venn2021: Flourishing People, Planet, and Philanthropy
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Li Foundation

venn2021: Flourishing People, Planet, and Philanthropy

November 9, 2021

After a nearly 2-year hiatus, Asia Philanthropy Circle (“APC”) held their first ever 3-days hybrid event, with their members gathering in-person at The Barracks Hotel Sentosa to kick-off venn2021 on the 9th of November 2021. APC’s Acting CEO and Chairman, Mr. Laurence Lien addressed the opening forum as he introduced the Flourishing People, Planet, and Philanthropy theme and unpacked how philanthropy can play a role to build back better in Singapore and across the region. 

Guest of Honour, Singapore Minister for Finance Mr. Lawrence Wong, sat down with Mr. Lien in a fireside chat to explore philanthropy’s role in a global, post-pandemic society.  The discussion touched on the importance of flattening curves in order to build a more inclusive society. The role of philanthropists in rebuilding post-pandemic is not just to provide funding, but also in helping to create more opportunities.

On the second day of venn2021, APC launched the Philanthropy Guide Series. Each set comprises of 7 guides that are Asia-focused, philanthropist centered and contains information from members’ case studies. An external version will be made available in 2022 for non-members and wider circulation.

In the full-day event, Li Foundation Chairman Lionel shared his story and thoughts on Asian spirit and Asia Impact. A lasting impression was cast on Lionel and his two sons a few years ago when they first participated in a documentary screening night organized by APC members Kathlyn and Thomas on ocean protection. For the very first time, Lionel elaborated on the initial intention and vision of the “Inspiring Asia” philanthropy short documentary project.

Inspiring Asia Logo
Inspiring Asia

The spirit of this exuberant Asian culture requires the younger generation to carry it forward. Believing that the Asian spirit is embedded in every individual, he would like to motivate members of APC to encourage the young artists to produce short documentaries of inspiring stories of a person or charity project.

APC members are currently dispersed in 13 different regions. By gathering these stories together, we can demonstrate the influence of APC members in these regions and further uncover the Asian spirit. Lionel is also looking forward to an APC – Inspiring Asia short documentary Oscar night in venn2022. If this can become a tradition at APC’s annual event, it can enhance the cohesion of APC members and raise the Asia Impact.

On the final day, members “visited” the world’s largest NGO virtually. The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (“BRAC”) ( is a non-governmental organization founded in Bangladesh by Sir Fazle Abed. BRAC has touched over 13 million lives through multifaceted solutions involving health, education, empowerment, livelihood, financial inclusion and disaster resilience. They tackle large, systemic problems by digging into the root cause and scaling sustainable solutions.

It was indeed a great way to round up 2021 with an in-person event, seeing everyone connecting (safely) despite in the midst of the current pandemic. We look forward to new possibilities, collaborations, and building a flourishing future together!

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The book showcases how the participants challenged their limits and conquered the World Marathon Challenge and North Pole Marathon to inspire people to challenge their own limits and pursue their dreams boldly.

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