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19 April 2019, Stanford, USA: Silicon Valley Philanthropy “Disruption” and the Implications for Educational Development

International Research Symposium

A new style of philanthropy is emerging from Silicon Valley with new actors, new funding mechanisms and new approaches to philanthropic giving. With technological innovation as the core influence that created much of the wealth driving the new philanthropy, it is no surprise that disruption, innovation, and impact are at the center of an emerging “giving code.” These technology philanthropists share common patterns both in motive and style of giving which are reflective of theories of change that are markedly different from the more traditional styles of philanthropy. Whereas traditional philanthropy tends to be contributory, guided by unmet public needs or minority interests with the aspiration to enlarge the public goods provided by the state, emerging forms of philanthropy often seek a disruptive approach to giving that aims to replace an existing service by offering an alternative. A critical feature of Silicon Valley’s emerging philanthropic model is that it identifies itself as “hacker” in nature with the intent to disrupt traditional models and generate innovation by channeling funds to societal issues or causes.


As part of the Philanthropy in Education (PiE) series, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, NORRAG,  the Open Society Foundations, the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, will host a one day international research symposium to analyze the respective influences of emerging philanthropic practices in Silicon Valley within a context of the growth and evolution of philanthropy in education worldwide. By engaging leading scholars in the field, we aim to enrich the current body of research in philanthropy and education and enhance our understanding of potential implications for international educational development.

Participation and Publication

Participation in this international research symposium is by invitation only. The symposium will be limited to 30 people, including presenters, moderators and discussants. However, the outcome of the symposium will be a publication in a special issue series that will include presentations and additional short papers on the topic of technology, philanthropy and education. All participants will have the option to contribute to the special issue. Through the international research symposium and special issue publication, the organizing partners expect to further the dialogue and enhance research on philanthropy and education.


Please see the event programme at the following link









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