In the lead up to 2013—the 100th anniversary of our founding by John D. Rockefeller—The Rockefeller Foundation commenced a Centennial initiative to celebrate our past accomplishments and look to the future.
Through a series of publications, online discussions, competitions, and global convenings, we used our history as a springboard to uncover the breakthrough ideas of the future and to celebrate the next generation of innovators and philanthropists from every part of the world.
Over the course of two years surrounding our centennial, the initiative held convenings in places important to our history to discuss issues that will be vital to the future. In Beijing, leaders discussed the future of health. In Abuja, Nigeria, African ministers gathered to unlock agricultural innovation. In New York, urban planners and mayors came together for an Innovation Forum focused on urban resilience. And at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington D.C., a building that our first grant helped to build, we marked a century of American philanthropy, highlighting big bets philanthropy continues to make to advance our missions around the world.
We also leveraged our Centennial to launch new work, including 100 Resilient Cities and Digital Jobs Africa initiative. And we refreshed our focus areas and strategic model in order to position the institution to innovate for the next 100 years.
Now, as we continue deeper into our second century, our Centennial initiative captured the probing questions—and inspiring ideas—that engaged us at this exciting time in our history.
What will it take to make our cities more resilient?
We can’t continue to delude ourselves that things will get back to ‘normal’ someday. They…, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, 2005 – 2017 President Emerita, University of Pennsylvania
We need to take into account one major concern, and that is vulnerability. All of our cities have what I call…, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations
The significant climate-related risks faced by regions around the U.S. demand that we escape the cycle of…, Special Envoy, International Water Affairs at Kingdom of the Netherlands