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Why Big Bets?

A big bet is a bold, concerted effort to solve a problem, not just make incremental improvements. In an era of distrust, disinformation, and deep cynicism about what we can achieve together, it is important to believe that big change is possible. You’re likely here because you’re inspired to do more on this planet and make big change, and we’re here to support you with exclusive access, information, and tools.

We're betting on you.

It is realistic to be optimistic about our capacity to make large-scale change.

Watch Dr. Shah's Welcome Video

In a world on the brink of climate catastrophe, the need for audacious and transformative action has never been greater. I believe that with your big bets, we can not only confront these challenges head-on but also turn them into vehicles for opportunity, not inequality.

A big bet can help poorer nations transition to renewable electricity, rendering coal-fired power plants obsolete; enable agricultural innovations that can grow sustainable food, even in the face of a warmer, drier climate; or develop groundbreaking solutions that make manual labor on a hotter planet less strenuous and perilous.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but our capacity to meet these challenges is also limitless. I’m optimistic, not only because of what I’ve seen big bets do before, but what you’ll do with them tomorrow. That’s why I am inviting you to go on this journey with me, and the Big Bets community, over the next year.

As a member, you’re getting exclusive access to resources, tools, and a network of people who can help you unlock your unique ambition and passion to change the world in a lasting way. I’m betting on you, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do.

As you explore the Big Bets Toolkit — and even more when you launch your own big bets — you’ll feel differently about the world. It will feel smaller, more malleable, less constrained. You’ll feel less cynical, less powerless, less pessimistic. You’ll believe it’s realistic to be optimistic. And your transformation actions will inspire those around you to reimagine what’s possible.

If the world is what we make of it, what are you waiting for? Let’s embark on this journey together and create a future that we can be proud of — one big bet at a time.

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Header source image courtesy of the Institute of Global Politics at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs