Adopting cross-cutting perspectives to increase our impact- 17 & 18 April 2023 - Amsterdam

This round table was held on 17th and 18th April in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

Whether they are “multi-thematic” or targeting more specific societal concerns, our foundations are inevitably affected by cross-cutting issues.

Economic inequalities, climate change, environmental degradation, energy crisis, pandemic, racial injustice, political polarisation… Faced with a vision that is too often segmented and isolated, philanthropy, in all sectors of operation, can bring about systemic responses to these complex and interconnected problems.

It would be unfeasible for each foundation to have a range of philanthropic mechanisms and supports that would cover every issue. However, it is entirely possible to innovate by combining new “perspectives” to our existing approach, facilitating multifaceted responses to the challenges tackled, that have a greater impact and are more transformative.

This Strategic Round Table looked at the transformative value, the strategic opportunity and the difficulties inherent in working in a more cross-cutting and systemic way: how global cross-cutting frameworks, such as the SDGs or ESG, or the consideration of cross-cutting issues such as climate or diversity, enable us to take a more integrated look at our strategies, while also raising questions about their applicability or potential trade-offs.
Through these experiences and those of the participants, we explored the multiplier potential of such new cross-disciplinary perspectives in our existing strategies.

The Strategic Round Table brought together four speakers who gave four different presentations on the theme of cross-disciplinary perspectives.
It was also the subject of an article published by Philea: Working in ways that meet the complexity of this time.

Case studies presented and discussed

  • Benoît Derenne, Director, and Tanguy Vanloqueren, Strategic Advisor, Foundation for Future Generations: “Supporting NextGen-led initiatives in their journey to ideate, prototype and develop sustainable solutions, by combining together multiple lenses (360°) and multiple modes of intervention: practical application, from selection to (extra-) financial support.”
  • Henrik Lehmann Andersen, Chief Executive Officer, Nordea-Fonden: “From onboarding SDGs to adopting ESG lenses -even to its grantmaking-, journey of a foundation supporting stakeholders and grantees on their needs and their will to broaden their impact.”
  • Luís Xavier, Director Strategy & Planning, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian: “From setting priorities, outreach and partnerships, reporting and evaluating, up to organisational setup: lessons from the use of SDGs across a portfolio of philanthropic actions and perspectives ahead.”
  • Daniëlle Hirsch, Director, Stichting Both ENDS: “Seeking coherence and system change by working across sectors, looking at SDGs from multiple angles combining actions in South and North, as well as providing financial and non-financial support to address social and environmental needs of communities.”

In collaboration with Cassie Robinson.