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SIX Funders Node Retreat: Risk, legitimacy and philanthropy

Location: Wasan Island
Event Date: 12 — 15 September 2019

Date: September 12-15, 2019

Location: Wasan Island, Canada

Many foundations are still risk averse, despite operating with fewer constraints compared to other sectors. We believe foundations should support each other to take more risks, in an effort to spur more innovation to achieve transformational change. In an era where the legitimacy and authenticity of foundations is being questioned, how can we encourage the philanthropic sector to take more risks? This is what we will explore during the retreat.

Key questions that will sit at the core of the programme include:

  • How can we evolve our definition and understanding of risk in relation to innovation and the philanthropic sector? How does this translate into grant making practices and operationalise in a portfolio?

  • How do foundations best prepare for different futures? How do can they focus on the right risks (rather than just going for the big bets)?

  • How do you bring your board and staff along with you on this journey?

  • Where do foundations get their legitimacy from? How are they operating authentically? How does this play out in their risk management structures?

This retreat is part of the SIX Funders Node, a programme within SIX to inspire, enable and challenge philanthropic funders to be more transformational. Over the past 4 years, we’ve hosted more than 25 global events curated around the topics keeping funders awake at night that are designed to facilitate long lasting relationships amongst global peers and provoke collective action. Retreats are a key part of SIX’s work with funders.

We are hosting the retreat on Wasan Island thanks to the generous support of the McConnell Foundation and their partnership with the BMW Foundation, the Breuninger Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.


This retreat is invite only for senior leaders of pioneering philanthropic foundations on Wasan Island, in Ontario, Canada. If you’re interested in knowing more please contact [email protected]