Culture, Living

Driving Change: Uniting Leaders and Communities for a Sustainable Future

Spring Rain Global, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), and the European Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ECCP) hold a two-day forum called “Nurturing Transformative Change in Philanthropy, focusing on Thought Leadership and Social Responsibility”. The forum features over ten prominent speakers who share their knowledge and expertise on the myriad discussions on leadership, corporate social responsibility initiatives, capacity building, impact investing, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and climate agenda.

The attendees of the forum range from non-profit organizations, faith-based congregations, and agricultural groups to corporations and government figures. Providing the rationale behind the forum, Spring Rain Global founder Dr. Glenda Antonio explains: “At the core of this event is a shared commitment to empower communities, uplift marginalized voices, and foster inclusive growth. We believe that by harnessing the collective strength of our network and resources, we can ignite a ripple effect of transformation that transcends boundaries and empowers individuals to reach their full potential.”

Focus on Thought Leadership and Social Responsibility

Leadership plays a pivotal role in philanthropy as it shapes the organization’s decisions and direction. “Thought leaders are those who dare to challenge the status quo, to think innovatively, and to drive meaningful change in society,” Dr. Glenda Antonio says. She further highlights how thought leaders advocate for transformative solutions so communities are mobilized to sustain themselves in the future.

Moreover, AVPN Southeast Asia Regional Director Dini Indrawati Septiani emphasizes the importance of collaboration in facilitating access to resources, and ECCP Cebu Branch Officer Jillian Sitchon explores capacity building in strengthening collaboration in a network. 

The forum also presents speakers to discuss social responsibility’s importance in non-profit organizations and corporations. Dr. Glenda Antonio finds it imperative to discuss the topic of social responsibility as it plays a key role in philanthropy: “Social responsibility in philanthropy underscores the importance of aligning organizational values with societal needs, promoting sustainable practices, and prioritizing the wellbeing of communities and the environment.”

Commitment to Collective Actions

Another highlight of the forum is the soft launch of the Race to Net Zero Philippines campaign. Led by ECCP and in partnership with Spring Rain Global and Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), the local campaign calls for non-state actors to take action and effort to reduce carbon emissions in the country, accelerating the transition to the removal of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for a sustainable future. 

The campaign assists in the capacity-building of the non-state actors — such as corporations, financial institutions, educational institutions, healthcare providers, environmental advocates and civil society, Filipino citizens, and the international community — so they are empowered to create initiatives that contribute to the collective effort of the campaign. 

Joining hands with ECCP, Spring Rain Global, and ASSIST, representatives of different non-state actors in the forum pledged their support to proactively contribute to the cause of cutting emissions in halves by 2030, and ultimately removing them by 2050. 

Fostering Collaborative Discussions 

Significantly, the forum cultivates a space wherein both speakers and audience are encouraged to engage in the healthy exchange of views and insights. Attendees are able to collaborate with others effectively, especially with the aid of panel discussions. Conversations become more meaningful and productive as attendees connect with each other through similar causes and interests. 

Ellen Gallares, who’s part of a joint project that aims to secure the future of Bohol’s ube and its farmers, shares how the forum has allowed her to build connections with potential partners at the regional, national and international level: “It inspires me that while I decided to capacitate our partners or stakeholders at the local community, I know that we can reach well-meaning groups and people. We have the same purpose, but we are working on a different level so we can collaborate through the philanthropic community.”

The forum sparks a network of communities and resources that emphasizes the role of collaboration in attaining the organization’s goals. It encourages everyone to help each other out. Jillian Sitchon calls for the spirit of compassion and community as she says: “Let us use this forum as an opportunity to share ideas, forge partnerships, and learn from each other. Together we can turn our good intentions into tangible results, building a more equitable future for all.”

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