Plenary Sessions

Plenary Sessions

A National Philanthropic Dialogue on Safe and Healthy Communities

Sunday, April 7, 12:15-1:30 p.m.
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Imagine a world where safety is guaranteed and where lives are not interrupted by senseless violence. Community safety affects each and every one of us both personally and professionally. As American communities face a growing incidence of violence, how can we work together as funders and as a nation to address this devastating societal problem and create lasting change?  Join us to hear different perspectives on how deep the roots of this problem are, what the challenges are to addressing it, and what opportunities there are for change. These expert and diverse voices will provide a platform for deeper discussion:

Moderator: Ellen Alberding, President, The Joyce Foundation
Speakers: James Anderson, Program Assistant, Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Diana Bontá, President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation; Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans; Heather MacDonald, John M. Olin Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia

Food Justice: An Issue for All

Monday, April 8, 8-9:30 a.m.
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Across the nation and globe, we are in the midst of a burgeoning crisis. As a global community, we are facing food insecurity, obesity, malnourishment, and an abundance of industrialized food production that use non-sustainable approaches to farming and production that limit future use of our lands. What are the causes of this problem? What are the solutions? What are the challenges preventing us from getting there? Join us for a lively and interactive session that will showcase the myriad perspectives on this topic and offer tactical ways to make a difference—today and every day—as well as a film clip from Participant Media's "A Place at the Table."

Opening Remarks from His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales

Moderator: Paula Daniels, Senior Advisor on Food and Water Policy, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Speakers:Scott Cullen, Executive Director, GRACE Communications Foundation; Barbie Izquerido, Community Member, Mother, Student, and Protagonist in "A Place at the Table"; LaDonna Redmond, Senior Program Associate, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Art Smith, Chicago-based Chef and Philanthropist

Simultaneous Plenary Sessions

Monday, April 8, 1-2:30 p.m.
Inequities of Justice
Discover how the inequities within the U.S. criminal justice system undermine individual dignity, community stability, and family structure. Speakers will explore reform efforts underway across philanthropy, literature, and film that are designed to restore fairness and competency to the justice system.

Speakers: Lyman Legters, Senior Fellow, U.S. Department of Justice, Casey Family Programs; Jonathan Rapping, President / Founder, Gideon's Promise; Dawn Porter, Founder, Trilogy Films; Kirsten Levingston, Program Officer for Justice Sector Reform, Ford Foundation; David Singleton, Executive Director, Ohio Justice and Policy Center

Media and Democracy: A New Look at Media Foundations
Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will highlight some of the major communications policy challenges and choices now facing our country. In additon, leaders from the Ford, Knight, and MacArthur foundations will discuss how they are responding to these challenges, both internally and programmatically and—together with the audience—address the implications for philanthropy.

Moderator: Charles Benton, Chairman, Benton Foundation
Speakers: Michael Copps, Senior Advisor, Common Cause; Luis Ubinas, President, Ford Foundation; Eric Newton, Senior Advisor to the President, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Elspeth Revere, Vice President, Media, Culture and Special Initiatives, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Art of Listening
Join iconic radio figures—including the founder of Radio Diaries, which just won a Peabody Award for its documentary "Teen Contender"—for a conversation exploring the power of the worlds' most accessible and popular information source and the intersection of radio and philanthropy. Radio is the most universal medium, used by 95 percent of the world’s population. Requiring inexpensive and relatively simple technology, it provides global voices access and an ability to participate that may not exist otherwise. It is the message and messenger of some of the greatest issues of our times, as well as the site for an investigation of contemporary life's far ranging experiences. Come discover the medium as a unique tool to experience, engage, learn, and be moved.

Moderator: Jane Saks, Executive Director, Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media
Speakers: Ira Glass, Host / Managing Producer, This American Life; Joe Richman, Founder and Executive Producer, Radio Diaries Inc.; Julie Shapiro, Artistic Director, Third Coast International Audio Festival

The Returns of Impact Investing
In addition to financial returns, impact investments provide learning, community, and behavioral returns to your foundation that will help you better meet your mission. Through a series of TED talks, hear what these investments are really all about.

Speakers: Luther M. Ragin, Jr., CEO, Global Impact Investing Network; Sterling K. Speirn, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Lisa Hall, President and CEO, Calvert Foundation

Risk Taking in Philanthropy: An Engine for Innovation and Social Change

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30–9:30 a.m.
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At the heart of social change there is one crucial element: risk taking. A foundation’s ability to take risks must have the right combination of leadership and organizational culture, in addition to a vision to action plan. Sector leaders will provide examples from their own personal leadership journeys and outline the key components necessary in organizational culture—including how to foster innovation, extract lessons from experiences, and embrace failure.

Moderator: Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations
Panelists: Robert L. Gallucci, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Bobbi Silten, President, Gap Foundation and Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility, Gap Inc.; Kelly Ryan, President and CEO, Incourage Community Foundation;

Activist Philanthropy: Challenging the Status-Quo — Change the Questions, Change the World

Tuesday, April 9, 12–1:30 p.m.
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Join an intimate conversation with the visionary leaders of V-Day and Partners in Health. Hear candid lessons from these “activist philanthropists” who have raised millions of dollars at the grassroots level making entire communities safer, healthier, and stronger. Find out how any funder can help move millions of people by inspiring everyone to take action together, through medicine and art, advocacy and education. Take part in this plenary discussion with visionaries who have changed the world through their risk taking, unwavering tenacity, and bold actions tackling the toughest problems on the planet, including disease, disaster, and violence. Activists on the ground have “changed the game” of philanthropy through unconventional movements—inspiring a new generation of doctors and health workers around the world, and mobilizing people through “One Billion Rising” in more than 200 countries to end violence against women and girls.

Moderators: Michael Balaoing, Principal, Candlelion LLC and Adjunct Professor, New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Susan Davis, President and CEO, BRAC USA
Panelists: Eve Ensler, Playwright, Performer, and Activist/Founder , V-Day Foundation; Paul Farmer, Chief Strategist and Cofounder, Partners In Health; David Walton, Deputy Chief of Mission to Haiti, Partners in Health

The Council on Foundations is a national nonprofit association of more than 1,700 grantmaking foundations and corporations. As the leading advocate for philanthropy, we strive to increase the effectiveness, stewardship, and accountability of our sector while providing our members with the services and support they need to advance the common good.