EVPA’s 9th Conference in Geneva Shares Failures in the Midst of Celebrating Successes

07 January 2015


Alfred Poon


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S3 EVPAEVPA’s annual conference in November last year was a refreshing departure from the usual repertoire of showcasing only the successful cases within the industry. Instead, leading investors also discussed failures and what we can learn from those. In addition to dedicating an entire session on the topic of failure (‘The good, the bad and the ugly: Lessons learned from past mistakes’), it felt like delegates in general were prepared throughout the two days to share openly some of the things that did not go so well. As André Hoffman, Vice President of WWF International said on the first day: “Be prepared for failure, but learn from your mistakes; without risk there’s no innovation”.

This notion of being open and transparent – in good times and bad times – fitted very well with this year’s principal topic of responsible leadership. Trust, dignity, respect and empowerment were all attributes that were linked to it.

One of the keynote speakers, Olivia Leland, Director of the Giving Pledge, gave an insight into the initiative launched by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet. The Giving Pledge encourages billionaires to commit the majority of their wealth to philanthropy to help address society’s most pressing problems. Often leaders in their own field use their wealth and knowledge to address societal challenges by directly supporting social purpose organisations and raising awareness. She reminded us of the importance to remain connected to our passion and not to forget what drove us to philanthropy in the first place.

AVPN attended the EVPA Conference, which attracted more than 500 delegates, and was happy to meet with many members at the event. Next year’s conference will be held in Berlin.

AVPN members who would like to be featured to EVPA members are welcome to speak to us. Please write to


A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training


Alfred Poon


Alfred Poon is Director of Digital Transformation of AVPN. He is a geek by nature, adman by passion, and holds a Masters in Nonprofit Communications from Indiana University. Alfred spends his time building communications infrastructure that brings people together. Prior to joining AVPN, Alfred has consulted for Social Purpose Organisations in over thirty countries, bringing his unconventional mix of nimble technology to enable data driven communications

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