Fourth Plenary
Risk taking in Philanthropy: 'Should philanthropists be taking bigger risks?’

Today’s mega-rich can choose between building roads and firing rockets into space. There is a strong humanitarian argument for filling gaps left by malfunctioning markets or governments to ensure people’s basic needs are met. This, however, may not only prop up inefficient systems, but may also miss philanthropy’s unique opportunity to deliver change. Because they are not constrained by electorates or shareholders, donors have more freedom to invest in radical but uncertain ideas. For those who are willing to do so, what level of risk can be justified when the stakes are so high?

This session will explore the current risk appetite of philanthropists, tactics that can be used to manage risk effectively, and the most promising opportunities for philanthropic capital to bear more risk to amplify its impacts.