May 23, 2024, Cambridge, UK – The Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD) at Cambridge University held a high-level roundtable, bringing together leading philanthropists, philanthropic advisors, high commissioners, and other stakeholders and industry leaders. The event, facilitated by Robbie Stamp Fellow at the Centre and CEO of Bioss, focused on exploring effective strategies for philanthropic investment in systems transformation amid uncertainty and complex challenges, specifically when conventional approaches to measurement mitigate against that.

This event is the first in a planned series of events and workshops relating to our project exploring the future of philanthropy as a tool to drive whole-of-systems change.

The central questions addressed during the roundtable were: 

How can philanthropists effectively invest in systems transformation in the face of uncertainty and complexities that defy conventional approaches to measurement? What is the experience of participants with regard to this question? How might we better scope the problem we are trying to solve?

Roundtable participants explored the idea that traditional metrics often fall short in capturing the impact of investments in systems transformation for resilience and sustainability. Participants shared their experiences and insights, highlighting challenges around collaboration, measurement, expectations, risk perceptions and the changing nature of the sector as a new generation of philanthropists seek to use their resources to drive meaningful transformation. 

The Roundtable provided proof of concept for future work exploring the changing role of philanthropy in driving systemic change. 

For more information, or to participate in future events in this theme, please contact Professor Nazia M. Habib,


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