Since 2013, the Taproot Foundation and BMW Foundation have convened the leaders of the pro bono movement to share challenges and best practices among peers through the annual global pro-bono Summit. The summit format and location change each year to accommodate the varied needs of attendees.

The 2017 global pro bono summit was held in Lisbon, co-hosted by the Social Entrepreneurs Agency and drew CSR and pro bono movement leaders from over 27 countries. Participants included Global Pro Bono Network Members who are pro bono providers (“intermediaries”) belonging to the Global Pro Bono Network, corporate leaders in pro bono programming, foundations supporting pro bono efforts, and other pro bono enthusiasts. Participants seek to collaborate with their peers and partners, learn how pro bono can elevate and amplify other tools being used to create social change, and create strategies to provide more high-quality and high-impact pro bono service. Ideas and topics that surface during the course of these four days aim to transform into actionable commitments for the coming year.

Tanja Siebert (CEO) and Esther Picogna (Regional Coordinator Europe) attended the summit as a fellow from Germany and for Global Pro Bono. They share the happenings of the summit in this blog. Enjoy reading!

After a fabulous sight seeing tour around Lisbon, we started our conference at the Lisbon City Hall located in the famous city square (Praca do Municipio) and were welcomed by the Municipal leader who shared about the history of the city and his hope for how the pro bono movement can be the much needed platform for community building and capacity building where resources are tight otherwise. As Liz Hamburg (CEO of Taproot Foundation) and Markus Hipp (Executive Direction of the BMW Foundation gave their opening speeches, the one thing that stayed with me throughout the conference was Markus’s animated assertion that “The first lesson about pro-bono – don’t do it if you’re not going to do it right!

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