Our theory of change

Our theory of change 1440 1544 Philanthropy for Impact

Central and Eastern Europe is at a unique historical juncture. After three decades of socioeconomic transition and unparalleled growth, an unprecedented transfer of wealth is underway. The first generation that benefited from the market economy and rule of law is passing on its wealth. Meanwhile, the younger generation is increasingly aware of the responsibility this entails.

At the same time, democracy in the region is facing both internal and external challenges. Goals that once united the region – including NATO and EU accession – have since given way to partisan politics and fractures in society, while Russian imperialism poses a threat to the entire region.

Philanthropy for Impact emerged from this dual context. It empowers people of means to take responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe’s democratic resilience so that future generations can benefit from the opportunities offered by a strong, independent civil society and the rule of law.

Our first intervention – Learning Journey – is an intensive two-month executive education programme for active and aspiring philanthropists, that consists of two residential sessions and online modules run by Harvard Kennedy School lecturers and experts from Ashoka and Intrinsic Labs. The programme is built on three pillars: a systems-level approach to change, adaptive leadership, and finding one’s philanthropic purpose.

The first pillar focuses on the fundamental mechanics of system-level interventions. Participants will understand that, by using a holistic approach to target the root causes of significant problems, their philanthropy has the potential to catalyze enduring, transformational changes. We ensure the transfer of knowledge by facilitating peer-to-peer learning through relationships with philanthropists who have achieved lasting and meaningful change with their interventions.

The second pillar focuses on skills and capacities required to exercise adaptive leadership. Participants learn the key concepts underlying adaptive leadership theory, including the distinctions between the functions of authority and the activity of leadership; the difference between an „adaptive” challenge and a „technical” challenge; the properties of an effective leadership intervention; and the centrality of purpose to the activity of leadership.

The third pillar focuses on finding, developing and refining one’s purpose, so that participants can engage in philanthropic endeavors in harmony with their personal motivations, experiences and ambitions.

Our theory of change: