This year’s PEX Forum gathered together almost 100 philanthropy professionals from 20 countries in Istanbul. We all had one main topic on our agenda: climate crisis.
Starting in 2021 the Philanthropy Europe Association has developed a much-needed format to enable philanthropy to make progress on climate change: The PEX Forum takes place every two years and brings together some of the most important infrastructure builders in European philanthropy.
Why is exchange between these organisations important for funders who want to tackle climate change? Because the PEX Forum is where a future vision of European philanthropy can be created and a supportive context provided in which funders can operate. As climate change affects almost all funding topics, this context has to reflect the climate emergency.
This year’s PEX Forum gathered together almost 100 philanthropy professionals from 20 countries in Istanbul. I attended the conference last month, and it was great to see that climate change was on the agenda of all participants I talked to. Indeed, there was a palpable sense of the urgency with which philanthropy needs to step up to respond to its challenges.
The main vision that emerged from the two days was one of funders collaborating creatively by thinking beyond the structures of their national funding landscapes. The next step will be for infrastructure organisations to think about how this type of collaboration could be operationalised, and how they can support funders in using this collaboration to foster climate action in their funding constituencies.
The next two years leading up to the 2024 PEX Forum in Rome can be used to draft a working plan that sets out the guidelines for European funders to establish climate as a cross-cutting theme in their giving. It’s high time for this to happen: we only have until the end of this decade to avert runaway climate change.