Day One of #GPF16

People are on the move more than ever before. Some, experiencing economic mobility for the first time, are moving to cities in search of opportunity. Others, displaced by war, natural disaster and state failure are on the move in search of safety, resulting in 60-million refugees worldwide. And finally some are on the move in search of meaning—unanchored, they turn to groups-that offer them a sense of purpose and belonging, for good or for ill.

Day one of the 2016 Global Philanthropy form opened with Open Society Foundations President, Chris Stone who offered a historical view of migration to better understand this year’s theme of “People on the Move.” From Pericles’ perspective in ancient Athens to the determination of the human right to travel, the context is essential to understanding the modern narrative. Countering the tribalism dominating American dialogue, Stone also encouraged Conference participants to imagine what a global alliance, similar to the one created for HIV/AIDS, might accomplish for migrant advocacy.

Chris Stone

Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Lebanon, spoke about the challenges to his nation’s efforts to integrate Syrian refugees. The country of four million has accepted well over one million refugees, despite the strains on the state’s financial capacity and education system. Minister Saab asked participants to imagine how a crisis of this scale would affect the seven and half million people living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Minister Saab asked also participants to consider the complexities of the current refugee situation and to think about how the international community could offer assistance.

Lebanon Min

Ahead of the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, Guy Cave, Managing Director of Geneva Global, Hadeel Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Lona Stoll, Acting Deputy Executive Director of USAID’s US Global Development Lab and Peter Laughan, President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation explored how best to address gaps in humanitarian aid. Ibrahim asked critical questions about best practices implemented by governments, foundations and nonprofits, while Stoll encouraged Conference participants to consider the importance of building resilience through economic structures. The panelists emphasized the need to locally focused as the sector continues to evolve, while reflecting on the role of philanthropy globally.


The 2016 Global Philanthropy Forum Conference, April 4 to 6, 2016 in Redwood City, brings together cross-sector leaders to explore the theme of “People on the Move.” Learn more about the Conference and see all videos by visiting

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Photo credit: Stout Film