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An Interview with Felicity Fellows

Portrait collage by Zak Kalivas, Photography by Mark Mayer
Interview by Janne Ryan
Felicity Fellows


FELICITY FELLOWS: Director Global Partnerships at Summit [based in New York]. The following interview was recorded when she was at TEDx Global Partnerships Development.

GAME-CHANGER: Moving from Australia to New York to head up TEDxGlobal Partnerships for TED. My dream has come true – working in a truly global community that transcends geographical boundaries and guiding those who can give more to do it better. I recently read that the word philanthropy, in it’s original Greek, means ‘loving humanity’. I like that.

ACHIEVING GOALS: There is so much healing that needs to happen in the world that it’s almost unfathomable. In Australia the philanthropy culture is fairly new, but here [in USA] it’s deeply engrained for people to give back. It’s why I am here in New York, to learn as much as a I can, and to contribute towards solving 21st century problems that government and industry are struggling with.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Setting up the global TEDx Council advisory board at TED. We have seven remarkable individuals, from around the world, who support us from a philanthropic and advisory capacity to advance our TED mission of ‘ideas worth spreading’. Another powerful project is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding scholarships for individuals from developing worlds, and creating content around the world’s most critical global health and development issues.

GREATEST CHALLENGE? Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk The way we think about Charity is Dead Wrong challenges us to ‘change the way we think about changing the world.’ The idea that the sector should have leaner resources, earn less, spend nothing on overheads AND change the world is outdated and slowing down progress. Changing attitudes towards funding is the challenge.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION: To find new ways for people to fall in love with life, and work to practice a deeper human connection with each other. Philanthropy is at it’s most meaningful when people are actualising their greatest passions. Know what lights you up so you can be effective with your time, energy and expertise.