The Bellagio Center Residency Program/

Building Vibrant, Connected, and Resilient Societies Residency

Margaret Levi, a Bellagio Center Resident alum, has called for a new moral political economy built around “expanded communities of fate.” The core of this idea is that humans thrive when we recognize that all of our futures are intertwined, and act accordingly through all aspects of society.

The Rockefeller Foundation believes that the pillars of policy, business, and an evolution in our social mores must all be harnessed to overcome this challenge.

In 2025 we are focused on addressing three core challenges to building vibrant, connected, and resilient societies: The challenge of making decisions collectively, especially at a moment when democracy feels under threat; the challenge of inventing and using technologies that have the power to reshape society in a positive way, when we’ve seen their simultaneous divisive and corrosive power; and the challenge of building solidarity across generations, when people are living longer than they ever have been while prospects for younger generations seem so uncertain.

We encourage applications that make opportunity universal and sustainable, including applications by and for people from the Global South, women, and other marginalized groups.

The sub-themes for the 2025 building resilient societies residency application include:

The Future of Democracy

Half of the world’s population – roughly 4 billion people – live in locations that will take to the polls in 2024, choose their elected leaders and shape their governments. Meanwhile, democracy remains an institution consistently under threat globally. We must ensure that democratic processes are fair, transparent, stable, and ensure effective citizen participation across the globe. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Understanding how the nature of power has shifted within societies and government, to counter threats to democracy and democratic systems, including leadership during instability.
  • Ensuring that people have more engagement and agency within democracy, especially those facing barriers to participation.
  • Rethinking how democracy functions, and the interface people have with it, so that it can evolve with changing times, including in aging societies.

 

Technology that Supports Humanity

Advances in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the machine/brain interface, and other areas will rapidly change our societies, economies, and even our concepts of what it means to be human. We must find ways to harness the benefits of these technologies while avoiding and managing their risks. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Understanding how technology can support human values, connection, community-building while also protecting human rights, democracy, and fostering a more equal distribution of power and wealth.
  • Building transparency and understanding of how technology shapes our media and knowledge environment as well as the dynamics of who truly has access and control over information.
  • Exploring the business models, legal structures and organizational norms that shape how technology is used and who benefits from it. This includes shaping the AI market to be robust, competitive and transparent while ensuring AI tools are built and deployed in low-and-middle income countries to meet their contexts and needs.

 

Bridging Generations

In the coming years, the population distribution of many of the world’s countries, especially in the global north, will be shifting dramatically older, while the youth population in other countries booms. We must grapple with and address the dynamic that power tends to rest disproportionately in the older generations while the younger generations face the consequences of the climate crisis set in motion before their birth, and uncertainty in many areas of their lives. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Identifying, promoting, and adopting policies that allow for effective near-term decisions which also take impacts on future generations into account.
  • Giving youth more power in decision-making processes and seeking out innovations to help communities and people connect across ages, identities, and cultures.
  • Supporting, remunerating, and promoting the often-invisible caregiving provided by women to ensure the wellbeing of children, the elderly, and entire communities.

Applications for the 2025 Bellagio residency opened March 4, 2024, and will close April 25, 2024.

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Addressing Climate Change Residency

In 2025, we’re supporting leading thinkers and organizations working on solutions addressing climate change through the lens of energy systems, health systems, food systems, policy and financial systems.

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General Open Call Residency

The General Open Call Residency is for all practitioners, academics and artists working in any discipline or area of study. Projects can be based on any topic but must demonstrate clear social impact and charitable purpose.

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