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Significant MOU signing at international summit in Stellenbosch
Author: Corporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Rozanne Engel]
Published: 13/11/2019


In build up to the international Club of Rome summit, co-hosted by the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) at Stellenbosch University (SU), the Club of Rome has signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the East-West Philanthropy Forum (EWPF).

The summit was held at Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch last week.

The agreed MoU is a comprehensive framework of collaboration engaging both organisations and their members to develop concrete projects of thinking and action in unconventional, innovative ways over the next ten years.

This is the very first time that these two organisations unite forces to address the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our era. With the Stellenbosch University vision to 'enhance knowledge in service of society', it is significant that this important MoU was signed during a conference co-hosted by an SU institute, the IFR. It is noteworthy that the IFR was established immediately following and as the direct result of the publication of the first Club of Rome report in 1972, Limits to Growth.

According to Dr Mampela Ramphele, one of the co-presidents of the Club of Rome, this is an historic partnership, which will help with finding solutions for some of the world's biggest issues. “Working together with the East-West Philanthropy Forum (EWPF), we would be able to take some of the ideas coming out of this conference and workshops we are having at the summit and put them into action," says Ramphele.

“Philanthropy is changing the world and shaping our future, and this collaborative partnership provides an exciting opportunity for EWPF to unite prominent philanthropic leaders with Club of Rome members to design and implement action plans that best serve humanity and nature," stated Mark McGuffie, EWPF's International Philanthropy Advisor who assisted in the 2019 Club of Rome Annual Conference held at the Spier Wine Estate.

The Club of Rome was created in 1968 as an international network of individuals sharing a common concern for the future of humanity. The Club of Rome is the first truly global think tank, encompassing views from academia, business, government and civil society.

EWPF is an action-oriented network of international leaders from East and West dedicated to developing philanthropic partnerships that impact today's most urgent environmental and social challenges. Through applied research, public/private partnerships, education and exchange, it addresses issues such as climate change and sustainability, social finance and innovation, the empowerment of women and young people, and family and cultural legacy.

​“With the SU mission of being a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities, a summit co-hosted by the University was the perfect occasion for such a signing," says Dr Morne Mostert, Director of IFR.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, also one of the co-presidents of the Club of Rome, further observed that the signing of the MoU in South Africa is of great significance. She believes that since this is where the Cradle of Humankind is situated, it also creates an opportunity “to come back" and “understand where we came from", so everyone who is part of the collaboration can create a vision of a joint future.

“What The Club of Rome can do with the East-West Philanthropy Forum is to look at the regional collaborations that are absolutely fundamental in order to make that work. Between Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas it will be important what type of projects we put in place to catalyse a real shift over the next ten years, because we don't think there is another 50 years to wait. It is now absolutely urgent to make a change," says Dixson-Declève.

For more information on The Club of Rome Annual Summit click here