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AEGN 2015 Conference

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Melbourne Museum
5:30PM TO 9:00PM, MONDAY 31 AUG – CONFERENCE DINNER
8:30AM TO 4:30PM, TUESDAY 1 SEPT – CONFERENCE DAY 1
8:30AM TO 4:30PM, WEDNESDAY 2 SEPT – CONFERENCE DAY 2
THE KEYS TO SUCCESS:

Step 1: Have a good idea, plan it well
Step 2: Collaborate with conviction, then leverage for impact
Step 3: Tell the story often, clearly, cleverly and from the heart

Have you ever watched a brilliant campaign or a long-term project falter or languish because of ad-hoc efforts at collaboration, lacklustre communications, or both?  If you have, then you are not alone. Collaboration can be hard, and requires considerable skill, patience and time.  And cutting through with the right communications strategy in this age of short form messaging can feel nigh impossible! That’s why this year’s AEGN conference will focus on two areas that have become absolutely critical to achieving outcomes – collective impact and communications. And we’ve brought together the best local and international experts to help us explore these topics.

Collective impact

Collective impact is a framework designed specifically to tackle complex environmental and social problems where there is a need for alignment across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and citizens. Collective impact helps groups to work in unison and leverage each other’s strengths and resources. What can we learn from those who have used this model to great affect? Where could it be applied in Australia today? How does the collective impact framework compare to current approaches to collaboration?

Communications

Australia can be somewhat fair weather when it comes to attitudes about the environment and climate change – we tend to wax and wane more than most depending on the economic or political temperature of the time. What this means is that communication strategies need to be front and centre of environmental initiatives, right from the start.  Who do we need to reach with key environmental messages and how can this be achieved? What strategies do we need to cut through the challenges and opposing forces we face in Australia today? What’s working and who can we learn from?

Program
Conference dinner
5:30pm – 9:00pm Environmental impact investing – is it the new green?
Day One: Keynote speakers and panels (9:00am – 4:30pm)
8:30am – 9:00am Registration
9:00am – 9:30am Welcome to Country
introduction to conference
9:30am – 10:30am Keynote: Collective impact unpacked
10:30am – 11:00am Morning tea
11:00am – 12:00pm The beauty of meaningful collaboration
12:00pm – 12:30pm AEGN – effective environmental giving
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm – 2:30pm Keynote: Reshaping the debate – what can we learn from Climate Nexus?
2:30pm – 3:00pm Afternoon tea
3:00pm – 4:00pm How to win a heart – cutting edge environmental communications in Australia
4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap up
4:30pm – 6:00pm Museum Back of House Tour and Drinks
Day Two: Workshops, roundtables and case study sharing (8:30am – 4:30pm)
8:00am – 8:30am Registration
8:30am – 10:30am Concurrent Environmental philanthropy 101
8:30am – 10:30am Concurrent Roundtable discussion: a new Nature Funders Group for the AEGN?
9:30am – 10:30am Concurrent
Faster charity? Spending down or in perpetuity? – what’s best for the environment?
10:30am – 11:00am Morning tea
11:00am – 12:30pm Sharing and showcasing projects
12:30pm – 1:15pm Lunch
1:15pm – 2:30pm Masterclass: Jennie Curtis
When the whole is greater than its parts – what makes collective impact work?
2:30pm – 3:00pm Afternoon tea
3:00pm – 4:15pm Masterclass: The financial anatomy of environmental impact investing
4:15pm – 4:30pm Wrap up

Conference dinner: Environmental impact investing – is it the new green?


5:30pm – 9:00pm, Monday 31 August, Lyceum Club Ridgway Place, Melbourne

Danny Almagor, Impact Investment Group and Small Giants
Dr John McKinnon, McKinnon Family Foundation
Oliver Yates, Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Interviewed by Sue Mathews, Mullum Trust

Investment that achieves environmental outcomes as well as a return to investors is about to change the world.  Join us for a dinner conversation with impact investing pioneers, Danny Almagor, Oliver Yates and John McKinnon, facilitated by Sue Mathews and followed by a chance to discuss some of the amazing opportunities out there to change the way we invest and re-direct capital toward the new economy. Please bring along your trustees, clients or friends who might be interested in environmental philanthropy and share a fun filled delicious evening with sustainable food and good company.

Day One – Tuesday 1 September
Treetops Room, Melbourne Museum

8:30am – 9:00am Registration
9:00am – 9:30am Welcome to Country and introduction to the conference
9:30am – 10:30am Collective impact unpacked

Moderator: Hayley Morris, Morris Family Foundation
Keynote Speaker: Jennie Curtis, Garfield Foundation

The Garfield Foundation in the US has instigated a number of significant collective impact projects as well as joining other existing impact collaborations. Jennie Curtis, Executive Director of the Foundation, will share her extensive experience with this type of project – what works and doesn’t work, with a few thought provoking examples in between.

10:30am – 11:00am Morning Tea
11:00am – 12:00pm The beauty of meaningful collaboration

Moderator: Catherine Brown, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Speakers:

Kerry Graham, Collective Impact Australia

Dermot O’Gorman, WWF-Australia

Beth Mellick, Norman Wettenhall Foundation

The environment movement has taken a new coordinated and collaborative approach to working together in recent times.  What frameworks do we use to work collaboratively in the philanthropic sector?  How does collective impact work, how is it different from collaboration, what are some examples? Should we require or inspire our NGO partners to learn more about collective impact? When does collaboration work and when do we want competition?  How does this approach play out between big and small groups and in regional and rural Australia?

