International Conferences on Global Issues
Bellagio conferences establish new connections across disciplines and geographies, encourage dynamic, small group interactions, and promote innovative and creative thinking—all in a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work. Approximately one-third of the conferences that take place at the Bellagio Center over the course of a year are organized directly by the Rockefeller Foundation. The other conferences are arranged by people and institutions that share interests in the Foundation’s focus areas and/or in the Foundation’s dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. For externally-organized conferences, chosen through a competitive process, the Foundation provides the facilities, accommodations, and some travel support at no cost to conference organizers or attendees. These conferences contribute to our broader mission of promoting the well-being of humanity.
Selection Process & Criteria
Decisions for conferences are based on:
- the relevance of the project to the Foundation’s focus areas and/or to the Foundation’s goals of advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses.
- the conference framework and the feasibility of the proposed outcomes
- the potential for impact in the relevant field and/or on the lives of poor or vulnerable people
- the diversity of participants and perspectives [note: all participants cannot come from the same organization]
- the qualifications of the conference organizer(s), and
- the suitability of the Bellagio Center for the proposed convening. [note: Bellagio meetings are small, interactive workshops, typically of less than 22 people]
Applications are reviewed by the senior program leadership of the Rockefeller Foundation, who make the final selection. To get a sense of the Foundation’s perspective on convening, you may want to review “Gather," a guidebook to effective convening.
Bellagio conferences are small, focused, interactive gatherings. One of the conference buildings can accommodate up to 19 participants, the other, up to 22. The small setting requires conference organizers to think carefully about which participants can best contribute to achieving the goals of the meeting, and the setting also promotes the dynamic interactions that are the goals of Bellagio meetings.
Due to space limitations, conference organizers must manage invitations to participants carefully.
The buildings are historic, dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but they are equipped with modern conference facilities. Resources include LCD projectors, audio-recording equipment, high-speed Internet access, DVD players, fax and photocopy services, and printers. Video conferencing is available in some meeting rooms.