How to give is fo­cus of phi­lan­thropy fo­rum

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By ZHANG YUE in Beijing zhangyue@chi­

More than 10 ex­perts, foun­da­tion lead­ers and busi­ness­peo­ple from the United States gath­ered in Beijing on Tues­day for the 2014 China Phi­lan­thropy Fo­rum.

As they ex­changed ideas on who phi­lan­thropy could work for more wisely to make the world a bet­ter place for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, many of them ex­pressed will­ing­ness to co­op­er­ate with com­pa­nies, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and grass­roots non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions in China.

“Phi­lan­thropy is a very ex­cit­ing area. It helps to make the so­ci­ety we are liv­ing in be­come more and more con­nected, and it re­quires con­stant in­no­va­tion,” said Robert Rosen, di­rec­tor of Phil­an­thropic Part­ner­ships at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion. “Our foun­da­tion has long been work­ing on solv­ing health and san­i­tary prob­lems in China, such as tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and HIV/AIDS, through work­ing to­gether with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. We see China has a strong po­ten­tial in phi­lan­thropy in­no­va­tion and we also want to par­tic­i­pate in it.”

Rosen said that China has gone through a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion in phi­lan­thropy in re­cent years, and the in­no­va­tion that China is about to un­dergo could have a good im­pact in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

Tracy Pack Marker, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of The Phi­lan­thropy Work­shop, said she has no­ticed that the phi­lan­thropy arena has re­mained ro­bust in re­cent years. She said the work­shop is now ex­plor­ing more co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions in China, such as China Phi­lan­thropy Re­search In­sti­tute at Beijing Nor­mal Univer­sity.

“One im­por­tant thing is we tend to guide our work­shop par­tic­i­pants as to how to give money in the right way, how to make a bet­ter con­tri­bu­tion with what you are able to give,” she said. “In the past 20 years, we have re­ceived par­tic­i­pants from China, and the num­ber has in­creased in re­cent years.”

D. Wayne Silby, found­ing chair of the Calvert Foun­da­tion, said for 12 years he has been in­vest­ing in foun­da­tions to pro­tect China’s en­vi­ron­ment.

“Twelve years ago en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion did not catch big at­ten­tion in China,” he re­called. “Now it cer­tainly has, and we have ben­e­fited greatly from this in­vest­ment. We are now in­vest­ing in some of the clean en­ergy so­cial en­trepreneurs in Qing­hai prov­ince and in Ti­bet Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion.”

Lu Mai, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of China De­vel­op­ment Re­search Foun­da­tion, said in­equal­ity has be­come a very press­ing is­sue for both China and the rest of the world. He said that ac­cord­ing to a re­cent survey, about 210, 000 peo­ple have a net worth of more than $30 tril­lion.

“This means that 0.004 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion has 13 per­cent of the wealth,” he said. “Our foun­da­tion has been work­ing to im­prove liv­ing and ed­u­ca­tion for chil­dren in poverty-stricken ar­eas in ru­ral China, and we have re­ceived a lot of help from com­pa­nies, or­ga­ni­za­tions and foun­da­tions over­seas. We hope such kind of help and co­op­er­a­tion will con­tinue.”

The one-day fo­rum was con­cluded by a key­note speech by Al­bert Gore, for­mer vi­cepres­i­dent of the United States, as well as the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize win­ner. In his speech, he ex­pressed his belief in the fu­ture of clean en­ergy de­vel­op­ment and the pos­i­tive ef­fect that this trans­for­ma­tion will bring glob­ally.

He also said the cost of us­ing so­lar en­ergy in China may fall be­low that of coal in the fu­ture, maybe in one or two years.

“In a cap­i­tal mar­ket, if tech­nol­ogy could serve as a cost­ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive, it will bring quite a promis­ing mar­ket,” Gore said. “This would bring the price to very close be­tween so­lar en­ergy and elec­tric­ity dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of this year.”

Gore also men­tioned that he has just had his fourth grand­daugh­ter born three days ago. When talk­ing about the fu­ture ex­change in younger gen­er­a­tions be­tween China and the US, he said it is ut­terly im­por­tant to be brave enough to “do the right thing” to­gether.

This is the third year that the China Phi­lan­thropy Fo­rum has been held. The event was co­hosted by the China As­so­ci­a­tion for In­ter­na­tional Friendly Con­tact and Cai­jing Mag­a­zine in China. In 2013, for­mer US Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton made re­marks fo­cused on phi­lan­thropy de­vel­op­ment and is­sues of in­equal­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.