking, empathy, stamina, and humility. Not a bad list. And a good signpost for philanthropy as it moves in new directions.