Weekly podcasts on philanthropy, sustainability and social entrepreneurship, hosted by Alberto Lidji, former Global CEO of the Novak Djokovic Foundation. Insightful interviews with the leaders who are achieving remarkable change. Be inspired!
Philanthropists Laurence Lien, Kathlyn Tan and Dominic Scriven are all collaborating on the launch of Asia Philanthropy Circle’s new Climate Collective, which is launching now!
Asia Philanthropy Circle’s (APC) new climate collective is launching now and we hear from three philanthropists who have very different experiences and expertise — from long track-records to NextGen perspectives — who share a passion for tackling the climate crisis.
APC is about learning, exchanging ideas and collaborating. It’s about taking joint action to do more and to do better. Climate is one of their key philanthropic areas of interest; others include education, healthcare, the ageing population and mental health. By working together they can drive philanthropy on climate and have more impact. Only 2% of global philanthropy goes towards climate.
Kathlyn Tan is a next generation philanthropist and leads the environmental portfolio of her family’s philanthropy, the Rumah Foundation, in Singapore. They do impact investing, philanthropy and are also looking at how best to integrate ESG in their business interests. Kathlyn’s passion stems from the ocean and her love of diving and marine life. She’s very excited about the climate collective and it is inspiring to see more philanthropists tackling this vital issue.
Laurence Lien launched APC six years ago and is also Chairman of Lien Foundation, a family foundation established in 1980. He notes that climate is a problem too big for any single one of us to tackle alone. Importantly, we need to dispel the notion that there’s not much that philanthropy can do about the climate crisis. Laurence is keen on this partnership because the scale of the problem is just so big. The new APC Climate Collective is just a starting point — this is not just about collaboration with each other but also about collaboration with other global funders.
Dominic Scriven has been living in Vietnam for 30 years; he’s originally from the UK. He has been running Dragon Capital, a financial institution with a focus in Vietnam, for most of that time. Dominic cares deeply about the broader climate crisis and he notes that Vietnam is a victim of climate change. He’s keen to see how developing countries can deal with the climate crisis and this is very much front and centre in his thinking, both personally and in his business. Dominic is particularly interested in biodiversity economics and is focusing much of his philanthropic efforts on creating metrics to measure biodiversity improvement and degradation.
There are eight APC members joining together initially to launch this new climate collective, along with a full-time member of staff from APC to help co-ordinate this initiative. They’re approaching this with an open mind and appreciation of the many opportunities for working together and collaborating.
Visit The Do One Better Podcast website at Lidji.org for information on close to 150 other interviews with remarkable thought leaders. Please leave us a review if you enjoy the show -- thank you.
John Rendel of the Peter Cundill Foundation joins Alberto Lidji to talk about trust-based philanthropy and the value of long-term, unrestricted funding provided by grant-makers
A strong case is made by John Rendel in support of unrestricted funding, encouraging grant-makers to embrace this approach to giving and calling on recipient organisations to fight for the cause of unrestricted funding as well.
John’s advice is that if you, as a grant-maker, don’t trust the organisation you’re supporting, then don’t trust a restricted grant to that organisation. And, if you do trust them, then give them unrestricted funding.
We need to build the understanding of how restricted grants undermine impact and reduce the efficacy of the organisations grant-makers are trying to empower.
While the philanthropy sector has seen a move towards more unrestricted funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peter Cundill Foundation has been arguing for this approach since before the pandemic was a fact of life.
The Peter Cundill Foundation grants out around USD $9 million annually. They are based in Bermuda and operate internationally, including in the UK, Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa. They do much of their funding in support of charities that are improving the lives of children around the world.
Please subscribe, share and leave us a review if you enjoy the show. For more information on more than 100 interviews with remarkable thought leaders, visit The Do One Better Podcast website at Lidji.org
Stefan Flothmann, Global Director of Mindworks — the cognitive science lab of Greenpeace — joins Alberto Lidji to discuss the use of neuroscience + behavioural science to make campaigns more effective
Learn what one of the world’s great campaigning organisations is doing to engage with its audiences more effectively, in a manner that is inclusive and empowering.
