When Global Meets World

In 2008, Kristina Mänd, a former CEO of the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations (NENO) and Deputy Secretary General to Civicus, a World Alliance for Citizen Participation, went to the Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) in Redwood, California. Kristina was then working for the Open Estonia Foundation to analyze the potential of creating a pan-Baltic civil […]

In 2008, Kristina Mänd, a former CEO of the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations (NENO) and Deputy Secretary General to Civicus, a World Alliance for Citizen Participation, went to the Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) in Redwood, California. Kristina was then working for the Open Estonia Foundation to analyze the potential of creating a pan-Baltic civil society foundation. 

GPF was the most prominent gathering of funders, social investors and philanthropists around the world but mainly from the US. The 7th Annual Conference focused on building alliances and spread the ideas necessary to promote human rights, advance global health, manage natural resources, spread economic opportunity and stop mass atrocities. The speakers were incredible – from artists like Peter Gabriel , Annie Lennox and Julia Ormond to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Among many others who bring change to the world, Kristina remembers meeting this young shy guy with curly hair and glasses who talked about connecting people. No, it was not Nokia, it was Mark Zuckerberg.

Established in 2001, the Global Philanthropy Forum is a peer-learning network of philanthropists and social investors committed to advancing international causes. Through conferences, programs and matchmaking services, the GPF seeks to build a community of philanthropists, and to inform, enable and enhance the strategic nature of its members’ giving and social investing. Its CEO, Jane Wales, was well-known to Kristina and to Estonia – she had served as the Board member of the Baltic-American Partnership Fund which supported the civil society in the three Baltic countries from 2000-2008. Jane is an incredible person who, in addition to her work on philanthropy, has also served in the Carter Administration as deputy assistant secretary of state and in the Clinton Administration as special assistant to the President and senior director of the National Security Council.

Why is this important? Because at the same year, 2008, a group of Estonians were preparing something that gave birth to a global movement, Let’s Do It! World. Little did we know that ten years later, in 2018, Kristina Mänd, now the LDIF’s Resource Mobilization person, will be speaking at a session during  the 17th Global Philanthropy Forum about our work and solutions.

The 2018 GPF is about climate, conservation and community – how to build and maintain trust and not leave anybody behind. The focus is on youth and technology. In the session “Finding Solutions and Building Momentum“, Kristina and others will be talking how social movements can be a transformative force capable of effectively challenging and changing social and political norms, how new technologies provide the ability to organize and attract audiences outside of formal social movement organizations, transcending borders and increasing traction.

Let’s Do It! World is a movement that works on issues which require substantive change on the individual, community, and national level—including climate change and environmental degradation. When it comes to these issues of global scope, how can social movements end destructive practices and their consequences? What opportunities do movements present for philanthropy to address climate change?

GPF is an opportunity to bring the aspirations of the Let’s Do It! World and our solutions to the change-makers and philanthropists in the world. World Cleanup Day and eliminating trash blindness is a big wake up call, the sustainability and resilience come from the Keep It Clean! Plan. Our plans need global community to see it, pick it up and bag it.

*The project to attend the Global Philanthropy Forum is funded by the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the the Estonian Civil Society Foundation.