Ideas & Insights


Tune into #RFBreakthrough, a don't-miss livestream series highlighting urgent and innovative discussions with thought leaders and industry experts.

From the latest National Covid-19 Testing and Tracing Plan to groundbreaking learnings in artificial intelligence, nutrition, climate change, equity and last-mile electrification, our experts converge to solve pressing problems, improve lives and unleash human potential across the globe.

Sessions will be broadcasted live across The Rockefeller Foundation’s social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Previous Episodes:

  • Episode 30

    Health Care Takes On Climate Change

    Led by Josh Karliner, a Bellagio fellow, this #RFBreakthrough highlights the healthcare community's remarkable progress in climate leadership. Josh's article on this topic, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, connects doctors, researchers, and activists, sharing valuable lessons from their rising climate leadership.
  • Episode 29

    Action on Climate, Emphasis on Equity

    Why are women vital to addressing climate change? Studies show that investing in women and girls will lead to more effective reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, and that countries with greater representation of women in government are more likely to develop rules to fight climate change. The time for equity in the climate action space is long overdue, but there is hope on the horizon.
  • Episode 28

    Global Voices, Green Choices: Women Leading Climate Solutions

    The impacts of climate change are as diverse as the people affected by it. Communities everywhere are looking for solutions to adapt to and combat the crisis. But how are the needs of these local leaders reflected in the global conversation about climate change? What voices aren’t being heard as decisions are made about energy, food, and health?
  • episode 27

    Financing Stronger Forests for Climate Resilience

    Wildfires in the U.S. are increasing in frequency and severity due to the landscape-altering effects of past fire suppression policies and a changing climate. More than ever, it is essential to scale financing models for ecosystem restoration efforts that have the potential to reduce wildfire risk, improve watershed resilience and protect communities.
  • episode 26

    Truth Be Told: Credible Communication for Climate Action

    In 2022 the IPCC called out climate disinformation for the first time, noting a “deliberate undermining of science” was contributing to “misperceptions of the scientific consensus, uncertainty, disregarded risk and urgency, and dissent.” In this panel, we will explore the role that communications can play in driving climate action, drawing on learnings from Verified, a Rockefeller Foundation funded initiative launched by the UN and Purpose at the onset of the pandemic to help communities.
  • episode 25

    The Role of Philanthropy in
    Building Great Institutions

    Supporting institutions around the world has been at the heart of The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission since its founding 110 years ago. Moderated by Dr. Rajiv Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, this panel, entitled “From Vision to Action: Role of Philanthropy in Building Great Institutions,” is designed to highlight the major role philanthropy has played in launching and sustaining major institutions around the world.
  • episode 24

    Climate Data for Community Action

    A new report released by DataKind shows that energy equity issues in the U.S. are predominantly driven by household income, with few options for most households to use less expensive and more sustainable energy sources. The Energy Equity report lays out options for data science to improve research that would provide better data to regulators. But even with the right data, how can we ensure that it is being used to inform equitable policies across communities?
  • Episode 23

    The Key to Fighting Climate Change Lies in the Developing World

    The fight against climate change will be won or lost in low- and middle-income countries. Greenhouse gas emissions are currently low in these countries, but will increase significantly if they continue to develop using fossil fuels. If their growth is powered by renewable energy instead, not only will the world be able to meet its climate goals, it will also be able to empower a billion people with the reliable, affordable electricity they need to improve their living conditions.
  • Episode 22

    Implementing Climate Action in America's Cities

    The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act is a massive economic and climate package and includes a $60 billion commitment to environmental justice. National leaders pledge that economically disadvantaged communities grappling with pollution and health disparities will have access to these funds, but what does implementation look like on the ground? What’s next for cities on the green and just transition?
  • Episode 21

    Demanding Better Health: Global Vaccination Bright Spots

    The Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Vaccination Initiative will host “Demanding Better Health: Global Vaccination Bright Spots,” an hour-long #RFBreakthrough conversation on the current Covid-19 vaccination landscape in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • Episode 20

