75 episodes

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!

The Do One Better! Podcast – Philanthropy, Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship Alberto Lidji

    • Non-Profit
    • 5.0, 27 Ratings

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!

    President & CEO of United Way Worldwide, Brian Gallagher, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss digital transformation, “Philanthropy Cloud” and helping millions of donors connect with great causes

    President & CEO of United Way Worldwide, Brian Gallagher, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss digital transformation, “Philanthropy Cloud” and helping millions of donors connect with great causes

    United Way is the world’s largest privately funded non-profit organisation. It is 133 years old, has 3 million volunteers, 8 million donors and operates across 40 countries – including the UK where they’ve had a presence since 2014. Last year it raised around $5 billion.
     
    United Way Worldwide is a social franchise; it owns the brand and sets rules on financial reporting, governance, ethics and inclusivity across 1,800 communities globally.  It also manages relations with the United Nations (UN), the World Economic Forum (WEF), corporates and governments.
     
    Brian sheds light on his background. He formally joined United Way as a trainee back in 1981 and has thoroughly enjoyed the journey.  A word of wisdom he likes to share with folks who are just starting out on their careers is simply ‘be prepared to say yes’ – we’re so wired to say no.  So, just say yes.
     
    Last year United Way generated around $5 billion in income, which is a remarkable sum.  Brian notes the breakdown of this income is roughly split as follows: 15% from corporations (such as IBM, UPS, FedEx, Samsung and IKEA); 35%-40% from the employees of the 65,000 companies they work with (employees who tend to give via payroll); and the other 50% comes from individuals.
     
    United Way has approximately 8 million donors. There are 600 donors who have given $1m+; 40 donors who have given $10m+; and approximately 25,000 donors who are regularly giving $10,000 annually.  The average donor gives $300 per year.  Brian notes that United Way is most effective when it reflects and looks like its community. And, in order for a community to succeed, everyone in that community needs to succeed.
     
    When asked about what success looks like for the next 10 years, Brian responds that, for him, inequality is the biggest issue in the world today.  In 10 years from today the world is going to have to be more equitable, more just and cleaner environmentally. This change will either happen through enlightened political, corporate, and non-profit leadership; or it’s going to happen through social unrest.  He is optimistic about how things will shape up for the next 10 years, although he notes he’s less optimistic about the next 18 months.
     
    On the issue of COVID-19 around the world: Brian observes that it’s the countries with strong public health systems (countries who look after the health of all their citizens) that are doing much better than places like the US.  Likewise for countries where there’s a strong social contract, a commitment to the common good and where people care about each other – these are the countries that are coping better. For him, the pandemic is wildly instructive in terms of what success looks like in the next 10 years; there needs to be a focus on the common good.
     
    There is a great deal of digital transformation and innovation taking place at United Way.  Brian sheds much light on how the organisation has evolved; he provides insight into their traditional business model and how they’re now embracing digital technology to increase efficiency and transparency in their philanthropy.
     
    United Way helps to take the resources in a community and to match these with people in need.  The business model at United Way was to pool your money; United Way will then assess who are the best non-profits out there, and then they’ll give them that money and ensure they’re doing a good job, and then they’ll tell the donors about it.
     
    However, Brian notes that digital technology is now eliminating the middleman in transactions. So, you don’t necessarily need to go through institutions any longer, you can do it individually. So, what United Way has been working towards is how to build this community exchange without individuals having to come to them as a vertical institution.
     
    What United Way has done is build individual donor and

    • 38 min
    CEO of Humanity & Inclusion UK, Aleema Shivji, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss disability inclusion in crisis settings – One in seven people in the world live with disability

    CEO of Humanity & Inclusion UK, Aleema Shivji, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss disability inclusion in crisis settings – One in seven people in the world live with disability

     
    Humanity & Inclusion exists to support people with disabilities and vulnerable people who are affected by poverty, conflict, disaster and exclusion to achieve their rights and live in dignity.
     
    They were founded in 1982, initially supporting victims of landmines who were fleeing to Thailand from Cambodia.
     
    Today, Humanity & Inclusion is active in 60 countries.  It is a federated network with members around the world.  They work in partnership with diverse stakeholders – including UNICEF, the WHO and the UK Government – and their work is a combination of advocacy and operations.
     
    Ninety per cent of their staff are local to the countries they work in, so they’re closely embedded at the community level, which then also makes it much easier to identify good local delivery partners.
     
    Aleema notes the importance of their work by highlighting that 1 in 7 people in the world live with a disability, and their problems are exacerbated in settings of crisis and poverty.  Those with disabilities are at increased risk.
     
    Women with disabilities are twice as likely to be a victim of sexual and domestic violence than non-disabled women.  In humanitarian crises people with disability are at an even more increased risk.
     
    Aleema sheds light on her personal trajectory. She has travelled extensively and worked in many countries, including Haiti, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.  This global experience drives much of her passion today, even though as CEO of Humanity & Inclusion in the UK she is no longer in the frontlines as much.
     
