Launch of the #ShiftThePower “Treehouse” – a place to show that another way is possible

06 Jul 2021


Around the world, new ways of deciding and doing are emerging. Locally-rooted organizations are working with communities, putting people at the centre of decision-making and tapping into local resources to focus on local priorities – recognizing that real change can only happen when the wisdom, assets and abilities of communities are at the heart of “development” work.

Over the last five years, these local actors have started to organize around the #ShiftThePower hash-tag and its accompanying Manifesto for Change. This has included community philanthropy organizations, women’s funds, environmental funds, regional and national grantmakers, and a whole cast of other allies who believe that another, more dignified and durable way, is possible.

But swimming against the stream can be lonely, difficult and, at times, frustrating work…which is where the #ShiftThePower Treehouse comes in! The Treehouse, which will be the online meeting place for the #ShiftThePower movement, is the result of multiple consultations that followed the 2019 Pathways to Power Symposium, as well as countless conversations that have taken place over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic – which has only further highlighted the weakness of the current top-down systems of philanthropy and development aid.

The purpose of the Treehouse – whose content will be curated by members of the #ShiftThePower movement on a rotational basis – will be to examine local structures and lift up what is “strong not wrong.” The Treehouse is a space where different actors who believe in the power of people-led development can connect, share practice, learn from each other, build the movement and be stronger together. It is also a space to join up and amplify the voices and arguments of those who, too often, have been overlooked or undervalued by mainstream philanthropy and development.

We will be learning as we go and invite any and all ideas about how the Treehouse can best build the field of, and make the case for, locally-led development. If you feel like you have something to say or share, a crazy idea, or fancy a brainstorming session, please get in touch with Rasha Sansur ( While the GFCF will be providing operational support around the Treehouse, it is a space that will be owned and led by the bold actors who dare to think differently and wave the “#ShiftThePower flag” in their communities every day. Don’t forget to keep up to date on the activities in the Treehouse by subscribing to the mailing list and following along on Twitter…you won’t want to miss anything!


Visit the #ShiftThePower Treehouse

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