Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) gathers many foundations, philanthropic organisations, and networks in over 30 countries that work for the common good. Among the many actions Philea pulls forward, the Philea Forum is one of the most important; it allows members to meet with over 650 professionals and representatives from philanthropy, corporates, (I)NGOs, the EU, multilateral institutions, and the media.

The Philea Forum 2022 took place in Barcelona from the 30th of May to the 1st of June. This year, the event focused on three overlapping strands:

– One planet, one health

– United in diversity

– Culture and creativity

Also, as 2022 marks the European Year of Youth, it was essential to guarantee the voice of and focus on young people to be present in the conversations. For the first time, Philea decided to have young people take an active role in the implementation of the Forum. Through a supported process 20 young people actively led workshops and participated in the Forum’s plenaries.

The Learning for Well-being Foundation attended with the participation of our Chief and Founder, Daniel Kropf, four of our directors, and a youth member from the Board. Not only could they immerse themselves in deep conversations with other institutions, but they played an essential role by supporting the young people at the Forum and by presenting the study “Child and youth participation in philanthropy ‒ Stories of transformation,” published by the Children and Youth Thematic Network which the L4WB-F chairs.

This report, created as a contribution to  ACT2gether, shows organisational variety and proves no foundation is too big or too small to embark on the journey of child and youth participation. The 12 case studies are based on interviews with philanthropy professionals and the children and young people they work with. 

In this publication, the Learning for Well-being Foundation shares its experience integrating young members into the Board within 11 other stories about the work of other foundations that involve children in decision-making. These stories share the context and motivations for engaging children directly, the processes through which children were involved, some of the learnings and outcomes derived from the project, and also some of the obstacles that had to be overcome.

The presentation was followed by a storytelling workshop where several case studies from the publication shared their experience of working directly with children. . Our Director of Programs, Luis Manuel Pinto, presented the study and facilitated the workshop. He illustrated how inclusion enabled organisations to embody their principles and ensure their programs are more aligned with the needs of the children and young people they serve.

The Philea Forum 2022 presented an opportunity to think about where we go next, how we engage new generations of philanthropists, and how we can create a new, uniting paradigm for the world from our diverse perspectives.

With the presented study and the inspiring stories shared by executives from different foundations and brilliant young participants, we trust that giving young people a space to spread their voices and work in equal conditions with adults is a promising path.