A few of the directors went to the Walrus Talks Philanthropy on November 25, at a full Koerner Hall in Toronto. As per the format of Walrus Talks, each of the 8 speakers had 7 minutes in which to address the subject, and as per the usual unusual perspectives at Walrus Talks, the speakers put forward some challenging points of view. It was a provocative evening and, in a nutshell, none of the speakers said that philanthropy is just giving money to good causes. Among the highlights, with the link to watch each one via the Walrus website:
Michael Koerner explained how entrepreneur skills and philanthropy could be used effectively together, and the hall where the Talks took place was the evidence (the brilliant acoustics were put to good use when the sound system cut out later in the Talks, and Bill Young was able to proceed perfectly audibly).
Justin Poy tackled the subject of philanthropy among recent immigrant groups, and said that there’s no short-cut: getting to know the community and its values is the only way to make the connection.
Terry O’Reilly (no relation of mine) jumped right into using the power of the consumer and active choices to market philanthropic consumption.
Bill Young fearlessly challenged foundations to be more than growth-based mutual funds with a slightly-higher-charitable-rate-of-giving, and use their capitol for active projects.
And Tom Jackson framed all the discussions with the point that each person’s sense of community is the driving force behind charity, and the point is to always widen the community.
There’s no doubt that Walrus Talks bring out new points of view, and this was one of the best yet. We’re very happy to continue to be Walrus Foundation supporters.