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Second edition of Social Finance Program at Oxford

Second edition of Social Finance Program at Oxford

The week-long program aimed at NGO leaders from across the globe and launched with support from the Foundation has 5 fellows from Russia.

The intensive course has started 5 November. During the course of a week the participants will discuss an extensive variety of topics including global models in philanthropy, endowments and social investing, ways to measure and manage performance, creating social impact bonds and attract public/private sector investment, etc. Guest speakers list includes world class experts like Phyllis Costanza, CEO, UBS Optimum Foundation, Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate Girls, Randy Newcombe, President and CEO, Humanity United, Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund, and many others.

At the end of the first day of the programme the participants were able to pose a few questions to the guest speakers Oksana Oracheva, General Director at the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, Randy Newcombe, President and CEO, Humanity United, and Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation.

Randy Newcombe, who has worked with EBay founder and famous philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, has told his own story of working for NGO sector: «At the beginning of my career I met Jed Emerson, who then soon went to work with George Roberts. What I am really trying to understand in George’s view of the world how it is that you might begin more commercial and business-like practices to social sector? The benefit of those first 15 years of my work life was a benefit of a lot of failure. There’s a metaphor for crucible but an actual crucible is a ceramic or metal container where other metals or minerals are heated to an extreme temperature to melt and create something new. And we use it as metaphor as you go through experiences in your life, challenges and failures, and create something new out of it. I would call my first 15 years, much induced by Jed Emerson, that crucible experience – I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I wouldn’t want to miss that experience». Newcombe went on to tell about his experience of working with Pierre Morad Omidyar and launching the programme “A billion a decade” across Omidyar Network.

Bruce Lourie has worked for Ivey Foundation for more than 15 years. The organization itself was operating in the environmental field for 30 years up until 5 years ago, when the whole approach was reassessed. «If you look at the measures of sustainability or global well-being, a lot of them are going a wrong direction – from collapse of fish species to inequity and decline of real wages. We decided that instead of looking at traditional issues like nature conservation, or water, or climate change, we would take a huge step back and look what are the system failures that are causing all of these major trends to go in a wrong direction». The work resulted in a series of steps that included rethinking institutional capacity in Canada that could lead to low carbon economy. It turned out that traditional environmental foundations no longer had the impact on the system.

Social Finances program was launched at Saïd Business School in 2016 in partnership with Vladimir Potanin Foundation. Each year the Foundation distributes 5 fellowships to support Russian NGO leaders, who are willing to take the course.

This year the fellows are Dzhanetta Akhilgova, President, Resource Center Development (Nazran), Snezhana Frantsuzova, non-profit marketer, Community Foundation Civil Unity (Penza), Natalya Kaminarskaya, Director, Nonforprofit center Blagosfera (Moscow), Olga Kazakova, Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, History Faculty, Altai State University (Barnaul), Denis Kudriavtsev, Program Director, INGO Doctors to Children (St. Petersburg).