In partnership with the UK-based Institute of Development Studies and Resource Alliance, the Rockefeller Foundation has announced the launch of an initiative designed to initiate and encourage discussion of the role of philanthropy in international development.
Over the coming months, the Bellagio Initiative will bring together respected thinkers in the fields of philanthropy and international development to consider key issues likely to shape the future well-being of humanity and identify new opportunities for joint action by philanthropic and development organizations. As philanthropic groups continue to boost their support for global anti-poverty efforts — philanthropic contributions to such efforts doubled over the past decade, to $22 billion in 2009 — the sector is well positioned to increase its impact through closer collaboration with development organizations.
Throughout 2011, the initiative will encourage opinion leaders, practitioners, beneficiaries, and social entrepreneurs to think about solutions to a range of global challenges, including climate change, poverty, migration, and sustainable development. Together with the publication of specially commissioned papers, the effort will culminate in a summit meeting at the foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy later in the year.
"This initiative will involve some of today's best thinkers coming together to find ways to confront challenges to improving human well-being worldwide," said Bellagio Initiative director Allister McGregor. "This is, after all, both the aim of international development and the wellspring of much philanthropic effort. The process will involve creative thinking, and it will culminate in a concrete action plan that we hope will make a real difference to people's lives."