Philanthropic Colonialism

Open, N.Y. New York Times, July 28, 2013

Open, N.Y. New York Times, July 28, 2013

In a recent New York Times Op-Ed article, Peter Buffet, son of billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffet, reflects on the self-coined term “Philanthropic Colonialism,” meaning the act of transplanting what works in one setting directly into another with little regard for culture, geography, or societal norms.  Buffet argues that philanthropists wrongly assume that they can solve local problems and alleviate human suffering by introducing vulnerable populations to practices and principles that are successful in the business world.  Alternitvely, he suggests that the philanthropic sector needs a new system, one that uses foundation dollars as “risk capital” to test new and imaginative concepts when solving the world’s greatest challenges.

Read the full article here.


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