By Stephen King

Organisational changes at Luminate

Over the three years since we launched Luminate we have witnessed the continued retrenchment of democracy around the world. 

In this context we have started to reflect on our future direction, the evolving role we should play in tackling these global challenges, and how best to deploy our resources to meet our ambitious goals. 

What has become clear as part of this is that our priorities have become too numerous, and we need to narrow our focus. 

To enable this, our leadership team have decided that we will concentrate on building out our already significant portfolios of work across Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. At the same time, we will continue to partner with and fund projects and organisations in the US, Europe, and elsewhere that have the potential to effect significant global or transnational change on the issues that we will prioritise in our new organisational strategy.

Whilst we are excited about the opportunities that this focus will bring, it has been an incredibly hard set of decisions to make. It means that over the next two years, by the end of 2023, we will exit our domestic work in the US, Western Europe, and Central & Eastern Europe. 

I know that I not only speak for myself, but also for our Board and all the staff at Luminate in saying that we are deeply grateful to and proud of all the organisations that we have partnered with in these regions for their leadership, dedication, and the important work they are all undertaking. These partners have delivered victories too numerous to mention which strengthen our societies and make them more just and fair. Our exits are in no way a reflection on this phenomenal work but are solely driven by our need for greater focus. 

Over the years that we have operated in the US, Western Europe, and Central & Eastern Europe we have built deep relationships with our partners, and we know that many of these organisations are central to their fields. We are also very mindful that in some cases our support plays a very significant role in these ecosystems, and that our decision to exit these places may create challenges.

We are therefore committed to ensuring these exits are undertaken as responsibly as possible. We will honour all our existing commitments to help ensure that our partners can continue the critically important work they are doing. Alongside this our team are partnering with the organisations impacted by these decisions to mitigate potential harm and disruption, and to provide them with the appropriate support to continue their work into the future. 

These changes necessitate the development of a new organisational strategy that will bring greater clarity and coherence to all Luminate’s work. We aim to complete this by early 2022, and in the coming months we will ask a wide range of partners and stakeholders for their inputs and feedback to help shape our future direction.

As we chart our path forward, we will be looking to learn from and with others about the most impactful ways to direct our energy and resources toward our collective goals.