“Out of fragmentation can come collaboration, from diversity can come unity, and from cross-fertilization can come innovation.”
Opportunity Collaboration is a global network of thought leaders dedicated to building sustainable solutions to poverty. Annually, Opportunity Collaboration welcomes 400 global leaders to build sustainable solutions to poverty. The diversity of the group consists of social entrepreneurs, nonprofit executives, impact investors and more.
As Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity Collaboration, Topher Wilkins has a knack for bringing powerful people together to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
How is Opportunity Collaboration shaping the future of poverty alleviation and economic opportunity for all?
Opportunity Collaboration, convening global impact leaders for nearly a decade, is predicated on the powerful idea that out of fragmentation can come collaboration, from diversity can come unity, and from cross-fertilization can come innovation. The power of collaboration does not presume a single outcome. Rather, it draws its power from the conviction that people of good will forge their own solutions, directions and alliances and uncover new ways to combine and leverage resources.
What is new and exciting about Opportunity Collaboration?
For the first time next year, we will be hosting two major gatherings. Our annual global event will continue to be held in Mexico in October, and in addition, we will host the inaugural OC:US in Florida in May for social entrepreneurs, innovative nonprofit executives, grant-makers, impact investors, government, corporate & academic field leaders, community influencers, and journalists working around the United States to solve common challenges and spark new opportunities for greater domestic impact on solutions to poverty and social injustice.
What words of inspiration can you share with people working for positive social change in the poverty alleviation and economic justice realm?
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” ~Nelson Mandela
What motivated you to do what you do now?
In my senior year at Pomona College, I was fortunate enough to spend a semester on the east coast of Africa through a study abroad program organized by SIT (School for International Training). We spent the entire 4 months of the trip staying with Kenyan and Tanzanian families, eating the food, wearing the clothes, learning the language, and ostensibly immersing ourselves in the culture. From this experience, I discovered my passion for social change.
If you could instantly change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
Equal access to opportunity for all.
What keeps you up at night?
Caffeine? In all seriousness, my greatest struggle is to bring together the best possible mix of impact leaders in such a way that those leaders can authentically connect with each other, build a foundation of trust, empathy and mutual respect amongst each other, and therefore find the most effective and efficient ways of supporting one another’s aligned goals of fostering social change and sustainability for everyone on the planet.