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(from left) Gasper Hrastelj, Miroslav Polzer, Gerry Salole, Wilhem Krull, Janez Podobnik,

Lucka Kajfez Bogataj, Peter Volasko, Emilio Rui Vilar, Jerome C. Glenn, Blaz Golob

Group Photo

Group photo taken in the evening of June 1 2008



Global challenges, in particular climate change, require new, committed and global problem solving alliances. In light of the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges humanity is facing today, innovative and strong approaches are needed - partnership-oriented approaches from public authorities, international organisations, business, civil society, the scientific community and last but not least, philanthropists.1

As we live in 21st century in global information and knowledge societies, knowledge generation, dissemination and utilization has to be placed at the center of global concerted action in climate change mitigation and adaptation.2

Philanthropists worldwide have a unique role to play in this arena. First of all, they have the ability to complement the work of public authorities and international organisations. Their vision is neither limited by short-term electoral nor business considerations.

Philanthropists have the freedom to think outside the box. This freedom can lead to optimised results, as it offers advantages of speed and scope to implement more effective responses to global challenges.

Philanthropists have the necessary means to finance programmes which are consensually identified as appropriate responses to global challenges. Philanthropists can contribute to the building of human capacity worldwide to disseminate knowledge about behaviour that is appropriate to safeguard our common global future.
The US and EU are the origin of most international philanthropic giving worldwide, but there are players in other regions of the world that are beginning to step up. For these new actors, global issues such as climate change, mitigation, and adaptation, as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) etc. are high on the agenda.

With this international conference, we hope to identify areas in which philanthropists, together with the above-mentioned stakeholders and all concerned citizens, can work together to safeguard our world.


  • Encourage cooperation among philanthropic organisations worldwide to respond to global challenges, in particular that of climate change.

  • Promote partnership between philanthropic organisations, governments, the EU, the United Nations, and other key stakeholders to address global challenges.

  • Highlight the role of foundations in advancing research, innovation and human capacity-building for knowledge-based responses to global challenges and identify and develop appropriate mechanisms  of philanthropic funding for activities in this field. The European Forum on Philanthropy and Research Funding will be a central point of departure for discussion.

  • Identify practices and approaches and trigger innovative and partnership-oriented actions with new actors.


1 A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy. Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, time, or effort to support a charitable cause. Philanthropy is very often institutionalised in foundations.

2 With regard to the aspect of investing in science/knowledge, the international conference "Global Philanthropists-Partners for a Knowledge-based Response to Climate Changecan be seen as a follow-up to the international conference and ministerial round table"Why Invest in Science in South Eastern Europe?" by Slovenian Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office Ljubljana and UNESCO Venice Office in Ljubljana/Slovenia in September 2006. The Portoroz conference chooses a thematic focus (Climate Change) instead of the regional focus on South Eastern Europe, highlights the role of philanthropists as especially interesting -new-partners for promotion.

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