    The Africa WE Are Creating:
    Inspiration from Innovators

    In 2013 the Africa Union developed AGENDA 2063 as Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. The continent embarked on this plan as a 50-year development blueprint through domesticating and implementing it into national and regional development strategies.
  • Episode 19

    How Mayors are Tackling the Racial Wealth Gap

    The racial wealth gap is wider for Black and Latinx families compared to White families than for any other racial identifications. Nationwide, this problem persists across a variety of assets, including housing, businesses, and retirement accounts. The 2021 Menino Survey of Mayors found that the majority of America’s mayors—just over two-thirds—are concerned about racial wealth gaps in their cities. But what are they planning to do about it?
  • Episode 18

    Advancing Good Food for All

    This event will explore how all this can change if we incentivize the food system to produce more Good Food - food that improves health outcomes, regenerates the environment, and creates economic opportunity for those who produce, sell, and serve it.
  • Episode 17

    Building Public Health’s Defense Against Disinformation

    This event will be an engaging conversation about the damage that mis- and disinformation has played on the health of communities around the world and, importantly, how fighting it is an effort that involves everyone.
  • Episode 16

    Preventing the Next Wave: Spotting, Tracking and Responding to Covid Variants

    Existing and emerging genomic surveillance techniques are providing the most robust data we’ve seen to date on Covid-19, but science alone cannot protect health and well-being; collaboration across sectors is key. This panel will explore how scientists, public health officials, the private sector and citizens can work together to stop a potential new Covid-19 wave and prevent future pandemics.
  • Live from Glasgow / COP26

    Lifting Up Solutions for Healthy and Sustainable Diets

    This 2-part session will explore the importance of healthy sustainable diets for people and the planet. Speakers will address the challenges communities face accessing fresh, healthy foods as well as potential solutions.
  • Live from Glasgow / COP26

    Environmental Security and National Security: Critical Connections

  • Live from Glasgow / COP26

    Launching the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet

    Catch the launch of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet during COP26 that will accelerate and scale equitable energy transitions in low- and middle-income countries serving as an on-ramp to opportunity for people around the world, while averting carbon emissions, expanding energy access, and creating jobs in the process.
  • Episode 15

    Green Energy Innovators: Inspiration from the Climate Generation

    Young people around the world are leading the climate change discourse and are rethinking traditional energy systems, helping to change energy for good. This episode of #RFBreakthrough shines a spotlight on the young people working on the frontline of Sustainable Development Goals 13 –climate action –and 7 –affordable and clean energy.
  • Episode 14:

    Back to School: Keeping Students Safe in the Time of Delta

    The Rockefeller Foundation has spent the last year supporting a number of evidence-based resources and studies to support the transition to in-person learning. On our August 18th #RFBreakthrough event, we’ll host a panel featuring our research partners at RAND Corporation to share the base of evidence that has supported school reopening for pilot cities across the U.S. and we’ll hear from representatives.
  • Episode 13:

    Overtime All the Time: What Working Women Need

    During the pandemic we saw that immigrant women were at the forefront of essential work for this country, yet they bared the brunt of financial burdens with little to no government assistance. Women are leaving the workforce in records numbers to care for loved ones, but they still need support to simply make it by. This dynamic panel of women help us assess how we can better support women in achieving a healthy work–life balance, equal pay, and equity both in and out of the “workforce”.
  • Episode 12:

    Data for Impact: Confronting Covid-19 and Future Pandemics

    Modeling and data-driven analytics have been invaluable tools in the global response to the Covid-19 crisis. However, deploying these analytical tools, and communicating insights, has been challenging in the best scenarios and nearly impossible in most others, especially in areas with scarce data. Join us for a conversation with our global network of engineers, scientists, and communicators on the frontlines of deploying analytics to save lives.
  • Episode 11:

    The Power to Break the Poverty Cycle

    Nearly 1 billion people are deprived of electricity and are classified as energy poor. Of the energy poor, three quarters are also multidimensionally poor. On this episode, our panelists will discuss the interlinkages between electricity deprivation and other indicators related to health, education and living standards and the critical role electrification can play in ending poverty globally.
  • EPISODE 10:

