Just participated in a two day conference with some of the leading philanthropy families in Asia. Met some incredible and inspiring women, including HRH Princess Carolina de Bourbon Parme. We discussed issues regarding everything, from the environment, to public health, to education. However, I think one of the most interesting and critical topics we debated about was where the responsibility of change lies, in the hands of the government or in that of civilians? Should change happen from a top down or bottom up perspective? Should civic engagement be as important, if not more important, than government action? Or vice versa?
Let’s take this back to our concerns regarding the environment. Is there any point in joining in on climate strikes and/or changing our own lifestyle habits? How much of an impact can we actually make if individuals and companies adopt a more ecofriendly lifestyle? From a business point of view, being more ethical and environmentally friendly may also mean that you will suffer a loss in clients and income, as your products may not be as affordable to the general public. How do we balance a sustainable ethos without losing out on capital income? Also, should we wait around for governments to ban single use plastics? How long will we have to wait for? What about those certain countries with corrupt governments that have other issues in mind? Can we really depend on them to help us out of this climate crisis?
After two long days of debate, we came to a consensus that change (and philanthropy) should occur in all levels. Everybody has a responsibility to get involved in politics, just like how everybody has a responsibility to take on change individually. Love to hear your thoughts x