Day Two of #GPF17

The era of western global dominance is fading, and a new global order is being defined. At the same time that many countries are turning inward, global conflicts are on the rise, hitting the world’s most vulnerable populations the hardest. Day two of the 2017 Global Philanthropy Forum was devoted to engaging different actors to collaborate in helping these populations, rebuilding a society based on accountability and trust.

David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, believes that the global struggle for resources doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game and we need to create solutions that work for everyone, from those who feel “left behind” to refugees fleeing war. Miliband and a panel including John Prendergast, founding director of the Enough Project, Yifat Susskind, executive director of MADRE, David Tolbert, president of the International Center for Transitional Justice, Robin Wright, joint fellow at the US Institute of Peace and Woodrow Wilson Center, and Robert Malley, incoming vice president for policy at the International Crisis Group explored the role of civil society in conflict situations where governments have failed to meet the needs of their own people. Wright pointed out that civil society has an obligation to share their human stories, so that statistics aren’t the only factor guiding government policy. Susskind advised that community-based solutions are key to addressing root causes at all levels, and that social movements can protect human rights for all.


Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, reflected that the sentiments experienced by those westerners who feel “left behind” mirror those of the global poor — growing despair and a loss of dignity. His colleague, Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy, talked about how taking small risks can build trust and resilience over time. But big risks were also on the table today, as Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, shared her organization’s recent 100 million dollar bet on scaling a single idea. Ultimately, she hopes the information gathered from this experiment will be a powerful tool for other donors.


To close the day, Jane Wales and Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, sat down with McNulty Prize Laureates Lana Abu-Hijleh, country director of Global Communities Palestine, Jordan Kassalow, founder of VisionSpring, and Dele Olojede, founder of Timbuktu Media, to discuss ways they are building trust in communities around the globe: Olojede through journalism that challenges institutionalized corruption, Kassalow by empowering the vision-impaired, and Abu-Hijleh by using education to develop the change-makers and leaders of tomorrow. Albright recognized the Laureates for their commitment to system-wide transformation.


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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