The Bellagio Center/

Convening Design

Convenings have enormous potential to drive impact. For decades, global leaders have come together at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, using convening as a tool to map the landscape of emerging fields, to forge new alliances, to discover breakthrough pathways to impact, and to accelerate collective action in addressing the world’s toughest challenges.

Yet, many convenings never achieve their full potential. We’ve all attended a gathering where participants were distracted or disengaged. Where we didn’t connect meaningfully with the content. Where there was a missing crackle of energy between the participants.

Intentional design can bridge that gap. Design enables a convening to achieve its full potential in the moment. More importantly, it creates the greatest chance of achieving a long tail of impact afterwards. Our design support is intended to help you achieve the full potential of your Bellagio convening by sharpening your focus on a single purpose and crafting a structure that delivers a meaningful participant experience.

Required Bellagio Template

Participant Agenda and Bio Template:

All convening participants should be provided an agenda, allowing them to prepare for the intended dialogue. All participants (including speakers, moderators, etc.) should submit a photo and bio information for compilation into the provided template.

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Required Bellagio Template

Post-Convening Brief Guidance:

We ask all convening organizers who use the Bellagio Center to produce a two page summary of outcomes and intended actions post-convening. We recommend building discussion time into your agenda on this topic towards the end of your convening, in order to maximize your impact. This template can be used to guide that conversation and is required as the format for the post-convening summary.

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Design Resources

Convening Strategy & Design Overview: An overview of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Convening Strategy & Design practice and how we support partners in maximizing the impact of convenings.

Convening Strategy & Design Overview

Moderator Agenda Template:
Convening moderators can use this document to see “at a glance” agenda topics, timing, and production notes relevant to moderation.

Moderator Agenda Template

Convening Design Blueprint:
A tool for refining your thinking on convening purpose and participant experience.

Convening Design Blueprint

Convening Design Guide:
A comprehensive introduction to the practice of convening design.

Convening Design Guide

Facilitation Guide:
A guide for helping you select the right facilitation model for your convening, a list of trusted facilitators, and recommended facilitation techniques.

Facilitation Guide

Convening Momentum Builders Guide:
A set of tools for sustaining momentum and impact after a convening.

Convening Momentum Builders Guide

Virtual Participation Guide:
A guide on hybrid participation at Bellagio and how to make intentional choices about remote engagement that serve your convening purpose.

Virtual Participation Guide

Conversation Cards:
A set of question prompts, printed on individual cards, that can be used to facilitate connection between convening participants. Be sure to ask your conference coordinator in advance if you’d like to take advantage of this resource.

Project Management & Production Resources

Project Management Template:
This project management template is a tool covering design, production, and logistical steps at recommended milestones. Please note that the recommended timelines provide general guidance, but may need to be adapted to your specific needs.

Project Management Template

Convening Production Guide: A comprehensive introduction to convening production, including timelines, roles, and considerations for running a seamless gathering.

Convening Production Guide