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“Freedom, Equality, Justice and Peace” By: Maria Burn At an early age, children are taught the interactive song, and quirky game, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” to learn about the human body and build essential motor skills. It’s time to arm the youth with another set of tools essential to their development; their human rights. Perhaps through a song or a game, learning about the equipment that protects us from discrimination, inequality and slavery is just as important as learning about the human body, for both are inherent and inalienable.
Let’s introduce a new song, “Freedom, Equality, Justice and Peace” to learn about The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This document, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, sets out the fundamental human rights to be protected universally. The recognition of the inherent, equal, inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
The UDHR is made up of thirty articles that embody the rights inherent to all human beings regardless of place of residence, nationality, sex, ethnicity, color, status or religion. These thirty articles dictate the rights that are indivisible, universal, equal, nondiscriminatory and interdependent. Yet, just as the development of a child is dependent on more than just an interactive song or game, the realization and protection of these rights depend on constant teaching and education. These rights must be observed and recognized by all, for all. It begins like a catchy song with a clear message. Sing, read, rap, dance, and speak carrying the powerful message that human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights endowed with reason and conscience to act in a spirit of brotherhood.
Just as a child must build interdependent motor skills to be able to perform complex nerve and muscle acts to produce movement, one must build ones ability to perform using the interdependent rights we inherently have. For like all the nerves and muscles in the body these human rights are all dependent on each other. The improvement of one right will facilitate the advancement of the others. Similarly, the deprivation of one right will adversely affect another.
The birth of Philanthropic-Capitalism The need for philanthropy to become more like the for-profit capital markets is a common theme among the new philanthropists, especially those who have made their fortune in finance. As they see it, three things are needed for such a philanthropic marketplace to work. First, there must be something for philanthropists to “invest” in—something that, ideally, will be created by “social entrepreneurs”, just as in the for-profit world entrepreneurs create companies that end up traded on the stock market. Second, the market requires an infrastructure, the philanthropic equivalent of stock markets, investment banks, research houses, management consultants and so on. Third, philanthropists themselves need to behave more like investors. That means allocating their money to make the greatest possible difference to society’s problems: in other words, to maximize their “social return”. Some might operate as relatively hands-off, diversified “social investors” and some as hands-on, engaged “venture philanthropists”, the counterparts of mainstream venture capitalists. The new philanthropists are mostly young enough to be able to keep an eye on their investment for many years to come. The new philanthropists also need to be clear what they want to do, and stick with it. Some foundations are now exploring new ways of funding organizations, they should start to behave more like philanthropic banks, offering a range of financial products such as loans and loan guarantees as well as grants. Some philanthropists are also beginning to think about how best to harness all their assets to the causes they support, rather than just concentrating on the money they are currently giving away. The phrase most often used to describe the new approach to giving is “venture philanthropy”. Perhaps the best example is a firm called Venture Philanthropy Partners. Run by Mario Morino, who made his fortune in software, it specializes in mid-sized non-profit organizations in the Washington, DC, area that work well enough, but lack the capital and talent to expand. With a $30m fund raised through a community foundation, Mr. Morino behaves much like a venture capitalist. He is working intensively with 12 non-profit organizations, helping them to develop a business plan for growth and to recruit managers and board members. Donors also need to strike the right balance, so that on one hand they ask for enough information to be able to monitor the effectiveness of the organizations they fund but on the other they do not bog them down in form-filling bureaucracy. The Gates Foundation has a good reputation for getting the mix right and tailoring it to individual circumstances. In the world of social value-creation, context is king. Give no matter what, be the new Philanthropy Capitalist. From the print edition: Special report The Economist