The Power of Cross-border Financial Flows: Reflections on the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker

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This transcript is from a CSIS event hosted on November 3, 2023. Watch the full video here.

Caitlin Welsh: (Off mic) – everyone. So much energy in the room for a Friday morning.

In partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy I am so pleased to extend a warm welcome to CSIS for this morning’s event, “Reflections on the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker,” featuring an introduction and remarks from the dean and associate dean of the Lilly Family School, Amir Pasic and Una Osili; keynote remarks from Reeta Roy, CEO of MasterCard Foundation; and a panel discussion with C.D. Glin, CEO of PepsiCo Foundation, Kristin Lord, CEO of IREX, and Jim Thompson, director of partnerships with the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships.

We are so pleased to welcome this esteemed group to CSIS for today’s event, and to our audience as well, welcome. I’m Caitlin Welsh, director of the CSIS Global Food and Water Security Program and today I am also responsible security officer for our event and before we begin I want to share some information about our building’s safety precautions.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourselves with the exits – emergency exits for this room, which are behind me to the right and in the corner of the foyer behind you and to the right. Should the need arise please follow my instructions and move toward our exits.

And two more announcements before we begin. One is that following our keynote presentation and panel discussion we will welcome questions from the audience in person and online. So we’ll welcome you to submit those using the ask questions here button on the event page and also the QR code which will be visible on the screen during our panel discussion, and we welcome questions and look forward to addressing them.

And second of all, following this morning’s event we will welcome everyone in our audience to a reception in the foyer and we do hope you’ll join us. Now on to our program.

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome to the stage Dr. Amir Pasic, Eugene R. Tempel dean and professor of philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Today’s event is 10 months in the planning and the report we’re discussing is several years in the making, and we’re so excited to be here.

Dr. Pasic, the floor is yours. (Applause.)

Amir Pasic: Thank you so much, Caitlin, and thank you for working with us to make this wonderful event possible. This is a truly spectacular place and you’ve been a wonderfully gracious host with your colleagues Anita and, of course, Dr. Hamre as well.

So I’m honored to join in this collaborative welcome and I am honored to welcome all of you who are curious about philanthropy and how it connects to policy. Philanthropy’s growing role and its growing visibility in development, humanitarian, and environmental circles is appropriately highlighted today but I think it’s also important to remember its roles across the full spectrum of international affairs.

The U.N. headquarters, the Peace Palace in The Hague, and even this beautiful building would not be possible but for philanthropy. Indeed, the social movements that were supported by philanthropy and fed into the multilateral post-war order after World War II were all kind of results of philanthropic movements as well, and they all have histories that are rarely featured prominently in professional development programs that prepare people to go into policy to shape it and to implement it.

So now as philanthropy emerges from its role as a silent partner we have much to discover. Even when donors are prominently recognized, be it in a celebratory or in a critical fashion, their roles are not always fully understood nor are donors themselves well-served with a systematic repertoire of ways in which they can or should engage in policy. So I am really pleased to join you in a curiosity about what philanthropy actually does and would – and what it could do more and better to address the urgent issues of our time.

And as all of you know, in all traditions of philanthropy there is a fundamental connection to gratitude. So allow me to offer my gratitude to our wonderful hosts and partners today, and echo, as we must, some of the wonderful thanks that Caitlin always had. So let me thank CSIS, Caitlin, and her colleagues for putting on this wonderful event with us. I would also like to thank our research partners. The Global Philanthropy Tracker that you will hear about today is part of our school’s global philanthropy indices, which also includes the Global Philanthropy Environment Index. Between these two indices, we cover 93 countries. And over 100 research partners around the world make the research possible.

And then thank you also to our speakers today, who will highlight the relevancy of the research that we will be presenting. As Caitlin mentioned, thank you to Reeta Roy, representing he Mastercard Foundation; C.D. Glin, representing the PepsiCo Foundation; Kristin Lord, representing IREX; and Jim Thomas – Thompson of the U.S. State Department Office of Global Partnerships.

So it is now my honor to introduce Dr. Una Osili, who will provide an overview of the key findings of the report. Dr. Osili is Efroymson chair in philanthropy and economics. Also, she is associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She also serves as dean’s fellow for the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy. She is an international economics expert and leads projects like the index you will hear about today, Giving USA; and she also founded Generosity for Life, which is a digital platform with tools to understand philanthropy and social impact. She chairs the Philanthropy Panel Study, the school’s signature study of family generosity across generations. She earned her B.A. from Harvard and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northwestern.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Osili. (Applause.)

Una Osili: Good morning, everyone. It is such a delight and an honor to be with all of you. I am thrilled, first of all, to be in this space with so many dear colleagues and also want to offer a word of thanks to our speaker, Reeta Roy; my sister Ndidi Nwuneli, who’s all the way from Nigeria – I think she’s the person who’s traveled the farthest; but also so many wonderful colleagues from the Lilly Family School that I see, especially Dr. Shelnet Kouh – Coco, all of you know – Hannah Vos, Andrew Keeler, and so many others who’ve made this day possible.

So we are at an inflection point, you would argue, in philanthropy. We’ve had a global pandemic, a racial and social justice movement, an ongoing economic crisis. We at the Lilly Family School have had the distinct pleasure of seeing philanthropy respond in unprecedented times and in unprecedented ways. Through the Global Philanthropy Tracker, we have not just a one-nation view or one-region view, but across the countries that we study – over 90 of them – what’s taking place in philanthropy at the grassroots, but also at the cross-border level and even across regions. So today I’d like to take you behind the scenes, and walk you through some of those findings, and tell you what we’ve learned and also how this matters in today’s world where so much is changing.

To try to situate our work today, I’m reminded of the Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and she said two things that have stuck with me since I read about them. The first is that in times of crises we also have great opportunities. So whether it’s in the issues around climate, one C; aftershocks of COVID, another C to contend with; and ongoing conflict in so many parts of the world, philanthropy has a chance to respond in new ways, in innovative ways, in flexible ways.

So the Global Philanthropy Tracker tries to answer three questions. The first is: How is philanthropy responding at a time like this? The second is: To what extent is philanthropy acting as a catalyst for change and transformation? These are new questions, but ones that we’re taking very seriously. And we’re also starting to study new models of philanthropy emerge where communities are being placed at the center of change; where localization, funding local organizations, has become a priority; and where there’s an increased urgency to build trust in communities at a time of declining institutional trust; and to bring transparency, as well as accountability, to both the funding decisions and how that funding is used.

So what have we learned in the last few years? We’ve learned that philanthropy is working collaboratively with other types of flows – the private sector, with government, and also with private donors including individual donors, corporate donors, but also diaspora communities. The Global Philanthropy Tracker is the first report of its kind to measure cross-border giving at scale. And here, we also have to acknowledge Dr. Carol Adelman – she’s here in the audience somewhere – who actually started this effort and brought it to the school to take it to the next level, as it were.

So let me share what we’ve learned. And just remember that we are at the start of this endeavor and we’re asking all of you to join us.

For the 2023 report, 47 countries are studied, and we study countries at all stages of economic development. This is important because through this we’ve learned that all countries are participating in cross-border giving. It is not just the high-income countries that are giving; it’s also the low-income countries and the middle-income countries as well. We’ve tracked $70 billion in cross-border philanthropic flows. This accounts for about 8 percent of worldwide cross-border engagement.

And what we’ve also learned – and this is the biggest takeaway for me – in this time of unprecedented change, philanthropy proved resilient, and you could even argue among the most resilient, of these cross-border flows. How do we know this? In between 2018 and 2020, we actually saw a decline in official development assistance. We also saw private investors retreat, especially from emerging markets, with a very significant decline in FDI flows, especially to low-income countries – foreign direct investment flows. However, the good news here is that remittances increased – this was not necessarily what was predicted – by 19 percent, and we’ll hear more about this, I’m sure, during our panel discussion. And perhaps most surprisingly, donors responded to a lot of the crises that we saw around the world. And we saw philanthropic outflows, especially when we look at consistent countries over time, actually increase slightly, although overall there was a slight decline. So the good news is private donors stayed very consistent even in times of great stress, and we actually saw many donors step up and step forward with new models of giving.

The second finding – and this is especially one that I have reflected on as someone who’s studied development for quite some time – we’ve learned that is it not the development models that we learned about in the ’50s, in the ’60s, or even in the 1970s. Today, when we talk about sustainable development, it is a complex array of actors that are working to solve problems, often in collaboration. So certainly you can see that official development assistance is a small piece of the puzzle, much smaller than it was, perhaps, in the ’50s and ’60s. And certainly remittances are perhaps one of the most understudied, least-understood part of the equation, but they account for a big part of the cross-border flows that we see, with nearly 10 percent of the world’s population living outside of the countries they were born. And then philanthropic outflows, often understudied as well, account for, as we said, 8 percent of these total cross-border engagement flows.

The third – and this is the finding I’ll leave you with, especially those of you who are funders, donors, or just people who care about the philanthropic sector – in this moment of great crisis but also great opportunity, philanthropy has an urgent opportunity to address these pressing needs in the areas of climate, in the areas of conflict, but also in the areas of sustainable development. And let’s see; for the data that we have, education and health are the top two areas that are funded. This means that often other causes are left out of the equation. And specifically, we see climate being a small but rising share of the cross-border funding that we see. So there is a conflict here. Donors are funding, of course, humanitarian aid, but they also have to think about how they can add some of these other urgent issues to their agendas.

So as we stop here, the other big charge – call to action I would issue for all of you in the audience is philanthropy also has an opportunity to advocate. And on that advocacy realm, how do we enhance the local philanthropic ecosystems? International funders have an opportunity to partner with grassroots organizations and also with domestic philanthropists to help build a more robust set of systems. And being a researcher, I also have to add we need to think about how we develop better data standards across the board. This is something that’s much needed in the sector so that government, private sector, and philanthropy can truly collaborate to drive change.

And so, to learn more about these reports, you can see that it’s not just the Global Philanthropy Tracker. We have the Global Philanthropy Environment Index, which tracks the enabling environment, and a new project, Digital for Good, that just came out in 2022 that looks at emerging forms of giving around the world.

And I will also end on a note of thanks to our funders, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I have to lift them up because they’ve been with us from the start of this project, and also the John Templeton Foundation. Thank you for your support. And thank you to all our partners around the world. (Applause.)

I have one more thing before I conclude. I also have to thank our speaker, who’s also traveled across borders to be with us today. And I have the great pleasure and honor of introducing her. So let me just quickly introduce our speaker.

Reeta Roy is the president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the world, with approximately $40 billion in assets. Its vision is a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.

A thoughtful leader who is deeply committed to equity and inclusion, Reeta has worked tirelessly around the globe to build a foundation that is collaborative and known for bold action and transformative impact.

Under Reeta’s leadership, the foundation has focused its work on Africa since 2018 and committed to a goal of ensuring 75 percent of all of its partners are African organizations. And based – (applause) – I think that deserves a round of applause, yes. And at a time when many funders are still learning how to do this, Mastercard Foundation has already done this work. And they have based the majority of the foundation’s operations, staff, and leadership, including Reeta herself, in Africa.

So I am so proud that she is here with us this morning. And I’m going to turn over the floor to Reeta Roy. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Reeta Roy: Thank you, thank you.

Thank you, Una, for that wonderful introduction. Thank you to Amir, to Caitlin, and to all of our friends who are here, who gathered here. It’s fabulous to see all of you. Good morning. And congratulations to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

This tracker is phenomenal. It’s comprehensive. And the data will be invaluable. And just seeing the number, the significant number, associated with remittances – you know, I know it’s a huge reminder to us that the world isn’t waiting necessarily for funders or foundations. People, families, wherever they are, they’re doing their part to help families at home.

And so I’m also struck, when I look at diaspora-community dollars and outflows going back to Africa. And data is not just dollars. Data reveals stories. And these stories are about dreams and hopes and aspirations and ambitions. It’s money going home to send a family food, help them build a home, help them farm. It’s paying school fees. It’s building businesses.

And so, as a foundation working in Africa, we’re trying to do our part to get behind those dreams and aspirations and to get behind those stories of transformation. As Una said a moment ago, I’m part of the Mastercard Foundation. We are a Canadian organization established in 2006, when the company went public. And Mastercard did an unusual thing. It made the foundation completely independent, located us in Toronto. Our board of directors, our leadership team, make all the decisions about our funding, about our programming, and where it is we work.

And so the board in 2009 made a big decision, which we have held to, and that was a decision to focus ourselves, our resources, our time, on one region of the world – in Africa. And we did this for many reasons. (Applause.) We did this for many reasons – because it was compelling. We saw a young continent, a dynamic continent. We saw the off-take of mobile telephony, which was already changing how we were interacting with finance, with education, with information, with networks. And of course we saw a huge wave coming forward of entrepreneurs with very exciting and very, very disruptive ideas.

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t see the gaps – the low, low levels of financial inclusion, the low enrollment rates in secondary and higher education. But we saw way more opportunity. And so we started. We started by listening, listening to young people. We learned, because of the generosity of other foundations, other funders. And we began collaborating.

And in that first decade, we started our programs. They grew to over 30 countries across the continent, many partners, $2 billion invested. And directly and indirectly, as far as we could find and measure, and as was reported, those dollars impacted about 45 million people, the vast majority of it going through access to finance, and the vast majority of that enabled by digital technology.

So at the close of that decade, you know, we felt that we had arrived at a moment of hope, of trust, of listening. And we asked what else, what next. And so for this next decade of certainly our young lives, we decided to focus on a singular – you could say a problem or an opportunity, and that is of employment, jobs, work, dignified work, for young people.

So in 2018, right after – the day after, in fact, when the African Union announced the historic signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, we launched Young Africa Works. And as some of you know, we set out a bold target of 30 million young people, especially young women, in dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. And we set out a target of ensuring that we would get to at least – at least 75 percent of our partners would be African organizations.

