4 May 2021

In this episode we talk to Denis Mizne, CEO of Lemann Foundation - Brazil’s largest educational funder – about philanthropy in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Lemann Foundation’s pivot to supporting vaccine trials in the country. Including:


  • How and why did Lemann Foundation get involved in Covid vaccine trials?
  • How does this fit with the foundations normal focus on education and leadership, and will it result in any shift of focus longer-term?
  • Is there a danger that ongoing controversies about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and about the distribution of vaccines more broadly will have a knock-on impact on trust in philanthropy?

Education & Leadership

  • How has the Covid pandemic affected education in Brazil and what has Lemann Foundation done in response?
  • Will the pandemic have a lasting impact on children’s education in the country and how is the foundation adapting its strategy to reflect this?
  • A key focus of Lemann Foundation’s funding is developing leadership- what is the theory behind this?
  • Are their challenges when it comes to assessing the impact of leadership development, where timescales may be very long-term and outcomes may be widely dispersed and difficult to link to interventions?
  • Are foundations uniquely well-placed to follow these kinds of long-term/upstream strategies?


Philanthropy in Brazil

  • What does the landscape of philanthropy in Brazil look like? E.g. how much HNWI giving is there? How much mass market giving? What role does corporate philanthropy play? What role do foundations play?
  • What kind of domestic causes receive philanthropic funding in Brazil? Is there any cross-border giving to other countries?
  • What is the attitude of the Brazilian government towards civil society in general?
  • What is the attitude of the Brazilian government towards philanthropy?
  • What is the attitude of the Brazilian public towards philanthropy?


Philanthropy in Wider Context

  • What is the core role of philanthropy within society which differentiates it from either state or market provision? 
  • Do recent critiques of philanthropy in the US and elsewhere resonate in the Brazilian context?
  • Why should we not see philanthropy as the “solution” to intractable social problems in isolation, and how do we get better cross-sector collaboration?
Dennis Mizne 400px

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About the Giving Thought podcast

The Giving Thought podcast is an exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society. Launched in 2017 it is recognised as an insightful and influential source of philanthropic debate.  Rhodri Davies director of our Giving Thought Think Tank hosts the podcast, discussing contemporary issues and interviewing sector experts. Episodes are also available free on iTunes and Libsyn.

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