    Aleema grew up in a philanthropic family but never thought of development work as a career. She trained as a physiotherapist and at some point started to feel something was missing in her career. Then, while working in Bangladesh, something clicked and she realised she wanted to work in development work and make a real difference leveraging her clinical training to train key stakeholders in the frontlines.
     
    Aleema’s key takeaway:  Remember that people with disabilities are the world’s largest minority and all of us have a role to play. Everyone from philanthropists to campaigners, to companies, to foundations and governments – we all have a role to play. Look around you and see what you’re supporting; where are you giving your gifts? Are you giving in a way that ensures that the most marginalised people are impacted?  We all have a role to play to leave no one behind and to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030.
     
    Visit The Do One Better! Podcast website for guest bios, episode notes and useful resources.  Please click the subscribe button and share widely with others - thank you!
     

    • 32 min
    CEO of Plan International UK, Rose Caldwell, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss children’s rights; equality for girls; and how to build back better post-pandemic

    CEO of Plan International UK, Rose Caldwell, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss children’s rights; equality for girls; and how to build back better post-pandemic

     
    Plan International is a global charity operating in more than 50 countries. It was established in 1937 and strives to ensure the rights of children and equality for girls.  Several decades ago, it established the ‘sponsor a child’ model, which successfully supports the local communities where these children live.
     
    We hear how Plan International engages with a truly broad and global range of partners, from small, local NGOs, to the likes of the LEGO Foundation, Unilever and AstraZeneca.
     
    Rose grew up in a farm in Northern Ireland – one of five children – and didn’t even know what international development was back then. She grew up in a country that was in conflict, and that had an impact on her. 
     
    Northern Ireland at that time was quite inward looking and Rose could never envision as a child that she’d end up travelling the world and running international development endeavours.  She started off in the private sector but once she ventured into the international development world she never looked back.
     
    Rose admits she’s had good luck during her career. Rose never had a great career plan but she broadly knew the direction she wanted to take and knew she wanted to do something she was passionate about and believed in.  She captured the opportunities as they materialised and now finds it truly humbling being in such a leadership role.
     
    Being in London is certainly a departure from her previous postings in the global south, and she very much misses life in the frontlines.  As a CEO in London, you can get a bit removed from what’s happening in the field, which is why visiting their programmes overseas is so very important – and, now with COVID-19, this means watching the videos that come back from the frontlines.
     
    We hear how working in international development requires one to be an optimist.  However, despite feeling optimistic, Rose is indeed concerned.
     
    The impact of COVID-19 on girls is massive: education, child marriage, infant mortality, gender-based violence – the coronavirus pandemic has wide-ranging, negative implications.
     
    Rose notes there are estimates that by 2030, there will be 13 million more girls who find themselves in early forced marriage because of this pandemic. There is the real risk that COVID-19 will roll back the progress that has been made thus far on gender equality and girls rights.  Therefore, it is important for governments around the world to recognise the vulnerably of girls in crisis.
     
    Rose’s key takeaways: (1) This [pandemic] is a global crisis; while the UK has been terribly impacted, we need to realise we won’t solve this crisis until it’s solved all around the world. We need to focus on our interconnectedness and embrace a global outlook. (2) It is vital to raise awareness of the impact this crisis has on girls. The girls of today are the women of tomorrow. We need to be aware and support the voice of girls, and listen to what they have to say; we need to recognise that in a crisis it is girls who carry a greater burden than boys.
     
    Visit The Do One Better! Podcast website for guest bios, episode notes and useful links. Please subscribe and share widely. Thank you!
     

    • 36 min
    President of the Oak Foundation, Doug Griffiths, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss the Foundation’s $300m annual grant-making + their collegial approach to partnerships + fostering transformative change

    President of the Oak Foundation, Doug Griffiths, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss the Foundation’s $300m annual grant-making + their collegial approach to partnerships + fostering transformative change

    The Foundation focuses on global, social and environmental concerns, particularly in helping the most disadvantaged.  In 2019, the Oak Foundation made 377 grants, to 342 organisations in 37 countries, totalling around $300m. 
     
    The Foundation backs a wide range of initiatives focused on the environment, housing and homelessness, international human rights, issues affecting women, learning differences, preventing child sexual abuse; and special interest areas such as health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts.  They also have four national programmes in Brazil, Denmark, India and Zimbabwe.
     
    Doug sheds light on the Foundation’s main programme areas and provides insight on their transformative work on the environment and climate justice – aiming to strengthen the ecosystem of climate funding.
     
    We hear of the Climate Leadership Initiative hosted by Climate Works, for instance, where the focus is on helping individual philanthropists identify where they can enter the climate space. For many donors it can be very challenging to ascertain exactly where and how they can get involved in this space – it can be daunting since it’s a very technical and scientific field.
     
    The next campaign they’re very excited about is around food.  Creating a big tent to bring a wide range of voices and stakeholders together, from those concerned with food production and land use to local sourcing and plant-based solutions. There’s a lot of engagement but there hasn’t been a lot of movement on the food side of things. By helping to fund this platform they want to bring people to the conversation, letting them know there are others interested in this space and letting them know there are many examples showing how people can get involved.
     
