Philanthropy: Aristotle to Zuckerberg

Is philanthropy good for international development?
Online event
Open to the public
This event is free - register below to attend
November 2020

At the beginning of the twenty-first century the flow of donations from philanthropists to developing countries was so small it did not warrant a separate entry in the statistics of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By 2011 philanthropy had made its way into the official OECD figures as a separate item.

The total volume of philanthropic funding for development was $24 billion in 2013–2015. Philanthropy is now the third biggest provider of health funding in developing countries. And philanthropists have proved a good deal more prescient and agile in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic than have many governments.

But is philanthropy good for international development? Paul Vallely, author of the highly-acclaimed Philanthropy – from Aristotle to Zuckerberg, introduces his new book followed by a discussion with Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK, and Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Please note: This event will be livestreamed via Zoom and our Youtube channel. Register below to receive joining instructions closer to the event date.

About the speakers

Paul Vallely is the author of the highly-acclaimed history Philanthropy – from Aristotle to Zuckerberg. He also wrote Pope Francis: the Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism, a much-expanded revision of his international best-selling and critically acclaimed biography Pope Francis: Untying the Knots. All are published by Bloomsbury.

Paul has an international reputation as a commentator on religion, society and ethical issues. As a journalist he produced award-winning reporting from 30 countries over three decades for which he was nominated for the UN Media Peace Prize. He was also commended as International Reporter of the Year for his reports for The Times in Ethiopia during the famine of 1984–5. As an activist on international development he has worked with Bob Geldof and Bono on Live8 and at Gleneagles and was co-author of Our Common Interest, the report of The Prime Minister’s Commission for Africa (Penguin). As a writer his books include The New Politics: Catholic Social Teaching for the 21st Century and Bad Samaritans: First World Ethics and Third World Debt. He co-wrote Geldof’s best-selling autobiography Is That It?.

Paul writes on political, cultural and ethical matters in the New York Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Church Times and The Tablet. A former associate editor of the Independent, he is a regular broadcaster on television and radio. He is now Visiting Professor in Public Ethics and Media at the University of Chester. He is also a Senior Honorary Fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. He has chaired the development agencies Traidcraft and the Catholic Institute for International Relations and has been an adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. He is a member of the Independent Commission into the Experience of Victims and Long-Term Prisoners and is an Honorary Ecumenical Canon of Manchester Cathedral. He was awarded a CMG 'for services to journalism and to the developing world' in the Queen’s 2006 Birthday Honours. He lives in Manchester.

Kevin Watkins is Chief Executive of Save the Children UK. He joined Save the Children in September 2016, after spending three years as Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute. Previously, he held a senior academic role at the Brookings Institution, and acted as an adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Education, before which he spent seven years at the United Nations as director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report and UNDP’s Human Development Report.