Stefan has been with Greenpeace since 1993 and has been driving Mindworks over the past few years. He describes Mindworks as a bit of a garage project within Greenpeace, with freedom to innovate and create new ways of working.
At Mindworks, they dig into the latest cognitive science and social psychology to develop new ways and tools to engage people, to do audience research and to shift mindsets that, in turn, help to transform systems.
Their latest project is called ‘The Disrupted Mind’, which they started in response to COVID-19 and it aims to find out what opportunities can arise from a crisis; looking at how to change mindsets and explore how a given crisis can be used to drive positive change.
Insight coming out of this research shows that crises are actually a good time to change mindsets. In normal life, most people have quite a fixed world view; people don’t like surprises and don’t much like to go outside old habits.
When a crisis hits, however, most people are thrown into a state of disorientation and their world view can crumble. It is at this point where one can intervene and say to those who have been impacted: What about changing this or doing that? There is an opportunity to leverage crisis moments for the better.
Visit The Do One Better Podcast website at Lidji.org for information on more than 100 other interviews with remarkable thought leaders. We invite you to subscribe to the podcast, leave a review and tell your friends and family about the show. Thank you!
Mary Abdo, Managing Director at the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss evidence-based philanthropy
The Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) is a global not-for-profit advisory organisation set up in Australia in 2016 with offices in Singapore, the UK and Australia. They are a social enterprise subsidiary of Save the Children.
CEI is a mission-driven organisation dedicated to seeing the best evidence implemented in policy and practice to improve the lives of vulnerable people. They work with a range of clients, including governments, foundations and social sector agencies by supporting them to use evidence well and to implement it well.
In order to help organisations accelerate the use of evidence on what works to improve the lives of vulnerable people, the folks at CEI do three things: (1) they support organisations to make sense of the evidence; (2) they work with them to trial, test and evaluate approaches; and (3) they work in ‘Implementation Science’ — if we think of evidence-based interventions as the ‘what’, then Implementation Science is the ‘how’.
During the conversation, we look at what it actually means to be evidence-informed in one’s philanthropy, both from a perspective of outlook and from a perspective of approach.
What is evidence and why is it important? There is a need to move away from what simply ‘sounds good’ to what is actually based on good science and research. Moreover, there is a need to embrace a learning mindset — shifting the emphasis from trying to get it right all the time to a focus on learning and sharing what one has learned. Innovation is also key and, counterintuitive as it may sound, being innovative also means simply doing what works, now.
Research, methodologies and frameworks have changed over the last 20 years and the potential for big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the field in the coming years is tremendous.
This episode is for anyone who is keen to understand research and evidence, how it is implemented to improve the lives of vulnerable people, why it is important and how its insight can be viewed as a public good on a global level.
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Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss Chile’s transition to democracy, his vocal stance against Augusto Pinochet, the climate crisis and the work of his foundation
A warm conversation with Ricardo Lagos, a towering figure of Latin American politics who played a highly consequential role during Chile’s transition to democracy in the 1980s and later on as President of Chile in the 2000s.
Ricardo Lagos was President of Chile from 2000 to 2006. He left office with a remarkably high approval rating of c. 70%. He served for the centre-left Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia coalition, championing reforms to the healthcare system, enacting free-trade agreements whilst reducing economic inequality.
We hear of his — now famous — live TV interview in 1988 where he pointed an accusatory finger directly at the camera challenging General Pinochet’s attempt to extend his rule by plebiscite.
This was a key moment in Chile’s transition to democracy and, at the time, led many viewers to fear Ricardo Lagos was unlikely to see another day. Interestingly, he didn’t quite realise the impact of what he said during that TV interview until afterwards when people started coming up to him to tell him just how remarkable it had been.
