Ideas & Insights / All Perspectives / Ideas & Insights

Bellagio Center Opens Applications for 2024 Convenings

Kevin McAndrew — Director, Convenings & Networks, The Rockefeller Foundation

At The Rockefeller Foundation, we have seen time and time again the power convenings have to change the world. In the 60 years that the Bellagio Center has hosted convenings, the Center has played a fundamental role in helping build new fields of work, forge alliances, discover breakthroughs, and accelerate collective action towards the world’s most pressing development challenges.

Today, we begin our open call for applications to convene at the Bellagio Center in 2024.

While all applications are welcome, we’re specifically interested in:  

  • Addressing Climate Change – Especially the challenges faced by low and middle-income countries.
  • Promoting Well-Being – Reorienting social, political, and economic systems to promote the holistic well–being of individuals and societies.
  • Reinventing Capitalism – Alleviating the negative social impacts our economic systems have on low and middle-income countries and marginalized communities.

You can read more and apply on our website here. Applications are due June 16th, 2023.

We’re excited to hear more about the groundbreaking convenings you’re passionate to host in 2024. If you need some inspiration, here are some innovative and impactful convenings that came to the Bellagio Center last year.

Climate Change and Planetary Health

The Overshoot Commission held its inaugural meeting at the Bellagio Center in 2022. Chaired by former Director-General of the WTO Pascal Lamy, and joined by multiple eminent commissioners including former presidents and heads of state, ministers, scientists and diplomats, the convening provided policy and scientific inputs to inform the commission’s report, which will suggest effective strategies to reduce risks posed by overshoot of the 1.5°C warming limits set in the Paris Agreement.

The UNEP International Methane Emissions Observatory convened its partners to take stock of progress and build strategies towards reducing methane emissions globally which could avoid almost .3°C of warming by 2050. This convening marked an important inflection point in the initiative and led to new support for the launch of the satellite-based MARS system to improve global monitoring of methane emissions.

Continuing The Rockefeller Foundation’s leadership on food, stakeholders of the Periodic Table of Food Initiative convened, resulting in a global kickoff with the WHO for a new approach to analyze the nutritional composition of the world’s food biodiversity. This new approach will be used to show how our food changes based on processing, agricultural methods, and other factors that affect human and planetary health. Notably, this convening occurred almost 40 years after the first food composition analysis meeting at Bellagio in 1983 which helped create INFOODS, now administered by the FAO.

Gender Equality

Secretary Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Melanne Verveer together with the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security convened global leaders such as Helen Clark, Rola Dashti, and Nicola Sturgeon to address global challenges including climate injustice and democratic backslide. These eminent women leaders launched calls to action with the #overdue4equity campaign including catalyzing private sector financing for climate solutions and systematizing gender-responsive conflict and crisis responses.

Project Dandelion was incubated at Bellagio for a women-led climate justice campaign spearheaded by Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, and the cohort from Connected Women Leaders directed at a carbon-neutral future with moonshot thinking over the next seven years. Through a unified marketing campaign, Project Dandelion has been visioned to support all social justice organizations to apply public pressure on leaders, governments, investors, corporations, and empowered citizens to accelerate progress over the next seven years. This climate justice effort will unite women to lead the way to a clean energy world and to build a more equitable carbon-neutral future for all.

Economic Justice

The African Union Commission, Bellagio resident Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund, The Africa America Institute, and Global Black came together to build a global campaign and coalition to advance the topic of reparations and racial healing. Following the convening, this group went on to launch their new initiative at a gathering of hundreds in Accra, Ghana to build awareness and enlist new supporters.

 

The Bellagio Center also seeded the Global South Impact Community which promoted a global south consensus statement at the G20, T20 and COP27, for an equitable post-Covid recovery. The group made calls to action on items such as the creation of a global framework for “development towards prosperity with decarbonization” – which countries can adapt at the national level and execute through South-South collaboration platforms and structured alliances.

Democracy and Governance

The new organization Diplomats Without Borders was launched during a Bellagio convening organized by Kees Rade, a former Dutch diplomat. This new organization will allow former diplomats to offer pro-bono services globally, bring fresh ideas to avoid conflict, support training activities and form a Community of Practice on diplomacy, among other topics.

Author, activist, and entrepreneur Claudia Chwalisz led a convening with Ieva Cesnulaityte and was joined by leaders – Mark Cridge, Vera Sacchetti, and Juha Leppanen – to launch DemocracyNext, a new organization working to create new democratic institutions that foster citizen participation, distribute power equally through selection by lottery, and leverage collective wisdom to find common ground through deliberation.

The Bellagio Center also hosted a new digital governance network organized by David Eaves, Emily Middleton and CV Madhukar and engaged leaders such as Audrey Tang, Digital Minister in Taiwan, and Anir Chowdhury, leader of a2i, the Government of Bangladesh’s digital innovation unit, to cross share approaches, standards, and expertise on building Digital Public Infrastructure. The convening led to a collaboration between the governments of Estonia and Ukraine, with Ukraine supporting Estonia in the digital delivery of government Services.