And so we began. A strategy like this is rooted in countries. It means getting behind their aspirations, their national ambitions, to transform, to become middle-income countries. It meant identifying economic sectors in each country to job destinations and equipping young people with the skills, the knowledge, to be able to seize those opportunities. It also meant getting behind entrepreneurs who are growing those sectors of the economy.

Now, implementing something like this meant that we had to be close. We had to be on the ground, present. We had to become part of the community. And so that’s what led to the transformation of the foundation’s own operating model from being based only in Toronto to now across seven countries on the continent. And that’s where the vast majority of our leaders, our staff, and, as Una mentioned, including myself, we reside in Africa.

So when COVID hit, when COVID hit and the pandemic really shut down economies, we had to pivot. And in a very short period of time, two days, our board approved up to $500 million to be able to be expended towards this emergency. And so in a week we rolled out a COVID resilience and recovery program; resilience because we knew organizations had to withstand the shock of something which we weren’t sure how – we weren’t sure how long it would last; and at the same time, plant the seeds for an economic recovery which we had to believe would come.

And so that meant expanding access to finance for micro and small businesses, enabling educational organizations to transition to an e-learning world, imperfect as it is, but really urging the adoption of digital solutions, because we know that economies which have access to digital platforms, digital marketplaces, fare much better than those which don’t.

What isn’t known as well is that we had an opportunity to witness something unprecedented up close. We saw African leaders come together, come together to save their populations. And when vaccines, the promise of vaccines, were in sight, we saw countries come together to aggregate their buying power so that they could negotiate discounts on vaccines. And that’s when we said we’ve got to get behind this. It might be outside of our wheelhouse of financial inclusion or education, but we’ve got to get behind this.

And so, together with the Africa CDC, in June of 2021 we announced Saving Lives and Livelihoods. This is a $1.5 billion initiative to purchase vaccines, to roll out vaccinations, both in the short term and in the longer term, build that workforce for vaccine manufacturing on the continent and to strengthen the institution of the Africa CDC.

So when we started, vaccination rates were under 3 percent. Today they’re about 52 percent, which is no small feat, and higher in some countries, including the country – (applause) – including the country where I live, in Rwanda, where it’s over 90 percent. When we began, only two labs on the continent, two – two labs on the continent could conduct genomic sequencing. Today, there are 32 labs which can do that. There’s a better cold chain. We’ve trained thousands of health-care workers. And in the process, we’ve created 20,000 jobs.

So the global emergency has been declared over by the WHO, but the urgency to build health systems, to build a workforce, to get ready for that next pandemic, that next shock, is ever so urgent. And that’s why, earlier this year, we announced a significant partnership with Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, to create a Center of Excellence for training the new workforce in bioengineering and biomanufacturing. And if we can do this, and do this well, then we get behind the African Union’s own target of ensuring that 60 percent of vaccines needed for the continent are manufactured on the continent by 2040.

So how do we want to see impact? And here I’m not speaking just of health care, but I’m speaking about education, access to finance, access for entrepreneurs to grow their business and pursue their dreams. So on one level we want to see impact in lives of people, lives that are changing for the better, families being able to send their kids to school, women taking control of their lives and their options. We want to see strong African institutions, institutions that are vibrant, innovative, that are leading, that are serving people, especially those who have historically been excluded.

And third, we want to see systems, whether they’re educational systems, whether they’re economic systems, whether they’re health systems, and they all intersect. We want to see systems start to function. And for us, we want to get behind the promise of an African Free Trade Area agreement, because that too, through jobs, through economic activity, can just transform the lives of millions.

How are we doing? We’re a work in progress. Let me say that. We’re a work in progress. So since the beginning of the foundation, we’ve invested – committed, rather – $10.5 billion. More than half of that’s been disbursed. Sixty percent of our funding goes to African organizations. It’s committed to African organizations. And we’re on that path to get to 75 percent of our partners being African. We’re at 65 percent right now.

In terms of that target of 30 million young people in work, we’re at 6.2 (million) because we got hit back by COVID. But about four times that number – 6.2 million, sorry; not 6.2 people, 6.2 million – but about four times that number have gone through training, access finance, some form of education. And they’re on their way.

So let me wrap up by saying that the data that comes from this Global Tracker is incredible. It’s what we need. It’s data that shows how we connect. And it’s data that shows how we can do more, how we can do more.

So I want to wrap up by saying that, like was said earlier before, that we need to express gratitude. And I want to express gratitude to the network of partners we have worked with for many years, partners who have strengthened us, partners who have stretched us, who have taught us, and who continue to lead us. And we recognize that in Africa – when Africa prospers, the world prospers – the world prospers.

And so I thank all of you for listening, and I just wish you all the best as you continue with your own efforts. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

Ms. Welsh: As our panel takes the stage, I would like to thank you, Reeta Roy, for your inspiring and informative remarks, and for giving us such a vivid example of the power of philanthropic giving. So thank you.

We have assembled a truly excellent panel to discuss the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker and its themes.

We have C.D. Glin, who’s president of PepsiCo Foundation and global head of philanthropy at PepsiCo. Prior to joining PepsiCo, C.D. was CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation, associate director at Rockefeller Foundation, and the first director of intergovernmental affairs and global partnerships for the Peace Corps. And C.D. started his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. C.D., welcome.

C.D. Glin: Thank you. Thank you, Caitlin.

Ms. Welsh: Kristin Lord is president and CEO of IREX. Kristin was acting president at U.S. Institute of Peace before joining IREX, executive vice president at the Center for a New American Security, and she’s held numerous leadership roles at the G.W. Elliott School of International Affairs. And both Kristin and C.D. serve on USAID’s Advisory Committee on Volunteer Foreign Aid. Kristin, welcome.

And, finally, Jim Thompson is director of partnerships in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, bringing to this role 30 years of federal government leadership, including at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, at the National Security Council not once but twice, as USAID –

Jim Thompson: (Off mic.) (Laughter.)

Ms. Welsh: – at USAID, and at the Department of Energy. So, Jim, welcome to the stage.

Mr. Thompson: Thank you.

Ms. Welsh: C.D., I would love to start with you. PepsiCo Foundation has invested $62 million across your three areas of focus, which are food security, safe water access, and economic opportunity, reaching 15 million people in 41 countries and working in partnerships with 394 organizations in 2022 alone. So I’d like to start on this theme of partnerships, which is one of the major themes of the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker. And I know that partnerships are essential to the work that you do at PepsiCo Foundation, both partnerships with global organizations with reach all over the world and very local organizations. So can you tell us about the importance of those partnerships to your work?

Mr. Glin: No, thank you. Thank you for the question. And I want to start with that expression of gratitude, and gratitude to Indiana University, the Lilly School of Philanthropy for this tracker. Having spent the better part of the past 15 years in private philanthropy, running a government-funded public foundation, and now in corporate philanthropy, this tracker is transformational. And that data, as Reeta said, will lead to real and better decisions, so the data for decision-making in philanthropy is so important. So an expression of gratitude. Thank you. Thank you for the tracker.

