EVPA’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 [email protected]