CRESI-COVER Webinar: After Philanthrocapitalism

A panel discussion on philanthropic power and economic justice today

  • Thu 28 Oct 21

    16:00 - 17:45

  • Online


  • Event speaker


  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Sociology, Department of

  • Contact details

    Professor Linsey McGoey

Join the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation for a panel discussion on philanthropic power and economic justice today.


In the midst of growing global inequality, worldwide health pandemics, the increasingly very real apocalyptic spectre of climate change, and the political resurgence of far-Right authoritarianism - economic elites have emerged as supposed 'saviours' whose wealth can solve all earthly problems and even one day help us explore the farthest reaches of space. Beyond the promise of this 'philanthrocapitalism' is a much darker and exploitative reality. Their generosity has contributed to a contemporary neo-colonialism where the free market reigns supreme and the entrenched power of corporate elites is morally justified. This COVER-CRESI event will explore the dangers of 'philanthrocapitalism' for our global present and futures as well as empowering radical alternatives based on grassroots international networks promoting principles of cooperation, democracy, and equality. The panel features two presentations from Shonali Banerjee and Arun Kumar about their respective work on philanthropy, economic development, and economic justice, followed by comments from the other panellists and an audience discussion. 


  • Dr Shonali Banerjee
  • Dr Arun Kumar
  • Professor Peter Bloom
  • Professor Linsey McGoey  

Shonali Banerjee is a Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy within the Cambridge Judge Business School. Her research focuses on philanthrocapitalism and emerging trends in Global South philanthropy, specifically through digital platforms. Prior to academia, Shonali began her career as a development practitioner, spending many years working for international organisations in the United States, Morocco, Thailand, and Cambodia. She holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Sussex. Findings from her thesis on digital philanthropy and NGOs in India have recently been published in Third World Quarterly and Development in Practice.

Peter Bloom is a Professor of Management at the University of Essex and the co-Director of COVER. His research critically explores the radical possibilities of technology for redefining and transforming contemporary work and society. It focuses on better understanding the (trans)human aspects of organizational existence and the potential for constructing more empowering cultural paradigms for organising the economy and politics. His books include Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization (Edward Elgar Press), Beyond Power and Resistance: Politics at the Radical Limits (Rowman and Littlefield International, November 2016), The CEO Society: How the Cult of Corporate Leadership Transform Our World (Zed Books) and most recently Guerrilla Democracy: Mobile Power and Revolution in the 21st century. His writing has been additionally featured in top international and national media outlets such as The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Independent, The New Statesmen, The Week, The Conversation and Open Democracy among others and he leads a range of democratic technology projects.

Arun Kumar is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, UK. He researches philanthropic foundations, global development, and nonprofit management. His book Philanthropy and the development of modern India: In the name of nation (OUP, 2021) tracks the careers of modernity and its entanglements with the national question in 20th c. India. He has also published in journals such as Development & Change, Economy & Society, and Enterprise & Society, among others.

Linsey McGoey is Professor of Sociology and director of the Centre for Economic Sociology and Innovation at the University of Essex. She is the author of two books No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy and most recently The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World, and has written for The New York Times and Guardian newspaper on inequality and billionaire power today.

For further information

Please contact Professor Linsey McGoey.  

How to register

Register for this online webinar via Zoom.

Related events