10 November 2021

Call for session proposals for 2022 European Philanthropy Conference

The call for proposals is now closed.

The night is darkest just before the dawn. Against the backdrop of the greatest crisis faced since World War II, and with just eight years to go to meet the targets set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there has never been a more opportune time for philanthropic institutions and national associations of donors and foundations to come together as one – with each other and with other sectors. Only by working together can we see the dawn of a new era with sustainable solutions to the complex and interconnected challenges we face regarding health, climate, culture and inclusion.

The conference will be the first to be organised as a “converged” event, involving foundations and national associations alike. In this new context, the diverse European philanthropic landscape retains its distinct role – as a catalyst for change and builder of bridges between communities, sectors and generations, connecting learnings of yesterday with aspirations for tomorrow. Furthermore, as 2022 marks the Year of European Youth, the conference will engage participants in a conversation around three overlapping strands, while ensuring the voice of and focus on young people remains a constant throughout:

One planet, one health

The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully underlined how human, animal and planetary health go hand in hand. Challenges such as the climate emergency, food security and global health are intrinsically linked. To face them, new, open scientific knowledge from various disciplines, as well as coordinated action between different sectors, is needed. So how can philanthropy help better understand and strengthen these key relationships?

This strand will look at what contribution philanthropy can make towards supporting the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the Green Deal, and how foundations can apply a critically important climate lens across their current portfolio of activities. Also it will look into the role of foundations in contributing to the prevention of future pandemics and other health and social threats, many of which are related to increased pressure on the natural resource base.

United in diversity

Existing inequalities have only been aggravated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus disproportionality impacted those already marginalised – including persons with disabilities, elderly people, unemployed youth, ethnic and racial minorities, women, LGBTQ+ – philanthropic organisations mobilised to rebuild more inclusive societies.

This strand will address how philanthropy can contribute to building resilience in the face of such challenges, and what kind of relationship we need from North to South and South to North to increase social inclusion.

Culture and creativity catalysing change

Philanthropy has long been engaged in preserving and fostering culture, not only for the sake of culture itself, but also as a sector vital to democracy, social cohesion and all other fundamental rights and freedoms. At a time when fractures in society are growing, and in a context of digital transformation, how can philanthropy promote the value of diversity in culture, and the ability of culture to boost democracy and bring people together?

This strand will look at how philanthropic organisations can work with young people in creating a brighter, more sustainable narrative for the future, discuss space for creativity in their activities, and reflect upon the role of culture in our new world. It will also look into the value of education and data science in driving this change.

Our 2022 conference will be an opportunity to think forward on where we go next, how we engage new generations of philanthropists to face the challenges ahead, and how from our diverse perspectives we can jointly contribute to the creation of a new, uniting paradigm for the world.

How you can get involved by proposing a session

The Programme Committee is launching a call for session proposals with the aim of asking interested members of Philea to contribute first-hand to the content of the conference.

As the success of the event depends on you, don’t miss your chance to send us your proposal on what you think are the most pressing issues in the fields of Climate and Health, Social Inequalities and Culture and Creativity. Your proposal could be one of the sessions that will feature in the programme! The Programme Committee will select the majority of the content of the conference through this participative process.

Proposed sessions will be assessed through the following criteria:

  • Relevance to conference programme: Raises questions and lets participants find possible solutions in the core topics of the conference programme.
  • Evidence-based and methodological: Draws from research-based facts and goes beyond description, tries to present methodological conclusions.
  • Driving impact ‒ sustainable and scalable: Allows participants to walk away with concrete outcomes such as collaboration proposals, ideas to develop, calls to action which can have a transformative impact on society; and encourages the participation of the sector’s “Next Generation”.
  • Diverse and inclusive: Must interest (and be relevant to) a wide range of foundations and foundation associations or networks regardless of their specific field of activity. Highlights diversity in experiences, geography, gender, and addresses the role philanthropy infrastructure can play.
  • Engaging format: In addition to presentations, offers participants a chance to interact and contribute in new and creative formats (see suggestions below).

Proposed sessions should NOT:

  • Be self-promoting or present a catalogue of individual organisations/projects
  • Lecture participants
  • Come from one single organisation and are not the result of a collaboration

What the Programme Committee wants to see

While respecting the feedback provided by participants is key, the Programme Committee will favour session proposals that seek new engaging formats, enabling participants to actively participate, get to know each other, learn from each other, co-create and plant the seed for future collaboration. Just a few examples could be:

  • – “Clinic” sessions, where one or more issues are outlined and participants are asked to work on possible, impactful solutions
  • – World cafés, Fishbowls, Campfire sessions
  • – Speed networking

The Programme Committee will specifically assess the adequacy of the resources proposed to properly carry out the sessions and the experience of the moderators proposed for the interactive sessions.

Good to know

Before completing and returning your session proposal form to the Conference Secretariat at aga@efc.be, please keep in mind:

  • – The length of the session slots is maximum 90 mins.
  • – Deadline for submission is 15 December 2021. Incomplete proposals or proposals sent after the deadlines will not be included in the selection process.
  • – The Programme Committee’s responsibility is to put together a dynamic, balanced and cohesive conference. For this reason, they may eventually suggest changes regarding the proposed format, speakers/moderators, timing, specific session content, etc.
  • – The Committee’s decision is final.

Next steps

  • – The results of the selection will be shared right after the 1st Programme Committee meeting at the end of January/beginning of February 2022.
  • – If your session proposal was selected, you as the organiser will receive a step-by-step guide on what information is needed and when (i.e.: titles and descriptions, speakers’ names, AV/IT needs, room setup…) and you will be assigned a contact person from our organisation to support you in delivering a successful session.
  • – Draft session proposals will be posted online by mid/end of February, when the online registration opens.

For more information contact Valerie Bernauer.