Viewpoints 2009: Balancing Creativity and Control (2009)
Now in their sixth year of providing philanthropy advisory services, UBS’s annual report on the philanthropic field has become required reading for anyone attempting to keep up with the plethora of ideas, ‘best practice’ and debates that dominate our sector. The editors, Maximilian Martin and Andreas Ernst note in their introduction that “Significant adjustments are ahead for philanthropy in 2009” but they strike a less pessimistic note than many, predicting that drops in giving are not likely to be “sudden, nor large, nor permanent”. The contributors, described accurately by the editors as “a remarkable group of writers”, include distinguished academics, business leaders, philanthropists and charity leaders. The 16 short chapters are grouped into four themes: How to balance the demands of being creative whilst retaining control?; How can creative solutions tackle seemingly intractable problems, such as adequate access to sanitation?; How can effective philanthropy contribute to environmental sustainability? and How can philanthropy ‘step up the game’ in the current economic climate? The hour spent reading this short, stimulating report will be well spent.