As it relates to partnerships, let me – let me back up a little bit. And why is a guy from a soda company, you know, on the stage? And the first thing to think about is that PepsiCo is the U.S.’s largest food and beverage company, and the second-largest food and beverage company in the world. And you might know and think Pepsi – and you may be aware and say, OK, Gatorade, and, OK, they have – they have beverages, but we have, you know, Quaker Oats. We have a number of other brands. And to be honest, we have a lot of -tos. We have Cheetos, Doritos – (laughter) – Fritos, a lot of -tos in that – in that portfolio. (Laughter.) But the more important aspect is the products that we create, the more – more important than the products we create is the crops that we source.

So at the end of the day, PepsiCo is rooted in agriculture. Those Cheetos are corn. Those Doritos are corn. The Quaker Oats come from oats. The Lay’s potato chips that we all enjoy are potatoes. And so my job is to think about us as a global food and beverage company that creates opportunity when we show up, and I can say that unequivocally. We have over 360,000 employees. We work in more than 200 markets around the world. And so we create and transform communities, and create lots of jobs. And so that’s the good-news story, is the products and the jobs we create.

The challenge is that we operate in environments where, as a food and beverage company that creates opportunity, where food insecurity exists; where lack of access to safe water exists; where economic inequality runs rampant. And so we think about philanthropy not only as a nice to do, but a must do. When communities thrive, business can thrive. And so this is not a choice for us. This is something – a reason for being for the – for PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation.

And so we know we can’t go it alone. We can’t, you know, create opportunities or address these challenges alone. And so we need, to your point – to your question, Caitlin, we need partnerships. And so partnerships are critical. We need partners at the global level, we need partnerships at the – at the national level, and partnerships at the local level. So I want to talk a little bit about sort of our approach.

And our approach to partnerships sort of is this three-L framework. We think about partnerships being local, we think about them being leading – we say: We’re PepsiCo; we want to be a positive force for good in communities, and so we want to leading, you know, punch above our weight – and we also want to be lasting. So we think about long-term, sustainable solutions in the places and the communities that we go.

Having spent my career in the social sector and the public sector, you know, the public sector thinks about things, to be honest – and Jim’s spent his whole career in the public sector – thinks a lot about, you know, election cycles. And then even in the nonprofit sector, we talk about working ourselves out of a job. Well, when business shows up, business wants to be indelible. We don’t want to actually leave countries. We’re not operating in USAID-funded project cycles. We’re operating in communities for years on end. And so that lasting is critical to who we are as a company – who we are as a local employer, a local driver of economic opportunity, of transformation, especially along the food system. So it’s really important that approach being local, being leading, and being lasting.

But also, we think about our partnerships in terms of the – you know, flipping on its head a little bit; sort of saying, we want to be really relational as opposed to being transactional in all of our partnerships. We want to think about not as implementation – and I have worked on USAID projects where we say, who’s our implementer? We think about co-creation. And there’s a lot of people in this room who I’ve co-created partnerships with along the way. Even today, Kristin and I got to take a great picture of a partnership that PepsiCo Foundation has with IREX where we’re co-creating solutions.

And then we also think less about activities and more about the impact of the work. So the approach is really important. The why in terms of PepsiCo: it’s a duty, it’s a responsibility, it’s an honor for us to show up and really engage with others. The approach is critically important.

Then, ultimately, that national, that global, and that local levels of partners are really important. So let me give you three quick examples.

So, from a global standpoint, we work with global partners, large NGOs like CARE. And so we have a program with CARE called She Feeds the World. This is a program right now we’re operating globally in 10 countries. The project is set to impact the lives and livelihoods of 5 million women, 5 million female smallholder farmers, because at PepsiCo we talk about positive agriculture and this is an agricultural system that is sustainable, regenerative, and inclusive. Most of the food that people eat around the world is literally cultivated by the hands of women, but they are the least invested. They’re unsupported, ignored, toiling, you know, for hours in drudgery-type agriculture. And so investing in women and investing in women in agriculture is how we’re going to feed the world and feed our future. So that program with CARE is a global partnership with a global partner across, you know, almost 10 different countries around the world, from Africa to Latin America to Europe to South Asia. Global partnerships.

National. So we – I think Una mentioned it – you know, we had – 2020 was that year, the year that everything happened, and for PepsiCo also COVID – again, if you say you have 360,000 employees around the world in 200, you know, different markets, a lot of people impacted by COVID. And so COVID was something we had to respond to in transformational ways. But here in the U.S., which is our largest market, obviously, that was also May 25th of 2020 was the George Floyd moment and that racial reckoning was raised. As a company that is rooted in community, we knew we had to do something to stand up and to really show communities we were there for them. And one of the issues that we sort of said is everyone – and I mean philanthropy – was running around talking about: Who can we fund? How do we fund local? And the same excuses were being made about we can’t find local organizations, or local organizations don’t have the capacity to take our funding. And all of the challenges that we purport in terms of how do we fund proximate leaders, those challenges were there. So we said: We want to address that problem. We want to find and fund and support local nonprofit leaders in the communities, Black nonprofit change-makers in these communities.

So we knew what we wanted to do, but we needed a real national partner in the U.S. that could really help us find and fund and support those Black nonprofit leaders during this moment of reckoning – of America’s reckoning with race. And we found a partner that is an expert in philanthropy, that is an expert in making sure not only how you start up a local nonprofit but how they stay up and scale up. We often talk about starting up and scaling up, but the staying up is really important. You know, the two years to the 10 years, how do they stay up? And so we partnered with America’s most renowned school of philanthropy, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. (Applause.) And it was – it was a no-brainer for us. It was a no-brainer. We said: We want to be able to deliver impact at a local level, but we want these nonprofit leaders to really go to a new level – again, that stay up and scaling up. And so giving them the leadership development, the curriculum, the support of people who are rooted in philanthropy and community engagement was really important. So that’s sort of an example of a national-level partnership with Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

And then on the local level, in Mexico – and Mexico has one of the highest levels of malnutrition. And so, as a food and beverage company, we address hunger, malnutrition, agriculture, a number of issues. So we work to address – we take our capabilities to create products. So our philanthropy, yes, it’s our employees’ time; yes, it’s their talent; it’s our corporate treasure. So time, talent, and treasure all matters. But we also have real performance capabilities. We know how to make things. We know how to move things. We know how to sell things. So, to address malnutrition in Mexico, we created a product – a non-commercial product that addresses mild to moderate malnutrition. And it’s as highly caloric biscuit, almost like a cookie. Don’t eat it every – don’t eat it every day and don’t eat it every hour; there’s like 2,000 calories in this cookie. (Laughter.) But again, it’s addressing anemia, mild to moderate malnutrition. So we can create it. We can create the product, because that’s our capabilities. But how are we reaching local communities, local women who are – who have to address the issue of mild to moderate malnutrition with their children?

So partnering with a local organization that’s rooted in community in Mexico and Guatemala. It’s called Un Kilo de Ayuda. They are in communities throughout Mexico, ultra-local. So we’re using our corporate capabilities, our global capabilities creating a product, but we have to get local, we have to be leading, and we have to be lasting. And so working with this local nonprofit organization to literally reach tens of thousands of women who are addressing the issues of mild to moderate malnutrition with their children on a daily basis, we’re able to really reach those at the grassroots. So we are trying to live out those values of really being global, national when necessary, and ultra-local.

