Davos Philanthropic Roundtable: NEWS

26.01.2012

Internet revolutionizes philanthropy – the panelists of the Davos Philanthropic Roundtable

Davos Philanthropic Roundtable 2012

The video footage of the discussion is available on the YouTube Channel of the event: youtube.com/ephilanthropy

The Internet and information technology fundamentally change philanthropy throughout the world, making it more efficient, transparent and socially important on the global scale. This issue was discussed by the panelists at the 5th Philanthropic Roundtable held on 26 January in Davos by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.

“Philanthropy has always been very important for our society. But now it becomes even more important than ever before, because governments have to cut their expenditures and freeze many social projects,” - Ukrainian businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk said opening the event. According to him, Internet is the most powerful tool to develop philanthropy globally and increase its efficiency.

According to Chelsea Clinton, moderator of the discussion, donations through Internet become a key trend in charity. “While in 2001, 4% Americans donated online, in 2011 – 65% of them donated online. After September 11, one of ten donations was given to relief via online platforms, and after the tsunami tragedy in Japan last year 40% donations were given online.” She told that 40% people willing to donate money search for causes and charity projects in social networks.

Senior Advisor on Innovation to the US Secretary of State Alec Ross believes the onrush of online philanthropy is related to the deep social changes in the world. “The main lesson we have learned today is the transition of power on the global scale from hierarchies – such as states – to individuals and networks of individuals,” – he emphasized, noting that the goal of a state on this stage is not to hamper development of a civil sector including philanthropy. He believes that penetrating charity sector Internet makes it more popular, democratic and as a result more efficient. “Five, ten, twenty dollars bring incredible results if they are donated via Internet and social networks. This is the way dozens of millions dollars are accumulated for important projects,” – Alec Ross said.

According to Internet-entrepreneur Sean Parker and a cofounder of Causes – one of the largest networks in the world for social projects and public initiatives - Internet provides synergy for social activities of individual persons. “The key idea underlying Causes is to empower each person in his or her desires. This is more than merely accumulate money for philanthropy. Social networks have a huge potential for engaging people so that they may reach some goal together.” 

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt thinks online philanthropy ensures more trust in charity in general. People create themselves effective systems to control spending of the donated money and they have proved to be more effective. “This is the best mechanism that prevents losses of money and any corruption. As there is no better regulator as own conscience,” – Google Chairman emphasized.

The Davos Philanthropic Roundtable organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is one of the largest specialized events on philanthropy held during the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Over the last four years this event brings together internationally renowned philanthropists, businessmen, politicians and public leaders to discuss state-of-the-art approaches in philanthropy and eventually inspire future global philanthropists. Since 2007 the Roundtable panellists have included, among others, Tony Blair, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jet Li, Shimon Peres, Muhammad Yunus, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Paulo Coelho and others.

The 5th Davos Philanthropic Roundtable “e-philanthropy” is supported by:
Special partner - Alfa-Bank
Telecommunications Partner – Kyivstar

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