    Doug talks about how they go about their grant-making and the work they do with different platforms, collaboratives, intermediaries and grantees. They place much effort to ensure their processes are streamlined and not bogged down by red tape. 
     
    Doug joined Oak Foundation in January 2019. In his role as President, he is thrilled to knit together his professional experiences advocating for human rights, humanitarian relief, social development and environmental protection.
     
    Dough was a career diplomat; he held various roles including that of US Ambassador to Mozambique.  He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Notre Dame. He has lived in Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, Haiti, Mozambique, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States. 
     
    Doug provides two key takeaways: (1) [for those in the foundation and philanthropy space] he hopes we all continue to explore our aspirations to be good grant-makers and that we, to the extent possible, trust grantee organisations and are as unburdensome as possible. (2) Doug also notes that we are in desperate need globally of kindness and empathy, so we should take care of each other. Be kind to your family, your colleagues, your staff and, yes, even your boss.
     
    Visit The Do One Better! Podcast website for guest bios, episode notes and useful links. Please click the subscribe button and share widely with others. Thank you!
     

    • 39 min
    Dr Christian Busch, author of 'The Serendipity Mindset: The Art & Science of Creating Good Luck', joins Alberto Lidji to discuss how there’s much more to success than blind luck

    Dr Christian Busch, author of 'The Serendipity Mindset: The Art & Science of Creating Good Luck', joins Alberto Lidji to discuss how there’s much more to success than blind luck

    An insightful conversation on serendipity, success and leveraging opportunities to improve the world. We explore how to breakdown the barriers to serendipity, spotting opportunities, connecting the dots, and turning serendipitous encounters into opportunities for success.
    Christian Busch is an expert in entrepreneurship, social innovation, and purpose-driven business. He teaches at New York University (NYU) and at the London School of Economics (LSE), and directs the NYU Global Economy Program.
    The conversation provides real-life examples and behavioural tweaks that are both thought-provoking and entertaining.  A must-listen for anyone who’s open to framing the world in a slightly different light and appreciating that one can be proactive when it comes to luck.
    Visit The Do One Better! Podcast website for guest bios, episode notes and useful links. Please click the subscribe button and share widely. Thank you!
     

    • 34 min
    Roger Federer Foundation: great insight on Roger’s philanthropic work and the Foundation’s support of education in Africa and Switzerland, from Board Trustee Sandro Giuliani

    Roger Federer Foundation: great insight on Roger’s philanthropic work and the Foundation’s support of education in Africa and Switzerland, from Board Trustee Sandro Giuliani

     
    The Foundation was founded in 2003 and focuses on school readiness; they invest approximately 10m Swiss Francs (roughly US $10m at the time of writing) annually supporting children to transition into school.
    UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.2 is a key reference for their work, aspiring to ensure that by 2030: all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
    Geographically, the Foundation works across six countries in Africa – Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and also in Switzerland.  Roger’s mother is South African and his father is Swiss.
    When asked what it’s like to work with Roger, Sandro replies that it’s pretty cool.  Roger is running the Foundation strategically and is very hands on. For Sandro, it’s not just about working with someone who’s very high profile, it’s also a matter of working with a philanthropist who truly wants to transform children’s lives for the better. It’s a lot of fun and a privilege; it is incredibly rewarding.
    We hear how the Foundation has a strong executive team and is very lean. There are only around three team members based in Switzerland and another three based in South Africa. Their CEO is Janine Händel, who has been with the Foundation from the outset.
    The Foundation’s approach is community based; they work with teachers through their partner organisations (the Foundation is not an implementing organisation); they work with local partners directly in the local communities they serve and have reached more than one and a half million children.
    Sandro notes the Foundation is working on an innovative project right now called the ‘Early Learning Kiosk’, which is a tablet-based app that is used by pre-primary educators to train themselves; and it also helps teachers assess a child’s development.   It is easy to scale since it is a tablet-based solution.  They are currently testing the Early Learning Kiosk with 5,000 teachers; and we hear how it was developed with universities and local partners. Even though the Early Learning Kiosk is currently being tested, it is already available for download for anyone who wishes to sample it. Once testing is completed, the Foundation aims to scale it and deploy it across Africa. The Early Learning Kiosk is available for download on both Apple and Android tablets.
    Sandro adds that the Foundation is in an enviable position, whereby they can combine rigorous testing and innovation with a strong brand name and a personality that can engage effectively with policymakers.  First they focus on excellence and then they use the power of Roger to promote their work.
    During these challenging times with COVID-19, the Foundation aims to ensure that teachers learn, maintain and increase their competence while in remote areas.  There is a focus on teacher workforce and quality; and they need to use technology to strengthen the role of the teacher; not to replace the teacher. 
    Sandro remarks that this is an exciting platform for scale; to reach millions of kids through various partners who are active throughout Africa.  The development of the Early Learning Kiosk at the beginning was in collaboration with Hansjörg Wyss, one of the biggest Swiss philanthropists.
    Visit The Do One Better! Podcast website for guest bios, episode notes and useful links. Please click the 'subscribe' button and share widely with others. Thank you!
     

    • 24 min

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