#ShiftThePower: Towards a more equitable paradigm of people-based development


About this session

For too long, the role of philanthropic institutions in the ‘Global South’ – community foundations, grassroots grantmakers, women’s funds, environmental funds and other kinds of community development foundations – has been overlooked by most of mainstream philanthropy and development. In order to change this and #ShiftThePower, we need a serious conversation about both the need and the ways to move away from top-heavy and top-down systems of international development and philanthropy towards a flatter and more equitable paradigm of people-based development. Community philanthropy is the way into the conversation, but the larger framing is always about power.

In recent years, interest has grown around a more people-led paradigm that shifts power closer to the ground and into the rapidly-growing, vibrant and wonderfully diverse global community philanthropy movement. It has found expression among funders, researchers and activists alike, but we must go further and push this into the mainstream. #ShiftThePower is both a call for new behaviours, mindsets and ways of working and a reminder both that few interactions are ever power neutral and that often, those we seek to “help” have much more power – knowledge, skills, networks – than they are given credit for. It is the job of those institutions that are serious about real, lasting change to know when to give up their own power, stand back and help make that happen.

To discuss this urgent and vital issue in more depth, and to explore what we need to do to truly #ShiftThePower, join our fantastic panel of speakers – Jenny Hodgson, Executive Director of the Global Fund for Community Philanthropy, Nana Afadzinu, Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute, Ambika Satkunanathan, Chairperson of the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, Barbara Nöst, CEO of the Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society and Wolfgang Jamann, Executive Director of the of the International Centre for Civil Society.






Jenny Hodgson (South Africa)
Executive Director, Global Fund for Community Foundations
Nana Asantewa Afadzinu (Ghana)
Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute
Ambika Satkunanathan (Sri Lanka)
Chairperson, Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust
Wolfgang Jamann (Germany)
Executive Director, International Civil Society Centre
Barbara Nöst (Zambia)
CEO, Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society