Inaugural speech Theo Schuyt: “Dynamic Philanthropy”; the sociological significance of the re-entry

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EVENT DATE: 18-06-15 | Lecture |

On 18 June 2015 Professor Dr. Th.N.M. Schuyt gave his inaugural speech at Maastricht Universtiy.

English summary:

In many countries across Europe, philanthropy is being rediscovered as a source of funding for public goods and social innovation. Before the advent of the welfare state, citizens, companies and philanthropists were  funders of educational, health,  cultural and religious institutions. The current era of austerity  shows a revival of the rich tradition of giving in Europe. Foundations already play an important role in the provision of public goods and social innovation. Young entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals are of key importance in reviving a culture of philanthropy in Europe. Recognition of the role of philanthropy for public welfare is now also growing at the European Commission.

However, research  on philanthropy just started. Who donates, how much and why? Without valid and reliable data, it is difficult to demonstrate  the societal significance of philanthropy. On the verge of huge cuts in state budgets,  EU governments have recently sought more intense cooperation with philanthropy.  However, public policy and philanthropy represent two different worlds with regard of constituency, legitimacy, values and structure. Problems may occur if these worlds try to meet. This issue will be addressed too.

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