At the recent Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, PSI launched its new Maverick Collective, which is igniting a new model of engagement for philanthropists.
In 2012, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway visited India as part of her work advocating for girls and women. It was there that she reconnected with Kate Roberts, PSI’s senior vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy, after visiting a PSI-India health project. The two, who had spent time together at global conferences through the years, shared similar frustrations with the amount of talk and lack of action they saw. They decided to develop something together that would engage women outside of the development community to help them become better advocates, and bring in new resources to solve some of the toughest challenges facing girls and women. And, it would be oriented to action.
With 47 years of experience developing and implementing health solutions for girls and women and a network of nonprofit organizations in 65 countries, PSI was a logical fit as the implementing partner to help bring the idea to life. And, PSI had experience in helping people like Ashley Judd, Debra Messing and Mandy Moore become effective and recognized advocates for girls and women.
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Roberts and The Crown Princess quietly began to build a collective of bold, like-minded women philanthropists and advocates. Given Melinda Gates’ drive to build advocates herself, she and Her Royal Highness would serve as co-chairs. A powerful new initiative was born: Maverick Collective.
In three years, Maverick Collective has helped unlock $60 million in funding and impacted the lives of close to 300,000 girls and women. With 14 founding members — all women — and pilot projects in 13 countries, the group is showing promise as a new model of philanthropic partnership. On the advocacy front, Maverick Collective members have taken their message to the press, to the United Nations, the Institute of Design at Stanford, Social Innovation Summit, Cavendish Global Forum, Harvard Business School, Women Moving Millions Summit, Nexus Summit, TEDx and Women Deliver, to name just a few.