Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, the AVPN Global Conference 2024 will take place in Abu Dhabi from 23-25 April 2024.

The announcement was made at the UAE Pavilion in Davos for the Reimagining Philanthropy in the Global South: Perspectives from Philanthropy Champions event that took place during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

It will be the first time that the conference will be held in West Asia, leveraging the unique position of the UAE as a bridge between East and West.

Half-way along the road to 2030, many challenges remain to achieve the SDGs. These have been compounded by the impacts of the climate crisis, an accrued climate of violence, a weak global economy, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as traditional aid donors are reducing their aid contributions, new philanthropic actors are emerging, including many from the Global South. In parallel, innovative finance solutions mobilising, among others, philanthropic actors are being developed to address this funding gap. Today, these new models and sources of philanthropy are tackling development challenges, reframing: the north-south relationship, donor driven relationships and grantmaking, and the definition of impact.

Philanthropy champions who featured in the event included; Nassar Al Mubarak, CEO at Reaching the Last Mile; Naina Batra, CEO of Asia Venture Philanthropy Network; Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises, COP 28 Special Representative for Business and Philanthropy; Precious Motsepe, CEO of Motsepe Foundation, and Shamina Singh, Founder and President, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

The session was moderated by Becky Anderson, Anchor, Connect the World with Becky Anderson & Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi.

Nassar Al Mubarak, CEO, Reaching the Last Mile, said: “Today’s event marks the start of an important discussion on how we can pioneer new partnerships and funding to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. Philanthropy is evolving, and we must recognise and harness the expertise of new actors, particularly those from the Global South, to drive renewed impact.

“Under the direction of our leadership, the UAE is determined to sustain a broader conversation on philanthropy, building on our tradition of convening and the ability to unite diverse stakeholders. The AVPN Global Conference is a further platform to find new opportunities to act together, for the benefit of our planet and its people.”

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and COP 28 Special Representative for Business and Philanthropy, said: “We are entering a very exciting era for strategic philanthropy across emerging markets, with $20 trillion of wealth expected to transition across generations in the next decade or so within Asia alone. This digital savvy next generation is much more attuned to the interconnectivity of global challenges, and I therefore expect to see a multiplier effect on philanthropic impact across these markets in the years to come. We witnessed this newfound enthusiasm and energy with the more than 400 foundation heads from 82 countries that participated in the inaugural COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum. As an increasingly important global convener and enabler due to its highly strategic location and progressive policies, the UAE is uniquely placed to act as a gateway for many across global growth markets to collaborate, coordinate and multiply their philanthropic endeavours.”

Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN said: “It is important for like-minded social investors globally to come together and take collaborative action to address social issues across Asia. Hosting the AVPN Global Conference 2024 in Abu Dhabi will allow our delegates to understand and learn about West Asia’s social investment needs and innovation.”