By Primo Huang

What is the future I hope for? 

As I consider this question, I am struggling to find the words that describe what this future could look like–because the future is changing every day. 

Sometimes, we see the future as progress–technological progress, social progress–towards a vision that is more perfect. And maybe once we reach this ‘perfect’ future, we will stay that way indefinitely. But I’ve come to learn that change, like many things, is inevitable, and to face this future, I need to embrace change.

From learning in a high school classroom to then suddenly sitting in front of my laptop screen, from living at home in Bali, Indonesia, to now living alone abroad. Instead of canang(daily offerings) marking the island’s street, I now live in a place decorated with bus stops. Instead of bracing myself for the sounds of trickling rain and scurrying to get our drying laundry outside, I am pleasantly waiting for the dryer ringtone in my student dorm. In these past couple of years, the invisible strings of change remain constant as everything else shifts. 

It felt unsettling being outside of my comfort zone. I never thought I would say this, but I even miss the bustling honks of motorbikes in a city that is silent in their absence. Everything I thought I knew and was comfortable with became unfamiliar. It felt like I was playing a classical melody on my piano only to have it abruptly transformed into jazz.  But change isn’t necessarily bad. It’s taught me a lot and, in turn, changed me.

When I became at peace with change, things felt energizing. I was learning so much about myself as a person, what I enjoy doing and what I don’t. I was open to new opportunities in school, work and extracurriculars. I was creating new relationships.

And so I have come to learn and embrace change with open arms. I try to see it as a river where I gracefully flow with its current instead of resisting it. This summer, change took me into this role – a Transformation Analyst with Community Foundations of Canada. And with this role, a lot of learning has come my way. I have explored systems transformation, dove into Web3 and the intersection with AI and Philanthropy while meeting so many wonderful and passionate people across the philanthropic and social finance sectors. 

At its core, transformation is about change. In the same way that when I became at peace with change, things felt energizing personally, I’ve learned that the future of philanthropy needs to embrace change. It’s when we settle into jazz that we can see a future that may not be defined but that is full of new opportunities and relationships. 

Primo joined CFC as a Transformation Analyst this summer with the Transformation team, and we are deeply appreciative of the support and investment of Propel Impact. Their support is helping to mobilize young people and bring an equitable and intergenerational lens into the transformation of philanthropy.