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A New Partnership to Build a More Resilient Planet

Signing up to help a billion people is an audacious goal. But that is exactly what the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center announced its intention to do today when we unveiled this new effort that builds on work The Rockefeller Foundation has been doing for more than a decade.

Since 2005, we’ve invested more than half a billion dollars in the field of resilience to help equip the world’s cities to address 21st century challenges like climate change, mass migration, and rapidly shifting economies. These investments have touched cities around the world: from post-Katrina New Orleans to post-Sandy New York City; from the coastal megacities of Southwest Asia to landlocked agricultural hubs in sub-Saharan Africa; from Accra in Ghana and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Wellington, New Zealand, and Washington D.C.

My predecessor, Dr. Judith Rodin, established the Foundation’s focus on resilience. Since then, the Foundation has been committed to helping governments, the private sector and communities think strategically about how they plan, build and run their cities so that they work for all their residents.

Our progress is clear: Today, more than 80 cities worldwide have hired Chief Resilience Officers and are developing resilience strategies; more than 2,600 resilience projects and initiatives have been proposed, with more than $3 billion leveraged to implement them; and a robust network of city leaders and partners have gained vital expertise in this burgeoning field.

The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of incubating projects, convening leaders around big, innovative ideas, and finding permanent homes for what works.  We believe resilience is one of those efforts.

Our commitment to resilience isn’t just about securing the gains that have been built; it’s about growing it and leveraging the financial resources of others so that the investment is extended in perpetuity.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working closely with Adrienne Arsht and the team at the Atlantic Council to build a new institution to focus on resilience, both for cities and non-urban communities. Adrienne Arsht has been a visionary leader and philanthropist, and we are proud to collaborate with her on this important project. The Atlantic Council team has a deep history and strong track record of supporting transcontinental networks and alliances that tackle the pressing issues facing our country and our planet.  We look forward to strengthening our partnership in the coming years.

This new center will be housed within the Atlantic Council and will be a global leader working to make communities around the globe more resilient to the urgent crises facing humanity. The goal to reach 1 billion people with resilient solutions by 2030 speaks to both the scope of the problems we face and the ambition of this new center to build on our work and the work of many others. We look forward to achieving this goal together.

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