News and Announcements / News and Announcements

The Rockefeller Foundation Launches Global Centennial Initiative to Identify and Pursue Innovative Solutions for the Next 100 Years

NEW YORK—The Rockefeller Foundation today announced the launch of its Centennial initiative. The initiative, which will run through the end of 2013, marks 100 years since John D. Rockefeller started the Foundation on May 14, 1913, with the goal of “improving the well-being of humanity throughout the world.”

The Centennial will celebrate the richness of the Foundation’s past work and look ahead to the identification and development of innovations that address many of the challenges of the future. This milestone is an unprecedented opportunity for the Foundation to engage global audiences to find solutions to complex issues that affect poor or vulnerable populations throughout the world.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial occurs at a time of great dynamism, change and uncertainty in the world. The world is more interconnected and challenges are increasingly tackled by new sets of actors. Technology has accelerated these societal changes and altered the way people live.  Citizen movements are compelling reforms that were unimaginable only a short time ago. Solutions to today’s challenges involve a complex mix of actors that include governments, nonprofits, foundations, civil society and the business sector in major new ways.

Working together with some of the most creative and inventive minds from a multitude of disciplines, each aspect of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial initiative will seek to reframe some of these pressing challenges, viewing them from new angles and perspectives as we seek new solutions to global problems. In addition, The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to supporting some of the best ideas that emerge from the Centennial through its grant-making and to share those ideas with others who are working to effect change.

The Rockefeller Foundation will host no fewer than seven convenings throughout the world that focus on a number of global issues, publish a series of books that draw on the Foundation’s past to provide lessons for the future, and engage with people through new digital platforms to encourage discussion on a variety of different issues and allow people to participate in centennial activities from all over the world.

“The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of The Rockefeller Foundation’s charter. We forge boldly ahead, toward our second century, steadfast in our conviction that The Rockefeller Foundation’s role—as a partner and a leader – has never been more crucial,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.  “We are proud to launch our Centennial initiative as we redouble our efforts to solve global problems into the next century of our work.”

Launch Event

The Centennial officially launches in Washington, D.C., today with a uniquely intimate, idea-generating convening of global thinkers, pioneers and implementers. The event entitled, “Embracing Change: Building Social, Economic and Environmental Resilience”, is aimed at identifying ways that individuals, communities, regions and nations can enhance their resilience capacity and emerge stronger from social, economic and environmental shocks and stresses.

Participants in the convening include, in addition to Dr. Rodin, Admiral Michael Mullen, the 17thChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Steven Rattner, Chairman of Willett Advisors LLC and formerly the lead auto advisor in The United States Treasury Department; David Gregory, Moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press”; Richard Parsons, Former Chairman of Citigroup; Michael Chertoff, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of The Chertoff Group; Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; David Blood, Managing Partner, Generation Investment Management; J. Eric Smith, President & CEO, SwissRE Americas; Timothy Manning, Deputy Administrator, FEMA; and Larry Brilliant, President of the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

For more information on the various elements of the Centennial Initiative, to learn more about The Rockefeller Foundation’s legacy, to share what you think the future of philanthropy will look like in the next 100 years, and to watch a live stream of the event, visit The Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial website.

The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913. Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization. Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered. To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work. First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses. Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives. In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact. These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urbanization, and social and economic security. For more information, please visit

Media Inquiries:

Laura Gordon, 212 852 8216,