An Evolutionary Funding Network
of the Evolutionary
Imagine a network of funders and others who (1) wish to support
transformational, evolutionary activities and (2) seek to better
evolutionary worldview, the nature of conscious evolutionary
transformation, and the evolutionary role that wealth can play.
This would not be a fund or foundation, but a network of mostly
wealthy individuals using their wealth to promote
the healthy evolution of societies and cultures.
As a network and not a fund, this Evolutionary Funding Network
would not make any decisions about what The Network as a whole
would collectively fund. Rather, it would do things like the following:
a) promote the idea that funding social and cultural transformation
is a good and powerful thing to do -- while distinguishing it
from the more familiar sorts of funding (i.e., supporting political
advocacy battles; ameliorating the suffering of the ill; unfortunate,
or oppressed; medical research; higher education institutions;
etc.) -- and promote exploratory dialogue about this emerging
distinction between evolutionary and traditional philanthropy.
b) set up various means for evolutionary activists, innovators
and servant leaders with projects, visions and activities to connect
with funders who might want to support the kind of thing they're
doing. Such means might include the following:
-- online resources like websites (with funding stories, registries,
articles, databases, contact info, etc.), listservs, etc.
-- publications like fliers and catalogues of possibilities
-- face to face gatherings on popular evolutionary and transformational
topics where funders/fundees/others can meet
-- ways for wealthy people to share projects-of-possible-interest
with each other
-- ways for funders to co-create funds and foundations for specific
areas of interest
-- ways for activists, innovators and servant leaders to communicate
with each other about the Network
c) set up mutual support systems (emotional, knowledge-sharing,
self-transformation, etc.) through which transformationally-oriented
people of wealth can help each other understand and cope with
their role in the world, nourishing the expansion of both their
full humanity and their effectiveness (including newsletters,
listservs, workshops, retreats, sharing of references, etc.)
d) draw more wealthy people into the network to expand its evolutionary
power (e.g., the e-commerce and high-tech fortunes and all the
Boomers who are inheriting their parents' money in the coming
e) develop funding innovations, such as
Bank inspired fundee answerability networks (which depend
on communities of recipients to provide answerability, rather
than extensive paperwork);
-- ways to increase the speed and flexibility of funding to
better deal with rapidly developing problems, opportunities,
and knowledge (e.g., Michael
Milken's work transforming prostate cancer research funding);
-- collaborations where some funders are active participants
in projects they fund
-- the increased use of intuition and other transpersonal and
non-rational decision-making capacities (in addition to the
rational ones) in funding decisions, etc.
f) convene powerful conversations, such as wisdom
council-style dialogues about the needs of funders and fundees,
and the dynamics of funding, evolution, and social transformation
-- which include all relevant stakeholders -- to generate greater
wisdom and innovation to guide their work.Such a network wouldn't
have an ideology (something solid that people believe in or don't)
so much as a vision -- a few essential truths about evolution
and transformation and what they could mean for the world -- which
would attract the right kind of funders.
The right person with a secretary and a travel budget could,
in 6-12 months, generate solid beginnings to a healthy network.
Here is an example of a powerful program such a person could organize
to help such a network self-organize and evolve.
THE EVOLUTIONARY PHILANTHROPY FORUM
How can concentrated private
wealth be invested to transform emerging crises into positive
evolutionary leaps towards sustainable, spirit-filled, wise
cultures that work for everyone?
a) Convene a 2-4 day wisdom council of two dozen wealthy people,
professional philanthropists, nonprofits who serve philanthropic
efforts, and transformational agents. They do NOT represent their
organizations; they come as insightful, creative individuals.
They are mandated to come up with a 1-10 page statement speaking
to the Inquiry, above, which is broadly disseminated. This would
facilitated and we'd expect real breakthroughs in understanding
b) Establish a listserv or online conference to receive comments
and generate discussion on the results of (a).
c) Within six months convene a 3-4 day open
space conference about the Inquiry, with World
Cafe (mix-and-match) events each night to stir the pot. Have
dynamic facilitators on hand for certain sessions where real breakthrough
may be possible, and possibly
graphic facilitators as well. Promote it broadly to the above
audiences, and shoot for at least 100 participants, preferably
more. Encourage insights and plans to be shared online.
d) Convene another similar open space six months later, with
many more people, some new, some veterans of the process. Again,
share results on line, and support the formation of networks and
e) At the end of the year, convene a wisdom council of two dozen
people chosen at random from the participants at both conferences,
with a similar mandate as in (a).
f) Establish an annual wisdom council and open space thereafter.
By the end of that first year, we could be well on the way to
transforming philanthropy. Not only will issues be raised and
explored, but people will find themselves taking responsibility
for actually DOING innovations they stumble on, and finding each
other. Establishing regular powerful forums (wisdom councils and
open spaces) will sustain the momentum and make needed course-corrections
and innovations possible.
Diverse efforts in philanthropy exist which parallel this one.
However, efforts to bring into being various independent visions
may be too small and collectively incoherent to meet the vast
systemic need for transformation at all levels of our culture.
Creating an initiative based on a powerful inquiry and a powerful
process can create a space in which diverse efforts will evolve
in full view of and interaction with each other, and where new
initiatives will emerge as needed, all within the context of an
evolving coherence shared by the field as a whole.
See also the other
Evolutionary Philanthropy papers
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