The last few years have seen us move from crisis to crisis with little sign that the challenges we face – from the daunting levels of inequality to the climate emergency - are being met with the bold response they require. But looking more closely, there are already initiatives, pioneers and changemakers who are doing the work to create a greener, more equal and just future.
On 22 November, we will bring together London Funders’ members – including public, independent, and corporate funders – to take a step back, explore and reflect what we can learn from the initiatives and organisations already paving the way for a better future. The conference – kindly hosted by Bloomberg - is designed to foster collaboration, inspire innovation, and catalyse transformative change in the world of funding with opportunities to exchange learning with other participants and hear from changemakers, policy experts and funders. Highlights from the programme include:
1. Future forecasting
Kicking off the day, we’ll hear from policy experts who will help us set the context for the political, social and economic developments that may emerge in the next five to ten years – from the climate crisis to the rise in AI.
The session will be an opportunity to gain strategic insights into how these developments will shape the context in which funders will make their future decisions. We're delighted to be joined by:
Polly Curtis, CEO, Demos
Polly spent much of her career at the Guardian where she reported on health, social affairs and education, before joining the lobby team as Whitehall Editor, writing about government and policy. She went on to be digital editor of the Guardian, then led newsrooms as Editor-in-Chief at HuffPost UK, a Partner at Tortoise Media and Managing Director at PA Media. She also serves as a trustee of the Public Interest News Foundation, as well as a Non-Executive Director of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Antonia Jennings, Chief Executive at Centre for London
Prior to joining the Centre for London, Antonia worked in numerous charities, think tanks and campaigning organisations promoting new economic thinking. She has expertise across progressive local economic development, deepening democracy and sustainable economics. Antonia holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Politics and Communications, and a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She is Chair of the board of Rethinking Economics.
Piali Das Gupta, Strategy Director: London’s Futures, London Councils
Piali started her career in federal government in Canada, developing policy to tackle homelessness, before moving to the UK, where she has held senior roles including Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, Chief of Staff at Surrey County Council and Director of Policy and Communications at the London Borough of Newham.
Sanjay Odedra, Director of Communications and Campaigns, BusinessLDN
Sanjay has worked in campaigning across politics, business and civil society. Prior to joining BusinessLDN, he was responsible for communications at the City of London Corporation, Bank of England and the Treasury Committee in the House of Commons. Sanjay started his career as a journalist working for local and national titles.
2. Inspiring Initiatives
Hear from changemakers, pioneers and trailblazers who are already taking steps to shake up the funding system, including what they’ve learnt along the way, how other funders can build on their approaches and what we can do collectively to create change. Speakers include:
Bruce W.J.Miller, Interim CEO, Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund
Bruce W. J. Miller (Anishinabeg) is a member of Matachewan First Nation in the treaty #9 area and is Interim CEO for the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund in Canada. Bruce has worked in post-secondary education, not-for-profit, and was publicly appointed by the Government of Manitoba in 2017 as a member of the University of Winnipeg’s Board of Regents. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents and Vice-Chair of the Governance and Community Relations Committee and sits on the Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Alumni Committee.
Leah Black, Lead, Regenerative Futures Fund
Leah Black is currently leading the development of the new Regenerative Futures Fund for Edinburgh, working alongside the team at Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations' Council.
She is seconded to EVOC for 12 months from her role as Chief Executive of Whale Arts in Wester, a community-led arts charity and social enterprise. Previous to this role, Leah worked in the Creative Industries Team at Creative Scotland as a craft specialist having trained and worked as a jeweller and silversmith. Before working in a funding role with Creative Scotland, Leah was Director of Upland CIC in Dumfries and Galloway and has been a board member of Craft Scotland, The Stove Network and is currently a Warden of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh.
Mark Pascall, Founder, The Wellbeing Protocol
Mark Pascall (an Englishman living now in New Zealand) has been a technologist for over 25 years having spent the last 7 years working in the web 3 / blockchain / DAO space. He is the co-founder of The Wellbeing Protocol, a project building a new kind of public good infrastructure that enables local communities to build power and improve their communities wellbeing on their own terms (scaled localism). Their first tool is a participatory grantmaking tool (funded by the New Zealand Government and now being trialled across NZ and the UK) has created an exciting new way for communities to make decisions / allocate grant money and funders to get money to where it is needed, efficiently and transparently.
Marlon Williams, Vice President of Collaboration and Policy, Philanthropy New York
Prior to joining Philanthropy New York, Marlon served as the Assistant Director for Public Sector Innovation at Living Cities, working on projects to close racial gaps in income and wealth. At Living Cities, he was part of the Senior Leadership team, where he informed and influenced the organisation's internal racial equity work and staff culture work. Marlon was also the Director of Cross Agency Partnerships as the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and a policy advisor to the Mayor's office during the Bloomberg administration. Marlon led efforts consulting with cities on how to implement racial equity practices within the operations of city government.
3. Accelerating action
Join us for a Pecha Kucha style session where we will present some of the new programmes London Funders and members have been working on behind the scenes for the last few months – from our plans for long-term collaboration to our ambitions for taking place-based giving to a new level.
We hope this session will leave members with the tools, connections and inspiration to transform the future of funding in London and beyond.
The full agenda for the conference is available here.
Please note that this event is only open to London Funders’ members. If you are interested in becoming a member, please find more information here or contact our Membership Manager Nasyah at email@example.com
More than one person from each London Funders member organisation can attend but if we reach capacity, attendance may be limited to 2 people per member organisation.
Tickets are completely free, thanks to your support of our work through your membership fees.
The venue is fully wheelchair accessible. If you have any other accessibility needs, please get in touch with us directly by no later than 8 November: firstname.lastname@example.org