Day One of #GPF17

Across the world, trust — in institutions, media, and most importantly, each other — is at an all-time low. The question is, what can we do about it? On day one of the 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum, speakers started to answer that question.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim opened the day, describing recent moves by many OECD countries to close their borders and restrict both trade and movement. He emphasized the urgency of replacing jobs that have been lost to globalization and automation and the need to integrate countries and work forces into the global economy. Kim also encouraged participants to leverage financial resources to increase the long-term impact of their philanthropic giving.

GPF conference Fairmont Hotel in Washington DC April 18, 2017.

Rising inequality and a loss of identify have also fueled a populist backlash in countries across the globe. James Goldstone, executive director of Open Society Justice Initiative, and Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University, discussed the critical question of “Who is us?” Goldstone outlined the state of global pluralism and the growing fear of the “other”. Liu spoke about the deep fragmentation of identity in the US and how citizens can drive change — a right that both sides of the political spectrum have been exercising since the elections.


Trust is inseparable from societal outcomes and is often shaped by our experiences — particularly at an early age. Given this, a panel including Randa Grob-Zakhary, global head of education at Porticus, Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, Deogratias Niyizonkiza, founder and CEO of Village Health Works, and Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, discussed the importance of early support for children’s development and education.


A highlight for many, Big Bird also joined us to share how access to education for all children, including refugees and other marginalized youth, can plant the seeds for societal change.


The 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum Conference, April 18 to 20, 2017 in Washington, DC, brings together cross-sector leaders to explore the theme of “Trust.” Learn more about the Conference and see all videos by visiting

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