A number of different news outlets are reporting that a group of the most prominent US philanthropists met in secret earlier this month. The meeting was allegedly convened by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and attendees are repoted to have included pretty much all the top names in US philanthropy, including Ted Turner (the first billanthropist) George Soros, Oprha Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg and David Rockefeller. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the attendees have collectively given away over $72 billion since 1996.
Everything about this meeting is fascinating for philanthropy-watchers. What ideas did they share? Might it lead to new collaborations? Might it lead to new recession-busting donations? And for UK based philanthropoids, the questions also include – could this happen here? Who’d attend? What would their collective donations amount to?
Perhaps the government’s new Philanthropy Ambassador, Dame Stephanie Shirley, is the woman who could repeat this exercise in the UK? Mind you, the US meeting was kept secret for weeks, wouldn’t it be nice if similar secrets were about to be spilled on this side of the pond?