While attending the recent annual conference of the European Venture Philanthropy Association in Berlin, I was invited by the BMW Foundation to share some thoughts on the role of venture philanthropy in countries such as Germany that actually pride themselves on the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of their public social service systems. I found this to be quite an interesting topic considering that in the traditional hotbeds of venture philanthropy, notably the United States and UK, private social investment is often seen to be an alternative to government engagement. In this short video, I offer perspectives on the importance of private investors and social entrepreneurs in driving innovation and improvement, even where the default assumption is that the public sector has responsibility for delivering key social programs and services. I also suggest a couple of important areas of focus for private foundations in fostering venture philanthropy.
For more information about the conference and the BMW Foundation itself, please read the foundation's blog post.