Young Philanthropists Praised - Nexus Summit
22 October 2013 at 9:49 am
The state of philanthropy in Australia was brought to the table as the nation's wealthiest and brightest minds in philanthropy and social enterprise came together in Sydney for the first Nexus Australian Youth Summit.
The Nexus movement, which was started at the United Nations in New York three years ago, attracted about 200 people to the event, hosted by the Foundation for Young Australians.
The summit featured a long list of big names including Nexus Global Youth Summit Co-Founder and Curator Rachel Cohen Gerrol, LeapFrog Founder Andy Kuper, G(irls)20 President and CEO Farah Mohamed and WhoGives Director Dorjee Sun.
Foundation for Young Australians Chief Executive Officer Jan Owen, in the opening plenary, praised the determination and passion for change from young Australians.
Among Owen’s top trends for philanthropy in Australia she spoke of shifts in purpose from programs to "domains"; shifts in financial "instruments"; ways of communicating online; and a shift from funding short-term thinking to long-term thinking such as the Northern Territory-based indigenous communities program Children's Ground's 25-year horizon impact plan.
She also said she believed there was a bright future for corporate philanthropy in Australia.
"I commend to you the Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts, but note there were only two corporations on that list but I believe that corporate philanthropy has played a significant role in Australia in the last 10 years.
"Through mining partnering with local community foundations, I believe there is a lot more to come from corporate Australia as it goes beyond CSR and corporate programs to local and community investment and solving social problems which might also be good for business."
Owen also offered a "cautionary note" to the audience saying there was a "fair amount of hubris in the philanthropic and social entrepreneurism world".
"…something that I'm not 100 per cent enamoured with is the people that are most critical of the non profit sector are mostly people who have never run a non profit," she said.
"Every successful business person that I know who has actually tried to run a non profit has said to me that it's the hardest thing they have ever ever tried to do.
"The bottom line is just not that clear and social entrepreneurs are actually often recreating the wheel duplicating without realising or because no one could do it better than they… drinking our own Kool-aid is something to be incredibly careful of and not concerned but be aware of."
Big Cash for Most Innovative
As part of the event, ANZ Private has partnered with Nexus Australia to offer the $10,000 Nexus Australia Innovator of The Year Award in 2014 to summit attendees.
The award is described as "a unique award designed to encourage a meaningful partnership between delegates from the Nexus Australia Youth Summit, that demonstrates the greatest potential for a social enterprise business opportunity".
Entrants are asked to submit an innovative and sustainable social enterprise concept that fosters positive social change in the broader Australian community and beyond.
"The social enterprise needs to achieve transformative social and/or environmental change, through the application of innovative and practical approaches that benefits society in general," the guidelines state.
The entries will be judged by Nexus Australia Organising Committee Chair Dr Aron Ping D'Souza, Foundation for Young Australians CEO Jan Owen and Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, a senior leader on the management board of ANZ Trustees, part of ANZ Global Wealth and Private Banking.
Applications open today for Nexus Australia delegates and close on November 15.
The top five entries will be announced on November 25 and the winner announced on February 12.