The Philea Forum 2023, the main discussion meeting of European foundations, took place in Sibenik (Croatia) from 23 to 25 May. The Forum provided an opportunity for nearly 700 professionals from philanthropy and civil society to find new ways to collaborate in the search for solutions to today’s major challenges.
“We know that there is much to do, that we have to do it better and faster, but we know that a better tomorrow is possible if we do it together. The Europe we want, for the world we need”, said Delphine Moralis, Philea’s CEO, in her speech.
In the contexts of climate change and the war in Ukraine, democracy and civil society “as a field of urgent action” remained at the forefront of discussions on a wide range of issues, from interaction with policy makers to improve the ecosystem of European foundations and their potential to improve people’s lives in multiple fields, to possible initiatives from the world of culture and the arts to strengthen democracy.
The climate emergency was also a recurring theme at the Forum, with 88% of participants saying in a survey that Europe and the world must do more to address it.
Participants sought new ways to engage in grant-making, address power imbalances and encourage partner participation. The important issue of funding was another focus of the debates, which concluded that “trust-based grantmaking, participatory approaches and flexible funding” are the keys to improving foundation funding.
A panel of young civil society actors closed the conference with their experiences and views on how philanthropy can (and should) support youth. The panel consisted of Winnie Asiti, Next Generation Climate Board (Global Greengrants Fund); Anna Bondarenko, Founder and Director of the Ukrainian Volunteer Service; Ela Evliyaoğlu, Civil Society expert, Gençlik Örgütleri Forumu; and Aleksej Leon Gajica, Junior Ambassador to the EU and for Children and Youth Rights, UNICEF.
Finally, the Philea 2023 Forum concluded that human rights and equality are the essential elements for solutions to each and every crisis that Europe and the world are currently facing.
The Philea Forum 2023 was organised by the (Croatian) National Foundation for the Development of Civil Society, in cooperation with Philea, the European Philanthropy Association.