We also hear about Ricardo Lagos' passion for tackling the climate crisis and his time as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change between 2007 and 2010. He is candid about some of the challenging conversations he had with other leaders, such as President Lula of Brazil on the harm of deforestation in the Amazon.
He remarks that in the past, the key question was ‘what’s your country’s National Income?’ These days, the key question should be ‘what’s your country’s per capital carbon emissions?’ Times have changed considerably over the past decade and must continue to change as we strive for the Sustainability Agenda.
We also get insight into the work of the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo, which he founded after stepping down as President of Chile, and the importance of civic engagement and the power of the digital age to foster transparency in government.
Click the subscribe button and visit The Do One Better Podcast at Lidji.org for information on more than 100 other interviews with remarkable thought leaders. Thank you!
Naina Batra, Chairperson and CEO of AVPN (Asian Venture Philanthropy Network), joins Alberto Lidji to discuss donor collaboration in Asia and increasing the flow of capital into the social sector
AVPN is a platform and network of investors and social funders who deploy capital for impact across Asia. Members deploy resources across a wide continuum of capital, from grant-making to impact investing, ESG and other variations. Members are both based in Asia and, also, some are global but have an interest in Asia. AVPN is based in Singapore.
We hear of the drive for scale and the importance of working with governments. AVPN started the Policy Forum, bringing private sector capital to work together with public sector money, collaborating around social issues. Much wealth in Asia comes from business and, traditionally, we hear how there is some trepidation about working with government. But, in the social space these unlikely collaborations are key.
Thematically speaking, Gender, COVID-19, Climate Action and Health have been very pronounced within AVPN. Also, about 60% of AVPN’s members fund Education and about 50% are interested in Health.
Naina mentions how in matters pertaining to Gender Equity and SDG 5 (UN Sustainable Development Goal 5) Asia has gone backwards in recent years. Therefore, gender has been of importance to AVPN. Last year, AVPN launched the Asia Gender Network, which is a collaboration between HNW (high-net-worth) Asian women who came together to foster a movement that aims for a more gender equal society that is also in tune with Asian values.
While they deeply care about gender equity, many Asian foundations are weary of terms like ‘feminism’ or approaches that embrace a more militant edge to the debate. There is much consideration to how one frames the debate and the discourse is more about soft power and getting the point across through more subtle ways — while there is a recognition that achieving SDG 5 is non-negotiable.
Knowledge sharing is a key aspect of AVPN’s work. AVPN has a Knowledge Centre that curates existing research for its members and aggregates practitioners’ insight. Their Academy aims to share this knowledge actively with a broad range of stakeholders. These initiatives are useful both for nascent philanthropists and experienced practitioners alike.
AVPN membership is at the organisation level — not individuals. Usually, it is the CEO of an organisation who represents that organisation at AVPN and, indeed, often many others from member organisations participate as well.
AVPN also has funds focused on specific thematic areas. For instance, they have a Healthcare Fund involving key organisations such as the Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Macquarie Bank and Sequoia — all coming together to pool their money to support healthcare organisations across south east Asia. In another fund, they’re collaborating with interesting organisations such as KKR, and Naina notes that many organisations are much more keen on taking on risk when they’re active in a pooled fund than when they’re doing grant-making individually.
Please subscribe to The Do One Better Podcast and visit our website at Lidji.org for information on more than 100 other interviews with remarkable thought leaders. Thank you!
Great conversations on philanthropy
A superb podcast for all those interested in keeping up to date with thought leaders in philanthropy. A stellar cast of interviewees share their insights and are ably pushed by the host to produce interesting debate. A must listen for donors and development professionals alike!
Highly recommend this podcast! Very insightful in the field of Philanthropy, sustainability and entrepreneurship . Very well articulated and structured. Some great conversations and Alberto is a fantastic host!
Fantastic podcast for ESG and philanthropy
Awesome podcasts on philanthropy, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Interviews with CEOs and leaders who are transforming society.