Can Philanthropy Change the World? (2010)

The Sabanci Foundation’s 4th annual seminar was held at “Haci Omer Conference Hall”, at Sabanci Center, Istanbul. Besides Ms. Guler Sabanci, Chairman of Sabanci Foundation’s Board of Trustees Ms. Dilek Sabanci, Member of Sabanci Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and Mr. Husnu Pacacioglu General Manager of Sabanci Foundation, academics, media, civil society, private and public sector representatives attended the seminar.

Seminar speakers were Matthew Bishop, the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist and Luc Tayart de Borms, Managing Director at the King Baudouin Foundation in Belgium. The seminar was moderated by Filiz Bikmen Bugay, the Program Manager of Sabanci Foundation.

In her opening speech, Ms. Guler Sabanci, remarked that the date of December 10th is a special day for two reasons. First, it is the 100th birthday of Sadıka Sabanci, who donated all her wealth to establish the Sabanci Foundation 36 years ago. Guler Sabanci continued to her speech noting that On the other hand, today is the Human Rights Day. In both philanthropic and third sector activities human rights play a major role .

Highlighting how global problems vary as the world changes Ms. Sabanci stated that: The problems we deal with as foundations of today, are not simply our problems but rather that of the world. Therefore, solving global problems require interconnected thinking, shared decision-making and action. Within this perspective, foundations and civil society institutions bear a lot of responsibility . Ms. Sabanci also added that: In today s world not only civil society institutions play a role in solving social problems in the areas of social justice, global poverty, education and health but also are key to promote problems on the world s agenda and influence decision-making mechanisms .

Ms. Guler Sabanci pointed out that focusing on women, youth and persons with disabilities, Sabanci Foundation has brought a new perspective to philanthropic work in Turkey. Ms. Sabanci also noted that with the goal of making a difference in other people lives, Sabanci Foundation aims to advance social development by promoting an equitable environment in which women, youth and persons with disabilities have access and equal opportunities to actively participate in society.

Matthew Bishop, the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist, noted a new generation philanthropists, such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who have initiated the recent Giving Pledge movement to bring strategic change to the world s problems.

Luc Tayart De Borms, Managing Director of the King Baudouin Foundation, highlighted that when foundations and leaders in private sector have started playing new roles in philanthropic work, a new and dynamic concept of philanthropy came forward. Emphasizing different methodologies to do philanthropic work and inviting the philanthropists to become aware of each, Tayart de Borms stated that if an organization envisions to fulfill its responsibility in bringing social and political change, it needs to partner with other stakeholders.

When talking about the recent the Giving Pledge movement among the business leaders Luc Tayart de Borms emphasized that What we need in philanthropy is less pretention and more ambition .


The Economist, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief

Matthew Bishop is the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist and author of special report supplements, including The Business of Giving, which looks at the industrial revolution taking place in philanthropy. His recent book Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich can Save the World, (with Michael Green) was called the definitive guide to a new generation of philanthropists who understand innovation and risk-taking by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Before joining The Economist, Mr. Bishop was a faculty member of the London Business School and co-authored three books on subjects ranging from privatization and regulation to corporate mergers. Mr. Bishop was also on the Advisors Group of the United Nations International Year of Microcredit 2005 and has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.


King Baudouin Foundation, Managing Director

Luc Tayart de Borms is Managing Director at the King Baudouin Foundation in Belgium. A foundation and philanthropy practitioner with more than 20 years of experience, Tayart has authored and edited several books including Foundations: Creating Impact in a Globalized World, Philanthropy in Europe and Global Philanthropy. Mr. Tayart is Chairman of Guidestar International, a member of the Advisory Council of the European Policy Centre, Trustee at the European Venture Philanthropy Association, and Treasurer of the King Baudouin Foundation United States. His former positions included European Foundation Centre President (2000- 2002) and Vice-President (2002-2004), Council on Foundations member of the Board of Directors (2002-2005) and member of the Board of the European Cultural Foundation. He holds a Master degree in Moral Sciences from the University of Ghent.

For the written document of the seminar please click here...

By filling in this form, you agree that all kinds of personal data that are acquired and will be acquired via contact forms and e-bulletin subscription or that you shared/will share with our foundation can be recorded, stored, updated, deleted, disclosed to third parties, transferred, classified, used to contact you, and processed in ways listed in the law and relevant legislation by Sabancı Foundation (Data Controller) within the scope of the “Law on Protection of Personal Data” numbered 6698 and within the framework of the basis and procedures, the purposes, and methods predicated in the Sabancı Foundation Information Note on Law on Protection of Personal Data.