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Sterling Speirn on Philanthropy and the Spirit of Our Times

May 23, 2008

Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, discusses how the foundation is changing to confront new challenges, particularly those affecting vulnerable children.

...We have to do more than just catch people when they're falling....All the things about promotion and prevention, you know, build a strong base. You build a strong base and then people will be resilient....I mean, if you wanted to propel vulnerable kids forward and create those conditions with[in] communities, you'd want to look at their cognitive, emotional, social, physical, cultural, spiritual development. Well, that would mean their health, their education, their food, and how engaged their communities are, whether they're in urban or rural places. So, it's nice that we have all those core competencies here at the foundation. And I think we need to take our core competencies and reconnect them and integrate them in ways that make us more adaptive to supporting children in the twenty-first century....

To learn more about the evolution of the Kellogg Foundation's grantmaking and its new program framework, visit the foundation's What's New mini-Web site. This promises to be a very interesting transition for one of the nation's most important foundations.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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