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The Bellagio Blog
Early in 2011 the Institute of Development Studies, the Resource Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation began conversations about the need to prepare philanthropy and development organisations for a rapidly changing world.
The final report from the Initiative has now been released, but the conversation has not come to an end. Hundreds of people participated in the consultations, research, and Summit that constituted the Initiative, and many of them have moved forward with the topics that they found most compelling. I will name just a few that are currently underway, and invite Initiative participants to share with us other efforts underway.
The lack of cross-fertilisation between philanthropy and development has always struck me as a missed opportunity for learning. And then along came the Bellagio Initiative.
One area where cross-fertilisation can help concerns the different meanings of the term ‘development’ itself. The implications of this debate are huge because everything flows from the outcomes we seek, and without broad indicators of success you end up – how can I say this politely – like the US today or China perhaps in 25 years’ time, characterised by very little absolute poverty or starvation, considerable material success for some, and large-scale social and environmental failures including rising inequality, declining social cohesion, political gridlock and looming ecological disaster.