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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Jul 31, 2017

When “doing good” starts to look like protecting one’s self interest, it’s a tricky business. While famous philanthropists like Bill Gates and Charles Koch are closely scrutinized, thousands of wealthy donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. In The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, author and lecturer David Callahan charts the rise of new power players and the ways they are shaping our society. In conversation with Paul Shoemaker, the founding president of the international philanthropy group Social Venture Partners, Callahan will discuss the how this elite sect is impacting education, the environment, science, LGBTQ rights, and, in particular, government policy. Callahan makes the case that the influence of big givers is just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg establish their own initiatives and foundations. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not an argument for or against philanthropy, but an investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for all of us.

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Recorded live at Town Hall Seattle Thursday, April 20, 2017