And so for us as a company, again, these aren’t nice to have or nice to do situations. We don’t thrive unless communities thrive. And so our philanthropy is how we actually execute our performance.

Ms. Welsh: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, C.D. (Applause.)

One more question for you before turning to Kristin. You were recently named and you were sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday as an inaugural member of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States. Congratulations.

Mr. Glin: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Ms. Welsh: The executive order announcing this council noted that members will, quote, “provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the United States and Africa; and promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa.” And by coincidence, the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker has a spotlight on diaspora philanthropy. And I’m just wondering, does membership in this council inform your leadership of PepsiCo Foundation and the partnerships worldwide?

Mr. Glin: Thank you. Thank you. And it’s truly an honor to serve. I was joking with Jim. I’ve served in government before, and you get out and you go to the private sector, and they pull you back in. (Laughter.) But this was a welcome pull because I’ve spent my life and my career dedicated to the advance of Africa. There are people in here – Chingwe and Ndidi, who I’ve known for 20 years. We met in Nigeria, living and working in Nigeria. So, for me, this is – this appointment is a culmination of a life dedicated to the lives and livelihoods of Africans and African people here in the U.S. and on the continent.

The council – and this council is a dream team. We call ourselves – it’s 12 people. We called ourselves the diaspora dozen, the disciples. (Laughter.) I mean, it was – Vice President Harris had all kind of names for what we were going to do. And it was really powerful because these are people across industries who all are committed to better U.S.-Africa relations, and the diaspora is a critical component of that.

It was already said in terms of the future of our world is rested on the youngest continent, and that’s the continent of Africa. By 2050, one in four – a fourth of the entire population on Earth will be African. So this is not – again, not a nice to have; this is a must do. We have to invest in Africa, and Africa’s people here, and Africa’s people abroad. (Applause.) It’s a – it’s a must do.

And when I read the – read the report, I was so – I mean, it was – it was beautiful. It was like music to my ears in the sense of that focus on local, because, whether working for the Rockefeller Foundation, whether leading the U.S. African Development Foundation, or where I sit now at PepsiCo, I’ve always tried to invest in local organizations that are focused on philanthropy. Una’s sister – Una’s a superstar. Her sister is also a superstar. (Laughter.) Ndidi created the Africa Philanthropy Forum. (Applause.) I got to fund the Africa Philanthropy Forum.

I’ve been able and fortunate to fund the Africa Venture Philanthropy Network while at the Rockefeller Foundation, and also now – and when I was at U.S.-African Development Foundation, got to support now a fellow council member, Almaz Negash, who leads the African Diaspora Network. These are all organizations – the Africa Philanthropy Forum, the African Diaspora Network, the African Venture Philanthropy Network – these are all locally rooted organizations that are looking at philanthropy as a practice, philanthropy as a cultural activity, philanthropy in every way possible.

And so when the report called out the engagement of local philanthropy, it was really, again, music to my ears. But also there are so many organizations and entities in the U.S. that want and individuals that want to have more engagement with the continent, but there’s so much we can share.

And so this council will be a platform for greater investment and it’ll address all issues. We’re going to focus on peace and security. We’re going to focus on trade and investment. We’re going to focus on global development. I mean, there’s – I went to a historically black college. I went to Howard University.

Dr. Helene Gayle, whom many of you will know, Dr. Gayle is now the president of Spelman College. In the meeting with the vice president, she shared that HBCUs have a lot to share and a lot to learn from African institutions and Africa knowledge-building. And so there are so many creative ideas around more U.S.-Africa engagement. And the diaspora is critical to not only, again, the U.S. prospering, but Africa prospering, because we’re all dependent, whether today or tomorrow, on a prosperous Africa.

Ms. Welsh: Great. Thank you, C.D. And congratulations again. (Applause.)

Kristin, welcome.

Kristin Lord: Thank you.

Ms. Welsh: In our conversations, we’ve talked about your leadership of IREX and how you like to focus your energy and IREX’s work on what happens after the press release, because there’s so much excitement when a press release happens and the photos, including the one that you took this morning – (laughs) – with C.D.

So why is it that you focus here after the press release? And how do you think that this improves IREX’s partnerships across the board, with philanthropies, with governments, with other companies?

Dr. Lord: Great. Thank you. And thanks so much for having me here today. Thank you to the Lilly School. And, of course, thank you to C.D. and PepsiCo Foundation for supporting the young African entrepreneurs we’re working with together who are working at the intersection of food security, sustainable supply chains. And what I love about our partnership is that it’s not just a one-off. It’s not where they meet, get a little training, get a grant, and go off. It’s actually a sustained period of time. And it’s about building a network of people in the ecosystem. So thanks for your leadership and vision on that, C.D.

With respect to after the press release, I do think that there are a lot of bold creative ideas in our sector. And, of course, we’re all energized by that and applaud that. But if we’re honest, they often don’t pan out the way the press releases tell us. I love your line – several of them, by the way – my favorite toe is the Frito – (laughter) – but also the line about it’s not just the starting up and the standing up, but the staying up. And I think the staying up is really what’s important. It doesn’t matter if you have a great strategy if you don’t execute it. It doesn’t matter if you have a great idea and a press release and you don’t do it.

And so I think one of the things that came out in the conversation that we had before the session is how important it is for philanthropists to really think about the staying-up piece and what it’s going to take. So many of the most exciting and impactful initiatives involve partnership. And they involve partnership from local organizations and from global organizations, from philanthropists, from international NGOs, from local NGOs, from governments at every level. That’s great. We all believe in that.

It's a lot of work to make those partnerships actually translate into something that matters. And I think we don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about, focusing on, the guts of making those partnerships work. It’s not glamorous. A lot of philanthropists don’t want to pay for it. But in our experience at IREX – and we don’t have a big public-facing brand. That’s not our style. We often are the ones in the background trying to help the partnerships work. I think that’s what actually matters.

And so my plea to the philanthropists in the audience is to please think hard about making sure that that tiny bit of extra funding goes in to make sure that partnership works. And I’m going to give a specific example of something I worked on at IREX. A few years ago I went to Nigeria. I wanted to visit some of our partners. We were working through local library networks in Nigeria. We were working with the National Association of Libraries in Nigeria. We were working with local youth and local entrepreneurship organizations. We were working with Intel. And we were working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And the whole point was to leverage the local library network – which, by the way, totally undertapped resource; please use library networks more – in order to tap the expert of these local entrepreneur and youth groups to giving them cutting-edge tools and techniques in order to support local entrepreneurship and digital literacy through the library system in a way that would be sustainable, where we didn’t even have a staff on the ground. We were just playing a background role.

And someone from Intel actually flew in to have lunch with me. And when we were sitting at lunch and I said, I’m sorry, I thought you were already in town; I literally did not know you flew in for a one-hour lunch with me. I was a little bit embarrassed, honestly. And I said to him, why did you do that? I’m really embarrassed you took the time out of your busy day.

