Transforming Education Systems Everywhere

by VANESSA GOEH What are the challenges of playing ‘the long game’ in the quest for systems transformation? In September, Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted an insightful breakfast discussion between Wendy Kopp, CEO and Founder of global education network Teach for All, and APC Chairman Laurence Lien, who discussed the opportunities and challenges of reimagining education; from the complex interplay between technology and government, learning across borders, and shaping the future of education in Asia. Reflecting on her journey, Kopp was initially interested and on eradicating inequities within the US educational system, and founded Teach for America, and later Teach for All,…

Reflections for a Better Way Forward: 5 Lessons from venn 2022

BY RUNCHEN HUANG As the world reopens this borders this year, we were finally able to host our first overseas venn in three years! For venn2022, we headed over the causeway to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Earlier (as far back as 2020), we had plans for an island getaway to Pangkor Laut, the family estate of APC member Kathleen Chew; however, a trip to KL in May 2022 and seeing impressive operations by different organisations on the ground changed our minds, as we thought members would learn far more seeing things up close than from a video screen. In November, we…

Reflections from COP27: What will it take for collaboration to succeed?

by SARAH TAM The first UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) was held in 1995 – three years before Google was ever founded. Since then, world leaders have gathered yearly—from Cancun to Warsaw, Doha to Glasgow—to try to make good on commitments to limit global climate change.  This year, APC’s Climate Collective Programme Lead Sarah Tam joined Singapore’s inaugural pavilion in Sharm El Sheikh to discuss how collaboration can catalyse climate solutions in Southeast Asia. COP27 in a snapshot  Despite headlines about food and water shortages, 44,000 delegates from around the world touched down in Sharm El Sheikh—a coastal resort…

Early Childhood Development and Mental Health in the Philippines

by VANESSA GOEH In November, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, and private sector participants convened for the Multi-sectoral Symposium on Early Childhood Development (ECD), as part of National Children’s Month in the Philippines. Organised by the Philippine Early Childhood Care and Development Council in collaboration with the Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) and its members in the Philippines, the symposium enabled participants to learn about best-in-class models and interventions in ECD and how they promote mental health for children, as well as how multi-sectoral partnerships can mobilise community resources in implementing sustainable ECD programmes within the community. Keynote Speaker Risa Hontiveros, who heads…

The LEGO Foundation Announces Awardees for Global Challenge

by Vanessa Goeh The LEGO Foundation, in collaboration with Lever for Change, recently announced its five winners for the Build a World of Play Challenge, an open call grant competition for DKK 900 million (USD 117 million) seeking bold solutions promoting the well-being of children, their caregivers, and their communities, using culturally relevant and sustainable approaches. The social challenge seeks to address the early childhood crises aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to create a global movement to prioritise early childhood development (ECD). Ten finalists were earlier chosen from a pool of 627 applicants from 86 countries. Their…

Inspirations from UK & Europe: APC’s Best Learning Journey yet!

by Stacey Choe One member said – as far as learning journeys go, this tops it all! With that as backdrop, one can imagine how much APC members enjoyed and learnt from this unique experience in September 2022. It was our first Learning Journey ‘post-COVID’, which meant travel schedules clashed with many people’s revenge travel plans. But there were still 12 determined members who joined us on this trip that started in Oxford, traversed through London, and ended in Amsterdam. About APC Learning Journeys APC Learning Journeys are study trips that facilitate knowledge, exchanges, and deep dives into specific issue…

Revisiting Early Childhood Education and Philanthropy in the Philippines

by Stacey Choe APC finally returned to Manila and caught up with our Filipino members and friends in November 2022. The last trip APC made before the pandemic brought about a global lockdown was actually to Manila in March 2020. How the world has changed since then! We can still recall flying out of the city just as the borders closed. In hindsight, going back this time round was somewhat of a bittersweet affair. Our last trip in 2020 was supposed to be in witness of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Social Work…

An Evening with Zack Petersen, 1000 Days Fund

by Natalie Kennedy Isn’t it said that a sequel is never as good as the original?  Maybe not!  Twelve APC members have been quietly supporting a rather successful ‘sequel,’ which proves this is not always the case. The 1000 Days Fund–affectionately called TDF 2.0 by a group of members–continues to combat stunting in Indonesia by providing in-home access to information and training for village health volunteers. This iteration builds on the earlier work on stunting supported by five APC members, a pooled philanthropic fund managed by APC (also) called the Thousand Days Fund (TDF). This first version of TDF faced…

Purpose of Capital for People and Planet

by Sarah Tam For the first time in history, the global market size of impact investing—investments intended to create positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns—has crossed the US$1 trillion mark. ESG investing—investments that consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG)—will also likely see greater growth, surpassing US$33.9 trillion by 2026, from US$18.4 trillion in 2021. Both of these numbers are significant milestones for the industry and signal an undeniable momentum among investors who are aligning their strategy to positively impact people and planet. Yet as the impact investing and ESG markets continue to grow, so too do concerns…

Aligning business with philanthropy

by Koon Peng Ooi Increasingly, philanthropists who are keen on maximising the impact of their work are looking at how they can transform their business to be more aligned with their philanthropic activities. More are reflecting on the impact of their business on the environment and society and are asking themselves what they can do to better contribute to a net zero and equitable future. APC recently hosted a roundtable discussion with members on this topic, and invited Forum for the Future’s Ariel Muller to moderate the discussion. Forum for the Future has been actively supporting organisations in shifting their…