Mia Odabas


Schedule is subject to change. Please check back soon for updates or sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know. The Symposium will be conducted in English. The Scandic Continental is located at: Vasagatan 22, 111 20 Stockholm, Sweden.


Morning Sessions 08:00 – 12:00


Registration Opens / Coffee and Conversation



Opening of PlenaryIntroduction by Mia Odabas – Moderator, O. Roger Svensson – Founder SPS, Ninni Franceschi – Head for Nordea Private Banking, Maria Frithz Warg – Senior Advisor & Program Director, Stockholm School of Economics.


Mia Odabas in conversation with Sasja Beslik – Senior Executive Manager at Nordea Asset Management.



Film Clip



Head Over Heels or Head Above Water – The Philanthropist’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

In Europe we are experiencing one of the largest refugee crises in modern times. Many countries seem to respond by closing their borders, others seem clueless. In Sweden we’ve been open to discuss the issue and to find a responsible way to deal with it, but is it enough? How do we proceed when our resources no longer seem to be sufficient? Is philanthropy a proactive response and ultimate solution or just a business opportunity to portray a good guy? In this panel we have gathered speakers with long experiences in philanthropic resources when dealing with refugee crises. What can we learn from their methods? What are the obstacles, the chances of succeeding… and is it a risk worth taking?

Panelists: Harry McNeil – CEO Hero Sweden, Olle Wästberg – STINT – Stiftelsen for internationalisering av högre utbildning och forskning, Cristina Andreatta – Network Development Manager, Association of Charitable Foundations (UK).



Morning Break



Film Clip



Philanthropy’s Role in Refugee Integration I (Interactive Session)

Akelius Foundation is actively engaged in developing new projects with a focus on areas of need. The foundation has expressed its commitment and responsibility to the broader society by directing financial resources in tackling social causes. The largest beneficiary so far is SOS Children’s Villages with four hundred million SEK. Presently, Akelius Foundation is investing 100 mill SEK in an online project (30 mill SEK in Sweden) with the purpose of educating refugees in the Swedish language.

Roger Akelius, Philanthropist and Founder of Akelius Foundation.



Philanthropy’s Role in Refugee Integration II

The face of Sweden is changing. Immigrant integration connects to virtually every issue funders care about. In other words, it is not just an issue for “immigrant funders.” Immigrant integration is inseparably linked to citizenship, civic participation, economic mobility, education, equal opportunity, health and well-being, and language access and acquisition, among other pressing concerns. We will hear from an entrepreneur, author, and corporate representative talking about issues such as what is immigrant integration? Why is immigrant integration important now? How is philanthropy responding? And how should it respond?

Panelists: Ernest Radal – Chief Evangelist, Mobilearn, Madeleine Opira – Founder of A Million Minds, Cecilia Hallberg – HR Business Advisor at KPMG Sweden




Innovation in Philanthropy & Social Change: Reimagining The Toolkit 

The impact investment sector is young and growing. Recently the very first social impact program, or “impact bond,” was introduced in Sweden by Leksell Social Ventures in partnership with Norrkoping city.

There has been an increasing realization that, along with philanthropy and government aid, private enterprise can contribute to solving social and environmental problems. At the same time, a growing number of investors are expressing a desire to “do good while doing well.” These are impact investors, who seek opportunities for financial investments that produce social or environmental benefits. Would social impact bonds make for a more caring economy?  What impact do your investments have on society and the environment? When can impact investment create real impact?  What do emerging social entrepreneurs really need?

Panelists: Arnaud Mourot – CEO Ashoka Europe, Abigail Noble – CEO at The Impact, Maura Pally – Senior Vice President of Programs at the Clinton Foundation, Henrik Storm Dyrssen, Managing Director Leksell Social Ventures





Afternoon Sessions 13:30 – 16:45


Parallel Workshops & Skill-Building Sessions

Sustainability in the Empowerment of Women. Women are increasingly becoming a target of international efforts to support development and human rights. At the same time, an increasing number of women are engaging in philanthropy, often with a desire to tackle gender issues.  Can philanthropists play an important role when donors channel more funding for women’s empowerment to global organizations such as United Nations and the World Bank?

The workshop will explore the effects, what the pitfalls might be, what can be achieved and how to create a win-win situation. Carin Lann, CEO at Wise Economy Global Association with over 20 years of grass-root work for women’s empowerment in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Effective Strategies for Philanthropic Collaboration. Explore whether collaborative funding is right for you in this applied workshop where we will explore the range of reasons to fund collaboratively and vehicles that enable effective collective giving. First, we will reflect on the range of motivations that might lead you to start or join a funder collaborative such as the need for greater resources, sharing political or social risk, and creating a peer-learning environment. Building on this understanding, we will consider the varied collective giving vehicles that exist today including funder collaborates and giving circles and best practices to start or strengthen your own philanthropic collaboration.

Jason Franklin, W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and one of NYC’s Top 20 Young Philanthropists.



Afternoon Break



Parallel Workshops

What Do Successful Corporate Philanthropy Programs Look Like?

Participants will learn about best practices and potential pitfalls in developing corporate philanthropy programs by examining a variety of contemporary models.  Group discussions and interactive exercises will provide opportunities to explore a variety of approaches a business can use to leverage its culture, assets, and values to maximize its philanthropic impact. Sam Parker, CEO, Shell Foundation.

The RISE Framework for Building and Funding Effective Social Impact Organizations

What if we had a simple, shared vocabulary for talking about how to build effective social change organizations and how to fund them? What if that vocabulary was informed by a systems orientation to social change and a deep commitment to social justice and equity? The RISE Framework for Social Change focuses nonprofit organizations and funders on four critical hallmarks of social change effectiveness. We will explain the RISE Framework and help you apply it to your favorite social change organization during this workshop. Rebecca Riccio, Director, Social Impact Lab, Northeastern University.



Closing Plenary

Independent journalism and documentary film are playing a vital role in our society. Participants will learn about the instrumental role foundations and philanthropists can play in making sure films are made and get to strategic audiences in order to create real, lasting impact. BRITDOC Foundation has been funding and working with exciting film projects highlighting urgent issues of our time; from the refugee crisis to global climate change, from LGBT rights to deradicalisation, from surveillance to children’s rights, and so on. This session will include films participating in the global Good Pitch program, including the runner-up for an Oscar last year.

Panelists: Nicole van Schaik – Deputy Director BRITDOC Foundation, Cristina Ljungberg – Founder Giving Wings/Influence Film, Jason Franklin – Member Threshold Foundation.



Closing Remarks & Acknowledgements