And he said, look, he said, I’ve been part of a lot of these partnerships. This partnership – there are a lot of press releases, and a lot of times everything falls apart after this. He said this partnership is different. I’ve seen real benefits. And he said, and I think IREX is a major reason. And I said why? You know, we had a tiny piece of the grant. We had a tiny part of the role. And, of course, I was saying look at our partners; look at this.

He’s like, no, no, no. He said IREX was like the grease in the machine. You have all these partners and all these people, and they all have their day jobs as well as the partnership. He said somebody has to make the partnership work. And it’s a lot of effort. And he said I just wanted to come and say I appreciate the grease in the machine.

Now, that’s an example just from my organization. Lots of organizations at every level around the world – local, international, you name it – have people who are the grease in the machine. I wish that we would have some fora, like, really boring, in-the-guts-of-it discussions for, like, those where it’s only about the big idea, but about the how do we actually make stuff work. So that’s what – (applause) –

Ms. Welsh: Yeah. Great. Thank you.

Dr. Lord: More grease in the machine. (Laughter.)

Ms. Welsh: Well, building on that, we also talked about something you’ve observed across different places that you’ve served in your career, which is what can be a separation between what you’re calling the thinkers and the doers, and the thinkers being the ones who design projects. They define what success looks like. They set goals. Those are the thinkers. And then the doers are the ones who do the work on the ground. And you’ve noticed that these can sometimes be two entirely distinct populations who really don’t communicate, to the detriment of the partnership.

So can we talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Lord: Yes. And part of this realization on my part is a result of personal experience and some trauma that came from first starting as myself definitely coming out of the thinker community. I have a Ph.D. I’m a social scientist. Amir and I met more than – (makes noise) – years ago – (laughter) – at George Washington University when he was in a leadership role and I was an associate dean. And I went from there and then I worked at some big think tanks. And now I work at IREX, which is – you know, some people use that word implementer. I personally despise the word implementer. That’s a separate conversation.

But, you know, one of the shocks that I had from going with all these brilliant thinkers – you know, scholars and policy analysts – and then going and working in the NGO community, where people are running projects on the ground every day, I was shocked. These people don’t know each other. They don’t talk to each other. They don’t speak the same language.

And then the way that the whole philanthropic and especially foreign-assistance communities work too often – not always, not always, but too often – is that some people have some big ideas and then some people apply for grants. And then the people who apply for the grants get the grants, and then they do the project, and then they report back up to the donor. And then that knowledge goes to the donor, and then it disappears. And there’s no cumulative knowledge. There is no real learning.

And, by the way, the same people keep spinning out all these big ideas, not being at all informed by how their great ideas actually worked on the ground. And in my opinion, the whole system is completely broken. Despite the focus on data and evidence, which is fantastic, there’s lacking that learning piece at a level that I think would really be transformative.

And I also think when we run these projects, we separate them into, I think, we’re doing research over here; we’re running projects over here. What if we ran projects that we set up from the outset with an intention to learn? We actually said we’re working on food security. Let’s run an A-B test where we run programs one way and another way and set it up from the beginning to learn about what works best, and then actually fed that back, not just to the donor but to the broader community, in a form that is useful, not a 50-page single-space report. (Laughter.)

And I also think that we can – look, I have a PhD. PhD.s are great. I love you all. (Laughter.) We don’t need a lot of people with PhDs. Yes, Chingwe, I know you – I’m looking at you. But we don’t only need PhDs.

One program I’m really proud of IREX is a program called Youth Excel that we’re running with USAID, and it’s actually about giving young people very local leaders research skills. And it’s not teaching them to run RCTs. It’s teaching them collect data in a way that they can use to improve their own operations and that they can use to advocate in their communities and with their governments to make things better. And it’s not that hard. And I think we’re seeing some really interesting early results.

So I wish we would have more conversations between thinkers and doers. I wish we would run projects, when we’re doing them, in a way more systematically more set up to learn. And I wish we would not over-glamorize – you know, I love data and evidence. I love research. We need it. But I also wish we would recognize the range of skills and the range of research and data that can be deployed and invest more in the full spectrum rather than – you know, there’s – things become, like, the buzzword or the thing to focus on. And I think, you know, we lose the nuance and the appreciation for the full range.

So I feel like this is a therapy session. (Laughter, applause.)

Ms. Welsh: Thank you, Kristin. Thank you.

I’m very happy to turn right now to Jim Thompson from the Office of Global Partnerships at U.S. Department of State. And I’ll say right now we’re running a little bit late. But this conversation has been really fantastic. We’ll take the program to about 11:15. After speaking with Jim, I’ll open it up to questions from the audience.

But first, Jim, you’re with the Office of Global Partnerships. You’ve been at many other places across the federal government. Your office has worked with over 1,600 partners and mobilized more than $3.7 billion in public- and private-sector resource commitments that have enhanced the department’s diplomacy and development outcomes. That comes straight from your office’s website.

And so I would like you to tell us, how is everything that we’ve discussed so far, how is all of this in service of U.S. foreign policy?

Mr. Thompson: So we couldn’t do it – we couldn’t do our foreign policy without partners. I think that’s what it gets right down to. We need to have our private sector, philanthropy, our nongovernmental organizations, our implementers – we’ll find a better word – all at the table as we approach our diplomatic and development agenda. It’s important.

I’m thinking about, you know, what’s next for me today. We’re dealing with the – at the State Department we have – the Ukrainians are in town. We have mayors here this morning, and met with them; talking with them about philanthropy with the German Marshall Fund. We’re looking at the Israel-Hamas conflict. We’re actually doing outreach to philanthropy talking about what the needs are on the ground and the humanitarian situation.

The U.N. just put out a call for $1.2 billion for Gaza relief through the end of this year. It’s more than donor communities are going to come up with. We actually need to work together with philanthropy with the private sector. And this is not just in diplomacy, but this also extends to our intelligence community. I just want to mention that. I spent the last year working for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. And C.D. mentioned the partnerships are not just nice to have, but nice actually is the word I use with the intelligence community because it’s an acronym for me because it helps me remember.

But – and the intelligence community needs partnerships with the private sector because it brings in new technology. We need to share information, particularly around cybersecurity. If you think about our nation’s critical infrastructure, 80 percent of our critical infrastructure is owned and managed in this country by the private sector. We need to be able to share threats with them. What’s happening with our electric grid? What’s happening with the gas that transmits through the pipes? We’ve seen cyberattacks on all of these things.

We also need to be collaborative with the IT community. As we look at things like generative AI, what are the threats that are coming? What are the threats that are coming with this upcoming election? How do we keep ourselves safe? These are big topics of conversations between the intelligence community, the defense community, the National Security Council, and the IT community, as you’ve seen by the president’s recent signing of the executive order on AI.

And then we also do exchange. We need to – we need to actually share our teams. Our teams need to go out, they need to gain some private-sector expertise. C.D.’s on this, really, exchange program, but we do pull you back in. That’s our – that’s our goal. (Laughter.)

So we need to – we need to send our teams out. We actually run a public-private talent-exchange program at the State Department called the Franklin Fellows, Franklin Talent Exchange program now. It’s an ability to send our teams, our staff out to nongovernmental organizations, to the private sector so that they gain those experiences and then they can bring that back into how we do business.

