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Policy & Global Development

Philanthropy as a Catalyst Between the Private and Public Sectors

The Circle of Economy, ISGlobal and “la Caixa” organized a debate on the role of philanthropy and alliances in the 2030 Agenda

Photo: Marta / Colorín Colorado

 Achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require a global alliance between governments, companies, and civil society. This was the starting point for a debate that took place on February 12 with the High Commissioner of the 2030 Agenda for the Spanish Government, Cristina Gallach, and the Corporate Director of Research and Strategy at “la Caixa” Foundation, Àngel Font. Rafael Vilasanjuan acted as moderator of the event, which took place at the Circle of Economy in Barcelona. 

Cristina Gallach started by underlining the role of the government in achieving the SDGs: “leadership and horizontal mobilization are key, and our government has taken 110 decisions or actions that will influence more than 60 SDG targets.” However, alliances with the public sector and the engagement of the civil society are essential, and she mentioned the creation of a counsel for sustainable development that will include civil society, private sector and the scientific community. It is a complex agenda, but highly interrelated, where planning is a priority for distributing the resources, she pointed out.   

¿How to promote the interaction between the public and private sector? For Àngel Font, philanthropy can be a catalyst in an agenda that involves the private sector much more directly. “For example, we want to help translate biomedical research findings into new drugs, products or services for society. In fact, “la Caixa” has adhered to the 2030 Agenda without knowing since its origins in 1904,” he said, and cited some examples of how it has contributed to the different SDGs throughout its history.   

Both speakers agreed that the 2030 Agenda has become a common framework for action, a common language for companies and governments. As Rafael Vilasanjuán said in his introduction, “the 2030 Agenda is the closest we will have to a global government.” 

At the end, the public intervened with a series of questions in which the fight against inequality and gender parity were recurrent themes.