Past Program


Wealth – in the hands of individuals, philanthropic institutions, and investors – has reached new heights. At the same time, growing inequality, which in part has created these new levels of wealth, is destabilizing many societies. How can philanthropies improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices internally, while working externally through grantmaking and partnerships to address growing social, economic, and historic inequality? 

A growing body of research suggests that “increasing diversity of teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.” There is a growing movement in some parts of the world to focus on developing strategies for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but there is yet to be a broader conversation in the global philanthropic sector on how foundations, social investors, impact investors, and grassroots organizations are addressing these issues in their talent development, investments, program design, and grantmaking practices.


This program seeks to:

  • Facilitate dialogue and collaboration between foundations and social investors in different regions working to advance internal and external DEI strategies and enhance their ability to address rising social, economic, and historic inequalities;
  • Explore how philanthropic approaches that address inequality in different regions help increase diversity and inclusion;
  • Exchange experiences and ideas from across regions and philanthropic sectors to support diversity in talent management, investment, and partnerships;
  • Expand the network of influencers across systems, geographies, and generations to generate impactful alliances and enable philanthropic organizations to better address inequality in different social and historic contexts. 


The residential program will be in the retreat-like setting of Schloss Leopoldskron, which facilitates trust, networking, and in-depth conversations. The highly interactive program is structured around a mix of thought-provoking presentations, curated conversations, informal interactions, knowledge exchange, and practical group work and innovation prototyping.  

The process seeks to combine theory, policy, and practice across sectoral and geographic silos, opening up new perspectives and intensive learning opportunities. Participants will work in focus groups, allowing for intense explorations of specific aspects of the general themes before returning to the plenary to refine conclusions.


  • In what ways do philanthropic organizations address different kinds of social, economic, and historic inequalities?
  • In places where there is not any (or not enough) discussion about addressing inequality, what would it take from foundations and other organizations to take the lead with NGOs and partners to begin the conversation? 
  • How can the inequality conversation be linked to the needs already being addressed by philanthropies around poverty, unemployment, education, and social and environmental justice? 
  • How can philanthropists help change the root legal and cultural structures that have led to societal and economic inequalities?
  • What can be learned from organizations that directly work on the ground on inequality and inclusion issues?      
  • What are the best ways to create and implement DEI strategies, and achieve goals in this area? 
  • How can inequality be addressed by philanthropists through challenging cultural and societal norms that consciously weaken standards of fairness, tolerance, and inclusion?  


This program will bring together a globally-representative group of 25 participants including:

  • Senior staff of foundations and social investment vehicles; 
  • Professionals involved in human reasource functions and talent management; and 
  • Individuals invested in DEI practices.


Sara Abdulla
Project Lead, Think Science Program, Emirates Foundation, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Oluwatoyin Adegbite-Moore
Executive Director, West Africa Region, African Venture Philanthropy Association, Lagos, Nigeria
Aadhar Agarwal
Student, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China
Susan Allen
Susan Allen, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, Open Society Foundations, London, United Kingdom
Mohanna Al Mheiri
Chief of Staff, Emirates Foundation, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Brij Bali
Senior Corporate Advisor, Emirates Foundation, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Marika Bernhard
Senior Project Manager, International Relations, Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart, Germany
Lauren Couch
Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Wellcome Trust, London, UK
Zainab Darlington
Director, First Bank of Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria
Pakzan Dastoor
Associate Director, Dasra, Mumbai, India
Staci Frost
Global Lead for Organizational Performance, Aga Khan Foundation, London, United Kingdom
Helena Geefay
Talent Development Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park, CA, USA
Lindsay Hill
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Raikes Foundation, Seattle, WA, USA
Hengka Ji
Senior Non-Profit and Tax Lawyer, Zhong Lun Law Firm, Beijing, China
Niyati Mehta
Independent Consultant, Culture, Heritage & Philanthropy, India
Oronde Miller
Program Officer of Racial Equity, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI, USA
Joy Morozov
Senior Manager, International Partnerships, Light for the World, Vienna, Austria
Gayatri Mishra Oleti
Head of Operations, Larsen Toubro Public Charitable Trust, India
Dwayne Proctor
Senior Adviser to the President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Zeyba Rahman
Senior Program Officer, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New York, NY, USA
Ravi Sreedharan
Founder and Director, Indian School of Development Management, New Delhi, India
Rachele Tardi
Senior Program Manager, Open Society Foundations, Barcelona, Spain
Beng Ching Joyce Teo
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Singapore, Singapore
Frances Ukabiala
Director, Corporate Services, Centre for Values in Leadership, Lagos, Nigeria
Isioma Utomi
Executive Director, Business Development, Centre for Values in Leadership, Lagos, Nigeria
Jen Wei
Organizational Effectiveness Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park, CA, USA
Thecla Wilkie
Assistant Manager, Nigerian Television Authority, Abuja, Nigeria
Jufang Zhang
Chief Executive Officer, Capacity Building and Assessment Centre, Beijing, China