Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Symposium Tackles Tough Issues in World of Aid

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300 humanitarian leaders look at aid delivery, effects of globalization, technology impacts --- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is Keynote Speaker -- Tostan to receive $1.5 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize

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More than 300 humanitarian leaders from the public and private sectors will tackle some of the toughest issues facing the world of aid at the 2007 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Symposium at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel here September 12. “The Changing Face of Philanthropy: Evolution or Revolution?” is the theme for the conference that draws participants and speakers from throughout the globe.

The Hilton Symposium will conclude with the awarding of the 2007 Hilton Humanitarian Prize to Molly Melching, founder and executive director of Tostan, a Senegal -based NGO that has changed West African villagers’ lives through its innovative education programs that use African oral traditions. Hilton Foundation CEO Steven M. Hilton will present the $1.5 million check and Tiffany prize sculpture to Melching. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be the keynote speaker at the prize dinner.

“This year’s symposium will look at the questions we are wrestling with in the developed world about how aid is delivered to the developing world,” said Hilton. “Are our good intentions and major investments really bringing people out of poverty or should we change our approaches?”

A second issue to be addressed is how technology and the internet are revolutionizing philanthropy and if new ideas such as venture philanthropy and for profit social initiatives are generating better results than traditional methods.

Speakers include Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the world based in Bangladesh, now assisting other developing countries in Africa. David Bornstein will analyze the work of social innovators who are successfully addressing problems at scale in several countries. Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos™ Water and former Starbucks executive, will describe how bottled water profits directly support water programs in developing countries. Tom Watson, chief strategy officer of Changing Our World Inc., will speak on the use of online fundraising and the Facebook generation’s use of the internet for philanthropy. Susan Davis, a thought leader and author, will cover new approaches to international development.

The one-day symposium is an open dialogue between speakers and invited participants who are comprised of decision makers from governments, multilateral agencies, NGOs and major humanitarian institutions.

The symposium proceedings will be broadcast live via the Internet through the Hilton Foundation website (http://www.hiltonfoundation.org).

Based in Los Angeles, the Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by the late hotel entrepreneur and business leader, Conrad N. Hilton, who left his fortune to the foundation with instructions to help the most disadvantaged and vulnerable throughout the world without regard to religion, ethnicity or geography. The foundation along with its related entities has assets exceeding $4 billion, and since its inception has provided more than $560 million for charitable projects throughout the world. More than 50% of its grants fund international projects. The foundation is an independent nonprofit organization and is not part of the Hilton Hotels Corporation.                     

For more information, visit http://www.tostan.org and http://www.hiltonfoundation.org

Contact:

Casey Sayre & Williams

Carolyn McEwen

(310) 396-2400

cmcewen @ cswpr.com

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