    Making Taxes Work for Workers

    A spirited conversation about how to reconsider the tax system, along with government revenue and budgeting, to transform communities in the U.S. in service of greater equity.
  • Episode 09:

    A Framework for Inclusive Capitalism

    America’s 160-million workers power the largest economy in the world, but the benefits fail to fairly reach all who contribute to it. Co-hosted by the Ford Foundation, this episode will feature the launch of the Coalition for Inclusive Capital’s "Framework for Inclusive Capitalism: A New Compact Among Business Government, and American Workers" and will discuss common-sense recommendations to rebuild an economy that won’t hold American workers back.
  • Episode 08:

    Raising Energy Ambitions: The Modern Energy Minimum

    Join Energy for Growth Hub and The Rockefeller Foundation for a conversation about “Raising Energy Ambitions: Exploring the Modern Energy Minimum” with some of the report’s authors. They’ll be discussing the research and data backed evidence supporting the new and more ambitious energy metric, and why it is vital to ending energy poverty.
  • Episode 07:

    Accessing the Safety Net in the United States: Lessons from Covid-19, Looking Toward the Future

    The social safety net is only effective if people can access it easily and when they need it. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, an estimated $65 billion in safety net benefits went unused by families each year that needed them in the United States.
  • Episode 06:

    A Way Forward: Reopening Schools

    This episode of #RFBreakthrough will be a practical discussion about what it will take to reopen schools. Our panel of experts will share how they are using Covid-19 testing protocols along with other measures outlined in our third National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan to safely reopen and stay open.
  • EPISODE 05

    Powering a Green and Equitable Recovery

    A third of all humanity lacks access to reliable power. This blunt reality drives immense social inequities. Access to power spells the difference, literally, between darkness and light. Reliable power opens the door to educational and economic opportunity. Join The Rockefeller Foundation and The MIT Energy Initiative for a conversation about the work of the Commission over the past year, and how its leaders are making the case for universal electricity access.
  • Episode 04

    Changing the Landscape Through Access to Capital

    Small businesses are struggling to recover from Covid-19, and Black-owned businesses are among the hardest hit. Further complicating the recovery for these businesses is the fact that they typically have the hardest time gaining access to capital. Literally, landscapes will be changed, and communities left struggling unless avenues and methods for increasing access to capital are embraced.
  • Episode 03

    The Great Equalizer or Divider: Technology for Gender Justice and Women’s Empowerment

    As the third episode in the #RFBreakthroughseries, The Rockefeller Foundation co-hosted a livestream discussion with Vital Voices (“The Great Equalizer or Divider: Technology for Gender Justice and Women’s Empowerment”), on how we can use technology as a means to an end to achieve gender equality during the pandemic and beyond.
  • Episode 02

    The Future of AI: Developing a Framework that Benefits All

    For the second episode in the #RFBreakthrough series, The Rockefeller Foundation hosted a live stream discussion on how we can use artificial intelligence as a force for good during the pandemic and beyond, while also exploring the need for a regulatory framework to ensure its responsible use.
  • Episode 01

    Covid-19: a Blueprint for Keeping the U.S. Economy Open

    For our inaugural episode, The Rockefeller Foundation hosted a live-stream discussion, Covid-19: a Blueprint for Keeping the U.S. Economy Open. The panelists discuss the updated national testing, tracing and safety regimen for the United States.

Explore Our Commitments

Our work is focused on improving access to electricity, food, healthcare and economic opportunity. We do that through creative partnerships and innovative investments to extract more value from data and private capital.

  • Food Advancing a more nourishing, regenerative and equitable food system
  • Power We accelerate access to and consumption of reliable, renewable electricity in underserved, low-income communities worldwide, empowering hundreds of millions of people while building the climate-smart energy system of the future
  • Health Ensuring healthy futures for people and planet
  • U.S. Economic Opportunity Our vision is that every working person in America should be able to meet the basic needs of their families – and have a path to a better future
  • Emerging Frontiers We aim to accelerate the impact of our programmatic work through impact investing, data science, technology, and innovation to the greatest inequities in the world.