Libertarian Philanthropic Thought
"What is Philanthropy?" asked Jesting Pilate

Can Do Winners Tackle World Problems

Carla Dearing on Partnerships and Collaboration, reporting from Slate 60 Conference and Philanthropy Series.

In two days packed with a rich variety of content and conversation, I was most struck by the fact that the gathering’s superstars don’t see themselves as philanthropists, donors, or the newest term: "philanthropreneurs." These are folks used to getting things done -- problem solvers who are bringing to the globe’s most deeply-entrenched social problems, many of the same tools they use to address business challenges.

These world-historical figures don't strike me as "folks." Whatever is being settled through a collaboration of these sector-straddling Titans, it is not for the likes of us to do much more than be caught up in the buzz.  Who partners with whom here? Titan with Titan, or country clown with country clown? I think at a visceral level Carla, a success in business who is now a leader is a leader in the nonprofit sector, sees herself, or her ego-ideal, in these Supermen and Superwomen. I fear them and their glibness and their arrogance. They have presided over the problems they now will solve: inequality, instability, and unstainability.  As Clinton and other Uber-Citizens of the World step forward to work things out for us, will power devolve, or will these partnerships be collusive, as one sectoral leader connives with others to ride this wave of mindless enthusiasm for the new philanthropy or whatever they call it. To whom are these people accountable?

 

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