There is so much bad news around that one can throw one’s arms up in despair, give up long term projects and just live for the today. Leadership is in crisis – all around the globe and in most fields. “Climate emergency” is Oxford Dictionaries’ 2019 Word of the Year, and what is happening now in Australia must give even the most ardent climate sceptic pause.
The good news is that the occupational hazard of philanthropists is irrational optimism. We act because we do not accept the status quo. Perhaps we are overly confident of what we can achieve, and may even fail often. But hopefully, we can learn from Bill Gates. Yes, I watched “Inside Bill ‘s Brain”, and came away with much admiration. When faced with obstacles in polio eradication, Bill doubles down, commissioning more research and adding resources.
Reflecting what our members are working on this past half year, I am heartened that many of our members share some of Bill’s doggedness in applying single-minded focus on complex problems.
Our members are growing early childhood development programmes in Vietnam and beyond, partnering with best-in-class implementers like OneSky. They are also getting serious about tackling waste management to support a more circular economy – looking at much more cutting edge technologies to bust the limits of current recycling and upcycling efforts, again partnering with a world class research institute like NEWRI.
Meanwhile, we continue learning, connecting and exploring. We are learning how to look through Effective Altruism lens for large, important, neglected problems that are solvable with a scalable intervention. We are connecting with UNICEF to explore partnerships in ECD, and education for children who are refugees or internally displaced. We continue to convene members and other like-minded people through venn (our annual summit) and The Giver’s Network – providing fertile ground for cross-pollination of ideas and propagating collaborative projects.
Join us in any of these endeavours, if you want to be a purveyor and producer of good news. And may 2020 bring blessings for you, your family and all around you!