Change is inevitable, but what forms will it take?
Asian philanthropists pivoted almost immediately to tackle the first wave of the pandemic, reflecting the flexible, innovative and catalytic nature of philanthropy. There was also a fundamental shift in practice. Funders who were traditionally used to working in silos found it essential to collaborate, particularly when solutions needed to be implemented swiftly and at scale.
As funders rise to plug the gaps in the socio-economic system that have surfaced from the pandemic, we are seeing an evolution of leaders rising to meet the moment.
Will we see these changes endure beyond the Covid emergency and become part of a new paradigm which can be used to tackle rising inequality and the climate crisis? As elsewhere, a generational transfer of wealth is looming. How will the next generation use that wealth? Moreover, other challenges are apparent. As nationalist sentiments arise and the space in which both civil society and philanthropy operates contracts, funders are seeing some of their advocacy work come under scrutiny. What can and should philanthropy do to shape the future of the Asian societies and where are its limits?