2016 Annual Conference | April 8-12, 2016 | Washington, DC

The Future of Community

 Identity.  Purpose.  Place.

Leadership in Action Series

The “Leadership in Action” series features distinguished thought leaders who are shaping global social change through bold ideas and decisive action. Framed around the conference theme of identity, purpose and place, this series of talks brings philanthropic leaders together to reinvigorate and inspire their own individual leadership.

We will be adding sessions and speakers to this page as we confirm them. Please check back here often for the latest information.

Leadership in Action: Discovering Purpose, Featuring Maria Teresa Kumar and Shiza Shahid

Sunday, April 10 — 12:15-2:00 pm

Maria Teresa Kumar

Shiza Shahid

Shiza Shahid

Both of the women featured in this first Leadership in Action session have built massive movements. Maria Teresa Kumar has helped mobilize millions of Latinos in the U.S. to engage with the country’s leaders and sparked a movement of civically engaged young people. As Co-Founder of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid has worked to mobilize communities across the globe around the social advancement of women and girls. In this discussion, these two leaders will speak about how they came to find their purpose and align others around it. Robert K. Ross, M.D., the president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment will moderate this session.


  • Maria Teresa Kumar – CEO and President, Voto Latino
  • Shiza Shahid – Co-Founder of the Malala Fund, Advocate, and Social Entrepreneur
  • Robert K. Ross, M.D. – President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment

Leadership in Action: Understanding Identity, Featuring Kwame Anthony Appiah

Monday, April 11 — 3:45-4:30 pm

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kevin Jennings

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker

In this second Leadership in Action session, Kwame Anthony Appiah, a world-renowned philosopher, ethicist, and intellectual historian will share his insights into identity and the moral considerations that identity raises. Having written extensively about color consciousness, cosmopolitanism, and history, Appiah brings a multi-disciplinary approach to thinking about the future of community. He will share original remarks about how his work connects with the responsibilities of philanthropy, and he will offer insight into how foundation leaders might think through the ethical challenges of the age.


  • Kwame Anthony Appiah – Professor of Philosophy, Law, New York University
  • Kevin Jennings – Executive Director, Arcus Foundation (moderator)
  • Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker – President and CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo

Leadership in Action: Examining Philanthropy's Opportunity

Breakfast Plenary — Tuesday, April 12 — 8:00-9:30 a.m.

Sir Richard Branson

Mona Hanna-Attisha

Carrie Walton Penner

This final Leadership in Action examines the future of community in the context of place. Our planet and how we interact with our environment – whether in local cities and towns, as a nation, or within the interconnected global citizenry -- influences the overall health and well-being of our communities. Climate change will continue to disrupt civil society as natural disasters increase, infrastructure is damaged, and populations shift because of new natural systems.

Featuring a keynote by Sir Richard Branson and moderated by Carrie Walton Penner, as well as remarks from pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha on the Flint water crisis and a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this plenary will address philanthropy’s opportunity to catalyze innovation, set a vision for the future, and lead action to ensure we protect and nourish our place and planet now and for future generations.


  • Sir Richard Branson – Founder, Virgin Group
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha – Director, Pediatric Residency Program, Hurley Medical Center
  • Carrie Walton Penner – Chair of Board of Directors, Walton Family Foundation

Thanks to the generous support of our plenary sponsor Medtronic Foundation.