On June 1st and 2nd, Global Thinkers Forum conducted a two day workshop at the King Khaled Foundation in Riyadh, under the directorship of HRH Princess Al-Bandari bint Abdulrahman Al-faisal, dedicated to ‘Values-based Leadership & Strategic Philanthropy’ for members of the Arab Foundations Forum. Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder & CEO of GTF, discussed the latest philanthropic trends and the core elements of strategy as it applies to philanthropy as well as the fundamental differences between values, beliefs and behaviours and how successful managers need to draw on values-based decision making. Attendees included managers and C-Level executives from various prominent companies, organisations and foundations.
DAY 1: Wednesday, June 1st
- Session I: Introduction to Strategic Philanthropy & Impact Investing
Every individual has the opportunity to be philanthropic. If one has the opportunity to give financial, human and/or intellectual capital, one has a responsibility to align one’s resources and passions with public needs and welfare. This session discussed how to effect positive social change from either the for-profit or non profit sector.
- Session II: CSR: Strategies & Practices
According to the Arab Business Review, current corporate social responsibility practices in the MENA region are still heavily rooted to the concept of philanthropy and are not aligned to the region’s actual needs, thereby leaving alot to be desired in terms of their on-ground impact. This session examined best practices by companies who have successfully invested in Strategic Philanthropy.
- Session III: Philanthropy: Sharing Experiences & Questions
In advance of this session, participants were encouraged to identify a specific challenge or decision they faced regarding their philanthropic ideas and aspirations and discuss it during the session.
DAY 2: Thursday, June 2nd
- Session I: Values-based Decision Making
At this point in our human history, we are witnessing an unprecedented shift in human values. Millions of people all over the world are demanding their voices be heard, not just in how our nations are governed, but also in how our organisations are run. They want equality, fairness and transparency; they want to be responsible and accountable for their lives; and, they want to trust and be trusted. Most importantly they want to work for organisations that are seen to be ethical and are doing the right thing in the eyes of society.
- Session II: Values-based Leadership
Values-based leadership is based upon honesty, respect, trust and dignity, and it concerns and refers to every employee within a company as a valued human being. Great leaders inspire people to be their best. Societies and nations the world over suffer from leadership shortcomings and often scandals involving fraud, financial improprieties, and unethical behaviour. Today there is a dire need to Lead with Values: to act ethically and virtuously, to treat all stakeholders with respect, to empower women, youth and underprivileged groups and create extraordinary outcomes without necessarily sacrificing performance and profits. The financial results and organisational growth that can be achieved when leaders, managers and employees operate under a shared-values culture are impressive.
- Session III: Developing Important CSR Initiatives & Achieving Results
Gender Equality, Diversity, Employee Wellbeing, Social giving, Community development, Environment: Some important CSR initiatives that were explored in this session. The two day workshop concluded with a Q & A, to summarise the group’s takeaways and learnings.