Philanthropy as a driver for sustainability: new approaches to social investments

DAY THREE, 10:00-11:30

The nascent charitable industry in Russia is facing great pressure from the markets: lack of funding after the financial melt-down and giving-unfriendly legal environment make its existence increasingly difficult. Many projects have been put on hold due to uncertainty and cash-strapped performance of almost all foundations. International environment provides a new setting: the world is rethinking the role of the philanthropy in the society. A broad response in the US to the Giving Pledge launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, a significant growth of charities in Europe and Asia – all this reinforces the emerging trend when philanthropy shows strong readiness to exert a greater impact on economy and social welfare. While financial capital has ceased to create any value-add itself and governments globally have to cut spending the charitable sector is well positioned to be instrumental in shaping a new post-industrial paradigm where transfer of social experience, cultural values and knowledge becomes critical. In this context philanthropy is poised to grow into one of the most effective instruments for unlocking economic and intellectual potential in Russia and all over the world.