12:00pm – 12:30pm AEGN – effective environmental giving

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm – 2:30pm Keynote: Reshaping the debate – what can we learn from Climate Nexus?

Keynote Speaker: Robert Tanner

Chair: Dr John Spierings

Climate Nexus has played a leading role in reshaping the debate around climate change in the US, putting climate denialism on the defence and helping growing numbers of Americans recognise the threat and urgency for action. How did this come about and what are the lessons for Australia? Robert Tanner, Managing Director of Climate Nexus, will share the Climate Nexus journey with us. He will explain how Climate Nexus fits within the broader context of climate change work in the US, the keys to its success and the role philanthropy has played.

2:30pm – 3:00pm Afternoon Tea
3:00pm – 4:00pm How to win a heart – cutting edge environmental communications in Australia

Moderator: Dee Madigan, Campaign Edge and The Gruen Transfer

Speakers:

Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council

Paul Sheridan, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Jacquie O’Brien, Zoos Victoria

Grantmakers want to see wider community support for the environment and climate change – and communicating the case is essential for making this a reality. Through an open forum, our communications experts will share their experiences and insights about how strategies are changing and what’s needed in the current environment to cut through the white noise, opposing voices and vested interests. So bring along any burning questions you might have and join us as we explore best practice communications in Australia’s environment sector.

4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap up
4:30pm – 6:00pm Melbourne Museum back of house tour and drinks

Day one will finish with a traditional special back-of-house tour of the Melbourne Museum collection and drinks finishing at 6:00pm.

Day Two – Wednesday 2 September
Melbourne Museum

9:30am – 11:30am Concurrent Sessions
8:00am – 8:30am Registration
8:30am – 10:30am Environmental philanthropy 101


Moderators: Esther Abram with Dr Barry Traill and Sue McKinnon

Are you new to environmental philanthropy or do you feel you need to take a step back and refresh your thoughts on environmental grantmaking? Join us for this intensive session with national environmental expert and legend Dr Barry Traill, to inspire your thinking about systematic and effective approaches to environmental philanthropy. Includes morning tea.

8:30am – 10:30am Roundtable discussion: a new Nature Funders Group for the AEGN?


Moderators: Annie Grindrod and Amanda Martin

Many AEGN members are keen on setting up a Nature Funder Group and our conference is the prefect place to gather your views on this. Whether you are experienced in nature funding or only just starting out, this will be a great opportunity to start a national discussion on the role of philanthropy in protecting our precious natural world. How should an AEGN Nature Funders Group operate? What should we focus on? Who should we collaborate with? Please join in the discussion!

9:30am – 10.30am Faster charity? Spending down or in perpetuity? – what’s best for the environment?

Moderator: Rob McLean, McLean Foundation

Speakers:

Jill Reichstein, Reichstein Foundation

Tara Hunt, Hunt Family Foundation

Wise people say that we are living in “the critical decade” for climate change, biodiversity and preserving our natural resources. Is this an argument for giving more now? Or does keeping your foundation at peak levels ensure that your giving gets better and better. What’s the best rate of giving to achieve your vision?  Join us for a fascinating discussion about this age old topic.

10:30am – 11:00am Morning Tea
11:00am – 12:30pm Sharing and showcasing projects


Are you looking for interesting and effective projects to fund? Or maybe you are keen to learn about what other funders have been donating to?  Are you looking for others to collaborate and co-fund with?  At this session AEGN members will present some fabulous initiatives, with a special focus on projects which demonstrate our collaboration and communication themes. Join fellow members and friends and be inspired by the depth and breadth of projects that are being funded. Who knows, you might find a friend to fund with!

12:30pm – 1:15pm Lunch

1:15pm – 2:30pm Masterclass: Jennie Curtis
When the whole is greater than its parts – what makes collective impact work?

Collective impact can be a key ingredient to catalysing long lasting environmental protection. Join Jennie Curtis and the AEGN for a rare opportunity to delve deeply into what collective impact really means and how to do it effectively.

2:30pm – 3:00pm Afternoon Tea
3:00pm – 4:15pm Masterclass: The financial anatomy of environmental impact investing

Moderator: Louise O’Halloran, Finance Sector Specialist at AEGN

Panel:

Will Richardson, Impact Investment Group

Rich Gilmore, The Nature Conservancy

Nick Lilley, Embark and The Nature Conservancy

Rob Fowler, Climate Bonds Initiative – Australia and Asia Pacific

Impact investing has raced ahead in recent years and is now a recognised asset class – especially for foundations, wealthy individuals, family offices and increasingly for superannuation funds. But what about environmental impact investing? What kind of opportunities are available, what are the investment risks and returns, who assesses, measures and manages these investments? And finally, what can be achieved when we view grant-making and investment as a combined strategy to achieve maximum environmental protection? Our exert panel helps us navigate this fascinating terrain!

4:15pm – 4:30pm Wrap Up

 

Bring your fellow funders – please invite other funders to join us

The AEGN conference is open to all funders, not grantseekers.  We encourage you to invite other funders you know to join us.  You do not necessarily need to be currently funding in the environment and much of what we will explore can also be applied to other issues.

 

Register for the conference