So, for us at the State Department, both from a diplomacy standpoint as well as a development standpoint, we really do need to actually work more closely with the private sector and work more collaboratively with philanthropy to address all of the programs that we do.

I’m going to mention one more example because it’s just – it’s the one that came off my desk when – during the Obama administration. Secretary Clinton came to us and said: What can we do to support LGBTQ human rights around the world? And we came up with 10 ideas for her. And she picked the hardest one, which was let’s do a fund. We’re going to create a fund to work on, you know, supporting human rights defenders around the world. We worked with philanthropy. We worked with John D. Evans Foundation, a small family foundation. We worked with the Arcus Foundation. It was one of the only foundations that was funding LGBTQ human rights at the time. We brought in companies; Deloitte, Hilton, the Royal Bank of Canada all said: We want to step up. We want to be in this space. We want to actually work to support human rights around the world, and to support LGBTQ and human rights defenders out there.

And this fund, it’s called the Global Equality Fund. It is working in over 80 countries, sometimes without the knowledge of those countries. We are supporting groups that you would know in the human rights space as they – as they support people on the ground that are being targeted by their governments or being targeted by their societies. And we’re helping them. We do everything from move them out of harm’s way to get them health insurance and more. It’s really important for us to not do this on our own. We can’t do this on our own. Congress doesn’t actually appropriate much money in this space for us to do this work. But we have 15 other countries that have joined this partnership that we’ve launched and they’re writing checks to the State Department to do this work. So the State Department is taking in resources and then onward granting them to human rights defenders, and again, with foundations, with corporations, with other governments. It all has to come together to support that community.

So I’ll leave it there as –

Ms. Welsh: Thank you. That’s fascinating, because one would think that foreign policy happens around tables, in meetings, and big summits. But I like what you said, that you couldn’t do your work without partnerships.

I am happy to turn now to questions from the audience. We have some great questions in already. And I’ll turn to a couple folks who are in the room right now, to Andrew Mack and to Mallory St. Claire. I’ll welcome you to ask your questions, and then we’ll turn to – so we’ll take two questions and then we’ll take two more. I think Andrew’s right here, it looks like. Great. And Mallory’s right there.

Q: Hope you can hear me. (Comes on mic.) So we work in agriculture. I run Agromovil, which is a data company connecting small farmers to markets. And so I’m interested, since all of you have a connection to agriculture, global agriculture, and because that’s the largest employer on Earth, can you talk a little bit about the success at – success at scale and amplifying all of what you’re trying to do depends on unlocking data. So can you talk a little bit about how you approach data and how you engage the what we used to call beneficiaries, the populations that we’re trying to work with, at scale to be part of the data conversation?

Ms. Welsh: Thank you, Andrew.

And we’ll take Mallory’s question as well.

Q: Thank you so much. Hi, everybody. I used to work for the Lilly Family School. Now I work for the Aspen Institute.

So I’m curious if you could comment on any trends you’ve seen in South-South cooperation or philanthropy as well.

Ms. Welsh: OK. Great questions. Two very easy questions. (Laughter.) We’ll have time for two more after this. But welcome. Any thoughts from our panelists?

Mr. Thompson: I would start with data.

Ms. Welsh: Great.

Mr. Thompson: I don’t want to specifically talk about agriculture and data, but just coming back to the report that we’ve gotten today from Indiana University, this is the type of data that we need to know what are the flows that are going from the United States and from developing countries to – from developed countries to developing countries. This is some really important data for us. Recognize Dr. Adelman, who’s in the room. If it wasn’t for this report that she developed at the Hudson Institute and with USAID, we would have never been in this space of thinking about how we can work with others and why it’s important for us to work with others.

The majority of what flows from the United States to developing countries is not foreign assistance; it’s fully private. Our piece of it is much, much smaller. And this report is the report that shows us year after year where we are in that process and shows us, you know, even when a decline of official development assistance happens there can be an increase in remittances, or there’s an increase in non-official donor assistance. And that’s important for us. That’s important data that we need to actually do our programming better and to do it more collaboratively.

The report that we have today and the report as it’s started is the foundational element for our building the Global Development Alliance at USAID and all the proliferation of public-private partnerships across the U.S. government today.

Ms. Welsh: Thank you.

Mr. Glin: I’d love to jump in. I’ve love to – so, Jim, on data, I would say three things.

Intentionality. The second is really – to your scale point, being really intentional, and so a company like PepsiCo making commitments across our entire value chain. So we think about being positive in our agriculture. And we source more than 25 crops from 60 countries across 7 million acres of land. That entire acreage is almost our entire agricultural footprint, and we’re – we’ve committed – so this is about being public and then being held accountable to actually deliver on those results. And that’s – sometimes the commitment comes and the tracking doesn’t come, or vice versa. So 7 million acres, we want to put it all under regenerative agriculture. So I think really being intentional with sort of saying this is our scale and what we want to do to think about sustainable, inclusive, and regenerative agriculture.

Second is really to use leverage. So a lot of people think about companies, and particularly corporate foundations, is really about leveraging our money, right? We’re never going to have as much money as Reeta Roy. We’re never going to has as much money – (laughter) – as the U.S. government or any of these entities. But we do have more than our money. We have our capabilities. We have our performance. So having more conversations about leveraging. Again, we make, we move, and we sell things every day. We’ve all – a lot of people here are in international development. You’ve been in some far-reaching place and you found a beverage of your choice, whether it was a blue can or a red can or whatever, or bottled water, whatever it is. But you’re, like, how did it get here? So companies, our supply chain capabilities, our ability to actually deliver and make, move, and sell, distribute things is really a power that can be leveraged. It often is under-leveraged.

And so I would say, yes, being intentional, but also coming to companies and thinking about the private sector to scale in new ways beyond grantmaking. We think about ourselves as much more than check writers. We’re talking about change making. So we want to be change makers as opposed to check writers.

And then I think the last piece is really, you know, dealing with that scale and having these demonstration models that we can talk about as lifting and shifting. If we’re doing a positive program somewhere in terms of regenerative agriculture or improving the lives and livelihoods of female farmers, looking at those capabilities and seeing how we can, quote/unquote, “lift and shift them,” because we’re in those other markets. And how can we think about doing the same thing in a different place, maybe with the local context, but really being intentional. We often need partners to deliver, whether it’s nonprofit partners or whether it’s business partners, to be able to deliver in those ways. So scale is leverage for us.

We also want to be a catalyst. And so maybe if PepsiCo comes into the global food system and says we have the ability to source, we have the ability to make, we have the ability to move products, agricultural production, then that’s also something that another company might say, OK, well, we need to think about our philanthropic endeavors or what we’re going to do. So really being this first mover to some extent in this space is really important, but the more important thing is who’s following. Who are the first followers? Are we getting other companies and private-sector entities to do the same?

Ms. Welsh: Thank you, C.D.


Dr. Lord: And I can take both of them, if you like, or – unless you’d like to move on?

Ms. Welsh: Let’s do the last two questions, then I’ll turn to you first for the last two and we can – (laughs) – great. So I will turn to Natasha and then to Tysus. Great. Thanks.

