Dr. Robert Franklin’s thoughtful and scholarly opening plenary address spoke of the need for the “generative leadership of transformed nonconformists.” He described this as people who want to improve our future world through creative, innovative thinking. Such leaders, Franklin suggested, do not strive for consensus. This struck me as in stark contrast to Steve Gunderson’s earlier statements that the Council would strive for consensus with Independent Sector and the Philanthropy Roundtable so that our sector speaks with one voice. I hope that Franklin’s call for doing what is right and moral will drive the Council’s partnership opportunities. Too often philanthropic partnerships have goals that are so watered down as to prevent the very nonconformist leadership that our country so desperately needs philanthropy to provide.
Emmett Carson is president of The Silicon Valley Community Foundation.