2013: A Year in Review

2013 was a year of exciting forward motion toward fulfilling each of The Rockefeller Foundation’s focus areas and initiatives. Explore the timeline below to learn more about some of those achievements that stood out over the year, including the launch of two $100 million initiatives and a series of Centennial events that celebrated the beginningsand bright futureof American philanthropy.

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NYS2100 Commission Releases Resilience Recommendations for New York State

January 11, 2013

The NYS2100 Commission, co-chaired by The Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, releases its report containing recommendations for the state’s transportation, land use, energy, insurance practices, and infrastructure finance sectors. Created in November 2012 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Commission was tasked with finding ways to improve the resilience of the state’s infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other shocks.

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Global Health Summit Dreams the Future of Health

JANUARY 26-27, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation kicks off its 2013 Centennial celebration in Beijing with the Global Health Summit, “Dreaming the Future of Health for the Next 100 Years.” The Summit brought together 112 prominent global leaders from government, nongovernmental organizations, academia, civil society, and business to discuss the question, “How will we enable the growth and development of healthy societies over the next 100 years?”

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The Rockefeller Foundation Honors Partnership with Thailand

January 29-February 2, 2013 

Rockefeller Foundation Board Chair David Rockefeller, Jr. speaks at the Prince Mahidol Awards Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, about the Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Network, an initiative which works to address the rapid emergence of new infectious diseases with pandemic potential and mitigate the impact of disease outbreaks. He also celebrated the long partnership between The Rockefeller Foundation and the people of Thailand.

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Release of Groundbreaking Report on Gender Norms

MaRCH 8, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation marks International Women’s Day with an event co-hosted by the World Bank celebrating the release of On Norms and Agency: Conversations about Gender Equality with Women and Men in 20 Countries, funded by the Foundation. The report represents the largest qualitative data set ever collected on the topic of gender norms and their role in advancingand hinderingdevelopment.

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Impact Investing Grows in Africa

april 5, 2013 

At the Africa Impact Investing Forum, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Impact Economy Innovations Fund launches. The fund provided grant capital for entrepreneurial projects that create jobs in underserved sectors. It also supported proposals geared toward enabling capital solutions, fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems, and promoting the infrastructure for the impact investing industry. 

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Rockefeller Foundation Announces Support for Bus Rapid Transit in Five US Cities

APRIL 10, 2013 

The Rockefeller Foundation announces a $1.2 million grant supporting local efforts to establish Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. BRT delivers the permanence, speed, and reliability of rail systems, along with the flexibility of bus systems, for a fraction of the cost of rail. BRT also has the double benefit of providing residents in underserved communities access to economic centers, while bringing new sources of revenue and economic development to these areas.

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Launch of Initiative to Create Digital Jobs for Youth in Africa

MAY 9, 2013 

At the World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, Judith Rodin announces Digital Jobs Africa, a $100 million initiative that aims to impact the lives of one million people across six African countries over the course of seven years. The initiative leverages the growing information communications technology sector to create jobs for high-potential yet disadvantaged youth, providing sustainable incomes and benefiting communities and business alike.

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A Centennial Announcement for More Resilient Cities

MAY 14, 2013 

The Rockefeller Foundation marks its 100th anniversary with the launch of the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, a $100 million commitment to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. In addition, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed May 14th as Rockefeller Foundation Day. Buildings in Nairobi and Bangkok, as well as the Empire State Building in New York, lit up in honor of the centennial.

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Centennial Innovation Challenge Announces Winners

JUNE 18, 2013  

The Rockefeller Foundation announces 10 winners of the 2013 Centennial Innovation Challenge, a competition calling for new innovations and ideas to transform the lives of billions working in informal economies across the globe. People submitted more than 2,260 ideas from 124 countries. Winning innovations included a SMS technology that enables access to micro-insurance, a mobile platform that enables smallholder farmers to connect to markets, and improved access to health care for informal workers.

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Leveraging Government Funding for Coastal Resilience

JUNE 30, 2013 

Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin and Shaun Donovan, then-Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announce a regional design competition, Rebuild by Design, to develop ideas capable of dramatically improving the physical, ecological, and economic resilience of coastal areas hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. The Foundation’s $3.5 million in funding leveraged nearly a billion in federal funds, and marked a new way of using federal money for post-disaster rebuilding.

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Realizing the Potential of Agriculture in Africa

JULY 8-9, 2013 

In Abuja, Nigeria, The Rockefeller Foundation hosts a summit, “Realizing the Potential of African Agriculture: Catalytic Innovations for Growth.” This gathering brought together presidents, prime ministers, and ministers of agriculture and finance to identify specific ways to strengthen African agricultural markets to benefit economies and smallholder farms.

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Transforming Cities at the Bellagio Center

august 27-30, 2013

In Bellagio, Italy, “The Future of Transforming Citiesbrought together leading figures from governments, civil society, and the private sector to debate, analyze, and make recommendations for the micro-scenarios and trends facing the world’s cities over the next 15 years. This was the first in a series of summits dedicated to The Rockefeller Foundation's focus areas.

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Collaborative Report Highlights Universal Health Coverage

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

A collaborative report, released by The Rockefeller Foundation, Save the Children, UNICEF, and WHO, "Universal Health Coverage: A Commitment to Close the Gap", identifies UHC as a priority for fighting inequity in health care access and delivery.  

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The Rockefeller Foundation Celebrates American Philanthropy

OCTOBER 30, 2013

To mark The Rockefeller Foundation’s first-ever grant, given to the American Red Cross in 1913, the Foundation hosts “A Celebration of American Philanthropy” at the Red Cross Building in Washington, D.C. Throughout the day, leaders from philanthropy discussed the big risks and big bets their organizations are taking, as well as opportunities for high impact. At the event, Sir Elton John received The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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Centennial Innovation Forum Focuses on Urban Resilience

DECEMBER 3, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation convenes the 2013 Innovation Forum in New York City and announces the first 33 cities selected for the 100 Resilient Cities Network. A special discussion panel featured the mayors from Oakland, Dakar, New Orleans, the vice mayor of MedellĂ­n, and 100 Resilient Cities CEO Michael Berkowitz, moderated by the Financial Times' Ed Crooks.

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Gary Toenniessen Retires

DECEMBER, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation bids farewell to Dr. Gary Toenniessen, who retired after more than 40 years working in and leading the Foundation’s agricultural programs. Among other career highlights, Dr. Toenniessen played an enormous role in the creation of “Golden Rice,” and worked closely with Nobel laureate and “father of the Green Revolution” Norman Borlaug.

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Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage

January 24-28, 2012

The annual Prince Mahidol Award Conference supported by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand was focused on Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage: Health Financing Matters, a historic framing for an influential health conference. At the close of the meeting, a ten-point declaration recognized Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as fundamental to the right to health, and marked the commitment by more than 800 delegates to translate the rhetoric of UHC into better, more equitable health outcomes.

From the RockBlog 

Politics, Policy-Making, and the Implementation of Health Financing and Delivery 

March 6: The Rockefeller Foundation announces support for the City of Chicago’s push to establish bus rapid transit  through $485,000 in grants to The Chicago Community Trust, as well as more than  $250,000 worth of technical support for planning the downtown East-West Transit and the Western/Ashland BRT corridors.  The announcement came after Mayor Rahm Emanueal announced plans for an infrastructure bank to attract private financing for city infrastructure projects, including the proposed BRT.