The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the launch of an annual forum designed to identify the root causes of problems affecting the world's poor as well as potential solutions.
The Innovation Forum will engage private and public sector leaders in a series of panel discussions and breakout sessions, where they will discuss the primary causes of urgent global challenges. The foundation will then leverage its resources and expertise to further explore and address ideas surfaced over the coming year, with the results of that process to be reviewed at the next annual forum.
The inaugural forum, July 27 in New York City, will focus on identifying major challenges confronting the poor and vulnerable in U.S. cities. At the event, the foundation also will recognize four individuals and organizations whose innovations have exemplified the foundation's own mission and vision: former President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award; Heartfile founder and president Sania Nishtar, who will be honored for her health policy work in Pakistan; the Akiba Mashinani Trust executive director Jane Weru, who will receive an award for her work with the urban poor in Kenya; and Kiva in the Classroom, which will receive the Young Innovators Award for its use of microlending as an educational tool and for its sustained efforts to combat global poverty.
"Identifying, exploring, and supporting new and innovative approaches to meeting the needs of the poor and vulnerable has been the heart of the Rockefeller Foundation's mission since our inception, and we are proud to host this unique opportunity to channel insights from a broad range of perspectives," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "We expect the Innovation Forum program to identify new global and regional problems for our foundation — as well as other institutions — to explore, and in the end lead to groundbreaking initiatives and positive outcomes to help those in need around the world."