long now talk: fulton + brilliant + rockefeller

11.3.06 @ Fort Mason’s Cowell Theatre.

  • The Long Now Foundation
  • Katherine Fulton, Monitor Institute & Larry Brilliant
  • Stewart Brand: Moderator: Introduces next Long Now talk w/ Francis Fukiyama on November 30, 2006 (F wrote The End of History) “If we gave you all$2Million. Close the lights, locked the doors and have you figure it out, you get a sense of what the new philanthropy will look like.”
    * Begin to see how Omidyar and his ilk think about funding project s building systems that will evoke the wisdom of mass collaboration and passion around figure out big problems.
  • Introduces Katherine Fulton as the person who “Knows more about philo than anybody.”
  • 1998. GBN (check it out) work with new philanthropists
  • “The great problem with the future is that we die there. This is why it is so hard to take the future personally, especially the longer future…” – Stewart Brand
  • “Battle for the soul of the new philanthropy + it’s all about all of us.” – Fulton
  • What will it take for the philanthropy to be great?
  • Short history: Invented 100 years ago in US

Any one of these things can create change:
New social, economic conditions
New tech
New $
New zeit
New leaders
New scrutiny of rules (measures/metrics of success)

  • She points to the exponential increase of billionaires over the last 25 years:
    1982: 13 billionaires
    2006: 400 billionaires
  • Growth in large foundations:
    50 US foundations with assets of 1B. Shift from inheritance and oil, to high-tech and finance (over the last 50 years)
  • “Quantify and measure things are coming in to philanthropy.”
  • Significant shift in how philanthropists will give.
    Here are some examples to support this claim:
  • Social capital markets. Marketplace for doing good. Giving while living. George Soros is changing his mind about spending all of his money while he’s alive, and has chosen to give for perpetuity. Changes in the big philanthropy: Rockefeller Foundation is re-imagining how things work.
  • Individual giving is 3/4 of giving pot (Very much still an untapped play, considering the web’s ubiquity in Gen X and Gen Y lifestlyle).
  • Aggregated Giving: Community Foundations (700 & 1500 around the world)
  • Leaders in reorganizing philanthropy: (She calls them “Mutual funds of philanthropy”)
    Acumen Fund
    Hispanics in Phil
    New Profit Inc.
    Women’s Funding Network
    Social Venture Partners
  • Look at how these orgs raise money from lot’s of people to serve single purposes.
  • Donors choose
    Greater Good SA
    Global Giving
  • (Organizing $ and becoming community foundations of the future)
  • Fulton can see the headlines of the NY Times in 2020: Open Source Philanthropy Portal tops $1 billion in gifts
  • She’s particularly interested in GiveIndia:
  • Charity exchanges (in the middle) with Social Venture Capital, Nonprofit ratings agency, accountability standards
  • The Evolution of Philanthropy:
  • Shift from industrial age model of phil where things were: national, competitive markets, nonprofit sector, charity and organized philanthropy to the knowledge economy where things are: global + multi-organizational networks + effective actors + charity, organized philanthropy, social investing
  • (We’re moving to a knowledge economy, yet we’re building systems at TSS for the industrial economy)
  • Pace layering: different layers of civilization change at different paces. Fashion (fastest), commerce (2d), infrastructure (middle), governance (middle), culture, nature (slowest)
  • We’re in the midst of one of the biggest shocks. The disruptive powers at the top can destroy culture and nature.
  • With this disruption, the social sector is slowly becoming a new kind of infrastructure and governance.
  • Check out Soros: Publish What You Pay (Transparency play). A campaign to get oil and mining companies to disclose all payments to governments. Private citizens stepping up to play role of gov & infrastructure.
  • Lester Salamon: “Asserts that the rise of citizen organizations in our era is as important as the rise of the nation state in the 19th century.”
  • The good news about the sector is that people are stepping up to the challenge.
  • For instance, NGO’s are 10% who receive Nobel Peace Prize (Jody Williams, Doctors Without Borders)
  • The big message:
    “Nobody can save the world, but any of us can help set in motion a self-saving world.”
    We’ve never had a greater need
    Window open to save culture and nature won’t be open forever
  • What is it going to take to change things in Philanthropy?
  1. What q’s need to be asked to do great in philanthropy?
  2. What challenges are we taking on? Is it personal? Or, have we enlarged our circle of empathy beyond that?
  3. How question is about strategy and soul. Will Billanthropy be smart and wise.
  4. Stop thinking in 2-3 years and think in 50 year terms – Danny Hillis
  5. New Philanthropy needs to be connected and patient.
  6. 85% in Gates global public health is in partnership
  • Fulton asks Brilliant and Rockefeller, what’s changed over your careers?
  • Richard Rockefeller responds, “Moved from a state of ‘unreflectivness’ to a position where he thinks about it quite a lot.”
  • Larry Brilliant (Philosophy undergrad): The New Philanthropy represents a bit of the ‘cultural war’. He asked the Dalai Lama if there was a hierarchy of suffering?
  • “There is. Because it should inform who you give to.”
  • Quotes Gandhi: “Before you act, consider the poorest and most wretched human being and ask yourself, will the next act that your contemplating benefit that person. If it will your safe. If not, think again.”
  • Where do you find a guiding principle?
  • Check out: Threshold Foundation:
  • “We’re all in it together” was Larry Brilliant’s message – LB
    And points to inequality of wealth across the globe, “Because of the crises 3.5B have cellphones 3B can’t make a phone call,”
  • Richard Rockefeller: How do you deal with those with great wealth?
  • Kathy says, “Isolation is one of the tremendous problems of wealth”
  • Growing inequity is a result of wealth. “Of all the tools in social activism, ideas and belief are more important than money. How do we build a community of individual donors and philanthropists to solve the great problems of our times?” – Brilliant to Kathy
  • How do we create a vehicle that serves the purpose of a campaign?
  • Paul Hawken asks:
  • Kathy has struggled with language and metaphor systems. Talking about philanthropy as investment.
  • Civil society is fundamentally part of the system. (Kathy)
  • “Newspapers will be run by nonprofits.” (Kathy)
  • Complicated problem to get philanthropy to be accountable.
  • “God and anecdotes drive society.” – Brilliant
  • Books:
    Check out Stewart Brand’s work
    Bennett recommends, Kevin Kelly’s: Out of Control: New Biology Systems, Network Economy”
  • Add points about shift to knowledge economy to argument about ‘feedback loops’
    Add points about need and seeking for community in zeitgeist

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