I hope your summer is off to a great start!
Folks at Pollyanna are busy…we’re managing schools with upcoming Pollyanna Conferences, attending outside conferences, training new Project Managers, writing curriculum, and much more.
We are working with great schools across the country and now have at least one Pollyanna Conference every month during school year 2018-19. Kicking off October in New York and Los Angeles are Dalton and Harvard-Westlake respectively. We have even started signing contracts with schools for Pollyanna Conferences in school year 2019-20!
I have just returned from a trip to Greece that was part business and part vacation. I attended the
Stavros Niarchos 7th International Conference on Philanthropy
. Over three days, an amazing group of presenters and panelists discussed the effects that widespread inequality has in disrupting access to opportunities, education and other factors that enable progress.
One of my favorite speakers was Darren Walker, President of the
, who was part of a panel titled
How to Think About Inequality
. He was very frank and touched on three important topics: inequality and hope, types of philanthropists, and justice. Below are quotes from Mr. Walker’s discussion that resonated. I was hoping to only choose one quote, but each felt too important to omit:
“Inequality correlates with hope. Societies where there are growing inequalities, there is growing hopelessness. Hope is the oxygen of democracy. If citizens do not feel their societies are places of opportunity, that social mobility is a possibility, they will grow hopeless….and the greatest threat to democracy is hopelessness.”
“What kind of philanthropist are you going to be? One who thinks about charity or dignity, generosity or justice? Do you think of yourself as giving back or are you willing to engage in a conversation in order to strengthen your democracy thereby providing more mobility and opportunity to your fellow citizens?”
“It always starts at the top. You don’t need to look much farther than the Board and leadership of elite institutions to know if they’re serious about justice.”
As you can see from just one of the speakers, the conference was very thought provoking. Given today’s climate of so much disruption, Mr. Walker’s thoughts inspired me focus on what I am or am not doing to move the needle. I’m still processing everything I heard and have no doubt all I learned will impact and enhance the direction of Pollyanna.
I look forward to hearing about your summer!