Firoz Ladak, CEO of the Edmond De Rothschild Foundation, at an exclusive press conference in Cape Town.

Cape Town - There is a new approach being taken to make a difference in society and build a new type of philanthropy with a business mindset, Firoz Ladak, CEO of the Edmond De Rothschild Foundations, said at an exclusive press conference in Cape Town on Thursday.

Ladak spoke about ERFIP (EmpoweR Families for Innovative Philanthropy) initiative, which was started in 2013. The intent was to engage with families active in both business and giving from the Global South. 

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations support arts and heritage, the environment, education and social welfare by awarding grants, fostering dialogue and debate.

Ladak, who joined the foundation in 2005, said 100 families participate in ERFIP annually. The initiative has three objectives, all with the intent to get these families to participate and engage with locals.

According to Ladak, the three objectives are: 

1. Exchanging knowledge;

2. How to push for a new approach when it comes to philanthropy; and

3. A transformative development course.

He also touched on a yet to be an announced platform that will be launched to help give exposure to African art. 

"There is a whole unravelling of colonial history. If we look at Nigeria and France aid was seen as a way to perpetuate economic influence.

"Aid has always been very political. Philanthropy for me is a land of ideas, you test solutions, you pilot," Ladak said.

"What I like about what we do in our initiative is that it is not state-driven. Philanthropy is not about feeling good but more about risk-taking."

Lakan is set to attend the inaugural Imagine Awards at the Artscape Theatre Centre on Friday night. 

The awards, the brainchild of Survé Philanthropies - the private foundation which houses several of the Survé family’s philanthropic initiatives - will recognise individuals, organisations and institutions involved in initiatives aimed at making a social impact in various sectors. 

IOL