On Saturday, April 29 in Beverly Hills, YK Center co-produced the first in a series of intimate gatherings called Meaningful Influencers with and on behalf of our dear friends at Lifestyles Magazine, for 45 years the premier print platform for higher philanthropy. The purpose of the event was to ignite the unfathomable potential of this community of philanthropists around common objectives and shared passions with a commitment to action with impact.
The Lifestyles family has long been considering how to best evolve their philanthropic platform in a way that stays apace with developments in the fast-changing landscape of charitable giving. While building this extraordinary global network of leading philanthropists, Lifestyles Magazine founder Gabe Erem has often seen that there is too little contact, communication and sharing of ideas, projects and common goals among these leading givers who contribute in the tens of billions annually to a multitude of worthy causes.
In the effort to engineer and fuel more efficient and impactful philanthropy for the future, Gabe invited YK Center to assist in developing a strategy to employ new methods that can focus, leverage and greatly magnify the influence and resources of this amazing group of humanitarians in addressing the most pressing issues of our time more directly, urgently and powerfully. To that end, we co-developed Meaningful Influencers, a new platform built around a series of events designed for rapid, effective collaboration, quick decision making and targeted deployment of ideas and resources.
In line with YK Center’s mission to create and incubate innovative initiatives that accelerate achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, we see this partnership as an incredible opportunity to further each of our core objectives:
- To ignite game changing conversations among conscious leaders about the urgency to shift from a billion-dollar to a trillion-dollar problem-solving mindset.
- To align powerful networks with the UN’s Global Goals.
- To de-risk regional marketplaces to create fertile ecosystems for impact investment to scale.
- To accelerate scalable, sustainable infrastructure development projects through ideation, funding strategy development and implementation.
This first Meaningful Influencers Steering Committee Gathering convened around the theme of Billions to Trillions, encouraging these influential game changers to adopt a new mindset regarding appropriate-scale solutions to the colossal challenges facing humanity due to climate change and rapidly escalating related societal crises. (See Full Event Program.)
Larry Coben, Founder & Executive Director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, delivered an engaging keynote address, explaining the critical role of philanthropy in igniting the positive cycle of social innovation and impact investment in developing regions in the context of the New Economy. And we were thrilled to work with the master conveners that joined us to lead our co-creation sessions: Rachel Gerrol Cohen, Founder & Global Curator of Nexus; Jeff Tuller, Social Capital Stylist, Social Capital Markets; Marc Pollick, Founder & President of The Giving Back Fund; and Stephanie Sanborn, Chief Executive Officer at Voyant, LLC.
The distinguished assemblage included luminaries of high philanthropy and global experts in sustainable development and climate change risk mitigation. We invited visionary organizations with innovative infrastructure development and funding models that address these issues at appropriate scale—they are the boots on the ground who dedicate their lives every day to solving these problems. In preparation for the first full Meaningful Influencers Summit later this year, we welcomed presentations by these subject matter experts, each presenting innovative models for massive, measurable impactful change in developing nations, with an immediate focus on de-risking water/energy/food infrastructure projects in Africa:
Blue Marble, Joan Lamm-Tennant, CEO, Blue Marble Microinsurance
Blue Marble is a consortium of eight global insurance companies collaborating as a for-profit social enterprise to extend protection to the emerging middle class through microinsurance initiatives.
R20, John Tidmarsh, Chief Investment Officer, R20
R20 implements a technical and financial ecosystem that covers the whole value chain of project development, financing and implementation, helping to build an effective green deal flow at the sub-national level made possible by connecting regions, technology and finance to build sustainable low-carbon projects.
Milken Innovation Center, Glenn Yago, Founder, Milken Innovation Center
The Milken Innovation Center engages in real world project development, including the design and development of new financing tools to meet the needs of those projects. MIC created the Africa-Israel Global Innovation partnership, a multi-layered project that aims to stimulate co-innovation, bilateral business development, and shared research and training between Israel and countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Together with those present, we collaborated with these experts to develop accelerated road maps to implement their creative solutions faster and even more effectively, while at the same time learning how to greatly magnify the impact of the Lifestyles Magazine community’s own philanthropic giving and impact investments.
Future Meaningful Influencers Summits will each convene around a single urgent global issue such as innovation in clean energy, access to clean water, elimination of hunger, and reduction of poverty and disease. Achievements at the summits will be implemented and supported year-round through a digital project-acceleration platform currently in development.
Further development of the Meaningful Influencers platform promises to be a thrilling voyage into the future of higher philanthropy — leaving ego-centric models behind in favor of eco-centric models in which we join forces to tackle these challenges in service of a united humanity.
The entire YK Center team would like to thank Gabe Erem, Daniel Erem and the entire Lifestyles Magazine team for this opportunity to deliver the B2T vision and to share the YK Center call to action with this extraordinary network, both at the inaugural Meaningful Influencers event and at the Milken Global summit in the days that followed.
In August, Lifestyles Magazine will publish its first annual Social Innovation & Impact Investment issue wherein YK Center and Lifestyles will further share these messages to over 300,000 of Lifestyles’ closest friends.
In anticipation of our next opportunity to work together,
North American GameChanger, YK Center