President's Letter

Judith Rodin

President of The Rockefeller Foundation

innovation for the next 100 years

In a world of constant change, a Centennial is a rare and tremendous milestone. In 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation marked ours with both reflection and celebration, under the banner of our Centennial theme, "Innovation for the Next 100 Years."

Over the course of the year, we held convenings on issues important to our future in places meaningful to our past. To pay tribute to, and better understand, our rich history, we commissioned a series of books and an interactive website of stories, photos, memos and journal entries from our archives. And we launched a refreshed strategy model that we believe best positions The Rockefeller Foundation to fulfill its mission to “promote the well-being of humanity” for a new century. As part of this refresh, we defined our dual goals—to build resilience and promote inclusive economies—and re-imagined our four focus areas: Advance Health, Revalue Ecosystems, Secure Livelihoods, and Transform Cities.

Against this backdrop, the 2013 Centennial Annual Report focuses on the innovations that made our first century—and our Centennial year—so remarkable: from the launch of the field of public health in the early 20th century to the launch of 100 Resilient Cities in 2013. All of the stories highlighted reflect an innovation in product, partnership or process. Some are already showing impact today—for example, the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network’s work with Asian cities to build resilience to climate change—while others, such as our new initiative Digital Jobs Africa, are in earlier stages. But they all have innovation at their heart and the potential for great transformations.

With the Centennial year now in our rear-view mirror, we have not hit the brakes; rather we have accelerated our pace to find and fund the best new ideas, expanded and deepened our networks for innovation, and re-animated our culture of innovation across our global office locations in New York, Nairobi, Bangkok, and Bellagio.

And so we invite you to look back, and then forward, through the lens of our 2013 Centennial Annual Report. You'll find a timeline for the year that was, information on the Strategic Goals that guide all of our work, and inspiring stories of the work in our four Focus Areas. In particular, I hope you'll take the time to read over the lists of our grantees, staff and board members; they are the true heroes of this work, and I'm so grateful to them, and to everyone who will make our second century as effective and as innovative as our first. It is an honor to be leading the Foundation as we launch our second hundred years.