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Welcome to the Giving Thought Podcast, a bi-weekly exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society from the Charities Aid Foundation’s in-house think-tank, Giving Thought.

In each episode your host Rhodri Davies (formerly with co-host Adam Pickering) explores a big issue, theme or trend and analyses what it means for philanthropy and civil society around the world.

Be sure to check the show notes for each podcast and find blogs, reports and videos from Giving Thought and do get in touch if you have questions or suggestions at

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Jun 25, 2019

In episode 52, we take a look at the relationship between philanthropy and public space. How has philanthropy shaped our understanding of public space, and what role does public space play in driving philanthropy? Including:

  • Philanthropy and rural public space
  • The role of philanthropy and voluntary action in shaping the development of national parks in the UK and US
  • The history of the National Trust and what it can teach us about the tension between preservation and access
  • Urban parks & greenspace in the UK
  • Public parks philanthropy in the US- success and controversy.
  • How do we ensure that public spaces near where rich people live aren’t supported at the expense of those in less well-off neighbourhoods?
  • Non-green urban public space: sport facilities and community buildings
  • Public space and bridging social capital
  • Does the emergence of quasi-public spaces owned and controlled by the private sector raise new challenges for philanthropy and civil society?
  • Philanthropy and the concept of the public sphere
  • Digital platforms: are they really public spaces? Or do we risk handing control to unaccountable gatekeepers, and what might this mean for civil society freedoms?


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