Living and Giving

Update on Synergos Global Philanthropists Circle and President Clinton

Share This Post

Global Philanthropy and Reverse Innovation


Earlier this year, I attended a Global Philanthropy Conference in New York, where we were invited amongst 100 global high networth donors.  I wanted to share some exciting insights with you!

We\’ve been honored now to be invited for our 6th year in a row, as part of Synergos.   It was a group of international, high-level philanthropists from more than 100 countries.  I was asked to review Peggy Dulaney’s (the granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller) speech, which she will publish for Synergos’ 25th anniversary.  She presented part of it at the meeting.

During this meeting, of approximately 150 individuals, we heard from Peggy and Bill Clinton.  Former President Clinton was quite formidable in the high calling he set for himself regarding philanthropy.  The Clinton Global Initiative is involved in numerous philanthropic projects.  Many of them revolve around renewable energy in hydro and electric policy and implementation.  He is focused on supporting both forprofit and nonprofit groups in this endeavor.

It was so impressive to see how up to speed Clinton is on these technologies.  He\’s a great example of post-presidency action.  He’s watchful of emerging projects that are successful abroad, which can be utilized here in the United States.  He didn’t bring this up, but this is what is called Reverse or Frugal Innovation.  Many professors from Harvard and Dartmouth are covering this important topic, which looks at low-cost, effective projects that are working abroad, and are then brought back to the United States.  Instead of the U.S. being the pioneer — international countries, and often developing ones, are the initiators.  This is in everything from medical services to lowcost shaving razors, that are now undercutting the market here. And GE is undercutting itself, by introducing lower cost razors, because it is afraid another country will do so.  Fascinating!