Q: Hi. I’m from the – (comes on mic) – hi. Hi, everybody. Happy to be here. Hi. My question – my name is Natasha. I work for the Global Commons Alliance, and our work is focused on environment and nature and working with corporations to set targets.

And I love what you said about grease. A lot of what we do is plumbing, we call it, and infrastructure and ecosystem building.

So my question is, a lot of philanthropic organizations don’t fund this kind of work. You know, you can’t take photos with it. It’s hardcore work behind the scene. But without this, there is no moving forward and there’s no real impact. So my question to philanthropic organization is, how do we get more funding for the grease and plumbing work? Thank you.

Ms. Welsh: Thank you.

And Tysus. Great.

Q: Hi. I’m Tysus Jackson. I’m a doctoral student at the Lilly School for the Philanthropic Leadership Program.

I guess, C.D., you messed it up; you answered my question. (Laughter.) But I will allow – really be interested in others answering as well. And, C.D., you might have another story to share, so I’m not limiting you, so. But I was really interested in you all sharing about the work that you all do has such a major imprint in communities that you’re serving in, but the people who are in your communities, if you could share how you may inspire them or how they inspire you in the work that you’re doing and maybe perhaps a(n) outcome that – from that work of inspiration.

Ms. Welsh: Thank you. We’ll turn to Kristin first. Go ahead.

Dr. Lord: Great. If you don’t mind, I’ve love to back up to the question about South and data as well.

Ms. Welsh: Yeah, that’s fine. Yeah.

Dr. Lord: So, on data – and I’m going to try and weave some of the other ones in here, too.

So on data, IREX has a subsidiary organization called Development Gateway. It was actually created by the World Bank 30 years ago. It was spun out, and now it’s part of IREX. The vast majority of their staff are in the countries where they work, so mostly in Africa, for instance. They are data scientists, they are software engineers, and so on. And I think one of the lessons – and most of their portfolio is agriculture, by the way.

And I think one of the lessons from that is, first of all, to have the experts as close to the ground as possible, so not walking distance from CSIS but in Kenya and elsewhere. Another key there, I think, is making it usable.

One of the things I think Development Gateway is brilliant at is not overcomplicating. When we talk about data and evidence, you know, you want to pitch it at the right level. And it’s not that people are dumb, but they’re busy. Everybody doesn’t need to become a data – a scientist or a software engineer to be able to use data. And I think, again, it’s about pitching it at exactly that right level where you can build up people’s skills. But there’s an opportunity cost if they’re not doing their other work. So I would say that simplicity and having people close to the ground who know the context is key.

On the South-South exchanges, I think this is a critical and underlooked aspect of the localization agenda. A colleague of mine in this sector, I think, said it best. She said: I think too often with localization we think about who gets the check and not who’s getting lifted up. And a lot of the lifting up comes not just in local communities, but giving people in local communities the ability to be networked globally and be informed globally and being part of networks globally. So I think wherever we can, if we can network and support those local leaders through South-South exchanges and other programs, we’re doing great work.

At IREX, we’re really excited we’re working with several different philanthropic organizations on a new program about building the Global South leadership to deal with climate change. And for me, that ability to invest in those local leaders, who are the ones who always inspire us – that’s how I’m working into your question – and also make sure they are networked together with each other across boundaries, that, I think, is where there’s a tremendous amount of exciting work to do.

And amen on the plumbing comment. (Laughter.)

Ms. Welsh: Thank you.

Final comments from C.D. and from Jim in response to these questions?

Mr. Glin: I love – I love the question as what inspires me. I think I have to talk about a lot of people have things they have to do. You wake up, I have to do this, I have to do that. And I wake up every day saying I get to. I have a get to job. I get to do this. I get to do that. So my work, you know, alone inspires me, and it’s literally bringing my whole self to work and not shutting off, just sort of always staying on.

But I’ve really been inspired in these past, you know, two-and-a-half years, if we think about the Cs that Una mentioned with COVID and conflict and even the cost of food and all the challenges that we’re facing, you know, being in a – in a big company that does think and I think about the outside and how we’re doing more outside and doing for communities, but seeing what’s happening inside – whether it was Ukraine, whether it was biblical floods in Pakistan, whether it was all of the challenges that were happening around the world in the past years, or you know, whether it was racial reckoning in the U.S. – to see my colleagues become philanthropists; to see the employee giving at a company such as mine – again, 360,000 employees around the world. And I – you know, I get to lead our social impact and our philanthropy, so I do, quote/unquote, “write checks to make change.” But to see so many checks coming in from people who live and work in those communities.

So we’re on high in New York or what have you around the world in our offices, but all of my colleagues, they live and work in those same communities. And to see them, through employee-matching programs, through employee-giving programs, the amount of generosity – and I thought it was – and having spent my life in philanthropy, almost, I was still shocked at how much people individually sort of said how can I give. How can I give my time, my talent, and my treasure to be a part of this? And again, the war in Ukraine, the reality of just climate shocks that are happening again and again and again and again. All of – all of these things happening, but people still continue to give.

So I’m glad you’re tracking it at Indiana University. But it’s also a source of inspiration because people are stepping up on an individual level, and I think companies, governments, organizations are also stepping up. So that’s why I’m inspired to do what I’m doing.

Ms. Welsh: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, C.D.


Mr. Thompson: My office oftentimes is a funder of the grease, and our friends at USAID as well. I mean, that’s a big part of what we do, is we’ll fund a secretariat in the hopes that they will then be able to bring in partners, that they’ll bring in foundations, they’ll bring in corporations to make things go. I mean, that is – that is a part of what government does. I would love to see philanthropy in this space too. Philanthropy’s great. Catalytic capital is out there. Patient capital is out there. We have to talk about Jacqueline Novogratz at some point. (Laughs.) But we need risk capital, too. And that’s something that I think that I always want to challenge our foundations to think about.

You have boards that you have to report to. I have Congress that we have to report to, you know. (Laughter.) So that’s a tough customer on any given day. But you know, I really challenge, like, the smaller foundations, the family foundations: Take some risk. Invest in these types of grease-making things because these are the operations that help partnerships flourish, that allow others to come in to be able to work on the programmatic aspects that they really do want to fund, and it enables things to start. So, it’s important.

Ms. Welsh: Great. Thank you.

Perfect place to conclude our conversation – or to pause it, because I hope that we’ll continue it at our reception following this event. But at this point, I would love to extend my thanks and my gratitude to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy for your partnership in this event. Reeta Roy, thank you so much for flying in to speak with us. To all of our panelists – Kristin Lord, C.D. Glin, and Jim Thompson – thank you so much for being with us. And I would like to thank also Hannah Vos from the Lilly Family School and Anita Kirschenbaum from my team, who are the embodiment of the grease. They made this – made sure this event happened. (Applause.) And also for the CSIS External Relations team, who is supporting three events at the same time right now. So thank you always to them.

To our audience, thank you so much for joining us in person and online. A little plug for my program, you can sign up for our newsletter at And again, to our audience, we welcome you to stay for our reception. This concludes our event, and thank you. (Applause.)