We’re working to create communities in cities to help people thrive
We create opportunities for people to tackle some of the toughest challenges that cities face, together.
Cities are the engine of our world, providing opportunities for people to flourish. Over 4 billion people live in cities, generating more than 80% of global GDP.
By 2050, around 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. But with increasing scale and opportunity come increasing challenges. Widening income gaps, evolving health problems, growing social isolation and struggling environmental resources. It’s up to us to take action so we can create communities where people thrive.
We believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they join forces. Our mission is to create a platform where anyone can access the opportunity and tools to drive positive change in the community they live in.
What could our cities look like?
We’re making an impact in our community
We’ve supported 11 entrepreneurs, enabled 2 grantees and housed 2 Crisis members in the last year.
At The Collective Foundation, we can’t do our work alone. We’re creating an authentic and committed community of inspirational people who will collaboratively work together towards shared goals. We’re opening spaces for people to make genuine connections. We’re committed to providing our support, but also sharing our failures. We succeed when our community thrives.
We inspire people to create opportunities for themselves, which in turn creates opportunities for many others. We recognise this ripple effect can shape the future of a community or even an entire city. It’s why we’re going to continue to do things that launch people on their journeys, build their capacities to affect change, and accelerate impact for others around them. Here, our legacy is not only in the people we invest in each day, but also their beneficiaries.
Martin Luther King Jr’s advisor Clarence Jones revealed that King quickly improvised the “I have a dream” section in his speech to awaken a passive crowd. We love that relentlessness, because the complex problems of today demand us to think outside the box and bring bold, new solutions to life. From entrepreneurial place-making to imaginative community programs, we believe doing good should look different in the 21st century. We aren’t afraid to take risks and approach things with an entrepreneurial attitude.
To us, everyone has limitless potential.It’s why we believe in people even if others don’t. We give our attention, respect and care to the people we meet with, whoever they might be. We set aside our biases in how we provide opportunities and give everyone a fair go, regardless of their expertise, education, income and race. We’re simply united by our desire to bring about lasting change together, pressing forward to close the opportunity gap and bringing new and varied voices on board.
In one of his most famous quotations, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says “arguing against globalisation is like arguing against the laws of gravity.” In a world that’s increasingly interconnected, urban challenges can’t be solved in isolation. Issues around economic disparities and chronic unemployment need global perspective and joint solutions. We go beyond our geographical boundaries for things like our in-house resources and peer networks to make sure our work stands the test of time and place.
Someone once said that most good things have already been said and just need to be lived. We agree. We don’t just hold the promise of a better tomorrow, but act on it right in the heart of our cities. At its core, local problems require local solutions run by local citizens. After all is said and done, everything we do should be designed to help our hometowns thrive locally. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
Meet our Trustees and Director
Salma Merchant RahmathullaCreative Director, Pelicans Group, Miami & New York
Salma believes in the power of human connection, education and empowerment to totally transform cities.
Reza MerchantCEO, The Collective, London
Reza believes that collectively, ordinary citizens can do extraordinary things.
Layla YarjaniCOO & Co-Founder, Little Bridge, London
Layla believes transformation of our cities happens through education, empowerment, and growth at the individual level.
Andre DamianDirector, The Collective Foundation, London
Andre believes in the power of people to solve the toughest challenges that cities face.
Adah ParrisStrategic Consultant, Djembe Consulting, London
Futurist, Cultural Innovator, Board Advisor, Keynote Speaker. Adah is fascinated by people, patterns, and stories.
Mobilising the collective for social good
The Collective Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Collective, a property company that creates co-living spaces to build a more connected, inspired and collaborative world.
Creating communities where people can live happy, full lives, is deeply ingrained in The Collective’s purpose. This ethos applies to our developments – residents have opportunities for personal and professional growth, there is community support for mental health matters, curated daily events encourage strong social connection and the buildings themselves score the highest ratings across environmental sustainability indicators.
Through The Foundation, The Collective extends its purposeful mission beyond its buildings, to the neighbourhoods and cities they serve, and to a wider society. We can create communities where people thrive, in cities all over the world.