In 2022, we welcomed 102 diverse and pioneering residents from over 28 different countries to the Bellagio Center. Representing a wide range of expertise and cultural experiences, they arrived to work on projects varying in topic and traversing a broad set of fields and disciplines. We invited them to advance their work at the Bellagio Center because they are remarkable leaders with bold ideas and solutions to pressing global challenges. We also invited them because we knew their presence in Bellagio would benefit other residents’ work, inspiring the cross-pollination of thought that can lead to breakthroughs.

Since their time at Bellagio, we are already seeing the work of these leaders bearing fruit—over 40 books are on their way to publication; over 20 new works of art were advanced; and countless new methods, strategies, and models were developed to reshape how we think about and address the critical challenges of our time.

This is the Bellagio Center’s great legacy as the birthplace for new ideas and solutions—proving for over 60 years that bringing leaders, with different areas of expertise, cultural backgrounds, and traditions, together for a month is a powerful recipe for innovation.

From left to right: Sherrilyn Ifill, Ilwad Elman, Urvashi Sahni, Nikole Hannah Jones, Joanne Liu.

In 2022, we focused on supporting women leaders from all over the world—to uphold, strengthen, and connect women who are building our feminist future and designing new models for leadership.  Their work at Bellagio addressed the impact of racism on the future of democracy, solutions to overcome cultures of toxic masculinity, reparations policy in the United States, the disarmament and the rehabilitation of child soldiers, and moral leadership during humanitarian crises.

To name a few: Sherrilyn Ifill, former President of the NAACP; Somalian peace activist Ilwad Elman; women’s rights and girls education expert, Urvashi Sahni; the Pulitzer Prize winning creator of the 1619 project, Nikole Hannah Jones, and Joanne Liu, the former President of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders were all Bellagio residents in 2022 and reflect this commitment.

We hosted residents focused on rethinking our institutions for the future. The work of residents Jonathan Blake and Nils Gilman from the Berggruen Institute advanced new models for global governance and the creation of new global institutions that can address the planetary-scale of humanity’s challenges from pandemic management to climate change. Attorney and nonprofit leader Cecille Blondet-Passalaqua came to Bellagio to rethink democracy in Puerto Rico and reimagine the 78 municipalities of the country as a laboratory for new and more participatory governance structures. Similarly, Joe Powell, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership, came to Bellagio to reimagine how public sector, civil society, and private sector leaders can join forces to strengthen institutional resilience in the face of threats to democratic process.

From left to right: Jonathan Blake, Nils Gilman, Cecille Blondet-Passalaqua, Joe Powell
From left to right: Stephanie Dinkins, Wu Mali, Akin Omotoso

We also invited many artist residents, whose work collectively demonstrated the power of the arts to raise awareness and inspire dialogue. Nigerian film director and writer Akin Omotoso worked on a new film about war and the ability of art to incite action in response to injustice.  Social practice artist Wu Mali worked on a project taking food as a point of departure to tell the migration stores of people in Taiwan. We also brought artists to Bellagio whose work reimagines our technological future, including the trans-disciplinary artist Stephanie Dinkins who developed an artwork inviting direct civic participation in the development of artificial intelligence systems and data.

Several times in 2022, the chance meeting of two residents from different fields suggested new pathways for action. Dave Chokshi, the 43rd Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who was responsible for COVID-19 testing and treatment strategies, and Michael Webber, a global expert in energy and cleantech, met at Bellagio and traded notes that became this article on lessons learned from the Covid-19 response and how they can be applied in the face of climate change-related emergencies. Likewise, Darrick Hamilton, an economist at The New School, met Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natalie Diaz while at Bellagio and came away from the experience ready to rethink his own use of language, inspired by the power of Diaz’s poetry and her perspective that “language itself can be a movement.”

From left to right: Dave Chokshi, Michael Webber, Darrick Hamilton, Natalie Diaz

Looking back at the 2022 residents, we see many serendipitous collaborations, innovative ideas and solutions, and new bodies of work that happened because of Bellagio. To showcase their diverse projects and impact, we are delighted to share our very first Bellagio Resident Directory. We invite you to meet the leaders who were at Bellagio in 2022 and the breakthrough work they accomplished.

  • Bellagio Residency Program

    Meet our 2022 Bellagio Residents

    Where else but Bellagio could an economist, a painter, a poet, and an astrophysicist connect to discuss the solutions needed to address the most pressing issues of our time? The Bellagio Center supports the cross-pollination of ideas and solutions that will unlock the breakthroughs we need for a better future.