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TED on Sunday: Katherine Fulton on the Future of Philanthropy

June 28, 2009

What comes to mind when you think about philanthropy? Chances are, says Katherine Fulton, president of the San Francisco-based Monitor Institute, you'd end up with a list that includes words like closed, small, slow, fragmented, and short. But it doesn't have to be that way. As Fulton explains in this short, powerful talk, the same disruptive technologies that have upended industry after industry are beginning to transform philanthropy in profound ways. And while we don't yet have a language to adequately describe this transformation, we can recognize some of the innovations that are driving it, including mass collaboration, online marketplaces, aggregated giving, innovation competitions, and social investing. Where is it all leading? We can't be sure, says Fulton -- in part because we are acting our way into a new way of thinking, rather than thinking our way into a new way of acting. But we should take comfort from and be inspired by the fact that each of us has more power to make a difference and create a better, safer, more just world than at any time in human history. Are we are up to the challenge? Time will tell. (Filmed: March 2007; Running time: 12:34)

Liked this talk? Try one of these:

-- Mitch Nauffts

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