Between 29th May and 1st June, I had the great opportunity to attend the Philea Forum with the Learning for Well-being Foundation, alongside 18 incredible and diverse young changemakers.

The Youth Pre-Meeting, co-facilitated by Learning for Well-being’s Director Child Participation & Safeguarding, Darren Bird, and Emily Sullivan from Fondation Botnar, became a safe space to brainstorm the philanthropy of today and our vision for its future. My three takeaways from the discussion: philanthropy is sometimes seen as rigid, exclusive, and disconnected from the causes and communities it seeks to support; philanthropic foundations must prioritise inclusion and diversity if they want to become more impactful, innovative, and attractive to young people; young people’s expertise on youth participation matters must be recognised and appreciated. 

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet the other young people at the Philea Forum. I was inspired by their commitment and passion for their respective causes, diverse backgrounds, and unique insights into working as a young person with foundations. 

During the “Children and Youth Participation in Philanthropy- Stories of Transformation” workshop, run by Luis Manuel Pinto from Learning for Wellbeing and Lucia Patuzzi from Philea, 12 stories of foundations working with children and young people were shared by the professionals and young people themselves. In addition, Yakarah Attias-Rosen, Managing Director of Learning for Wellbeing, and I shared the reasoning behind, process, and experience of having an intergenerational Board. The attendees showed great interest in Learning for Well-being’s unique approach and my experience as a Young Board Member. 

I hope the workshop has inspired other foundations to involve children and young people in their decision-making.