Institute of Development Studies, IDS

Global summit on human wellbeing aims to produce action plan for philanthropists and development organisations

Press Release   •   Nov 10, 2011 09:49 GMT

The Bellagio Initiative Summit opens today, bringing together leading figures from the worlds of development, philanthropy, politics, economics, business and civil society. The two-week conference will produce an action plan for strengthening collaboration between philanthropists and those working in international development.

Part of a US$2m Rockefeller Foundation-funded programme, the Bellagio Initiative is jointly led by IDS and the Resource Alliance.

The Initiative aims to:

  • understand the trends in philanthropy and development.
  • identify specific areas ripe for philanthropic intervention
  • identify new areas for collaboration between philanthropic and development organisations
  • build new connections among participants from the philanthropic and development sectors to enable more effective work in both fields.

You can join the Summit live

Live audio streams, video packages and daily debriefs will be made available throughout the summit via the Bellagio website. Tweets and comments will be shared live and even displayed to the summit participants themselves. Opportunities to have your questions answered about the future of development and philanthropy by some of the assembled experts will be advertised shortly.

The Summit is taking place at the Rockefeller Bellagio Initiative Center in Bellagio, Italy, from 8 - 22 November. It was opened by vice president of The Rockefeller Foundation Heather Grady. Also speaking at the opening session were: Chair of the partnership council of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Jay Naidoo and specialist in wellbeing indices in the OECD Statistics Directorate Marco Mira d’Ercole.

Global dialogues

The Bellagio Summit follows a broad consultation process that saw input from a wide array of leaders, experts and activists. This included global dialogues on key issues in philanthropy and international development and the commissioning of comment pieces and papers from specialist authors, as well as the engagement through social media of a much wider constituency of people involved in philanthropy and development.

Human wellbeing

The Bellagio Initiative debate is guided by the concept of human wellbeing, an alternative and broader measure of human development to more conventional ones such as economic indicators.

Professor Allister McGregor, who is leading the work of IDS in the Bellagio Initiative and is a key promoter of the wellbeing concept, said: ‘At the heart of the wellbeing approach is the recognition that we all aspire to live well together, to be content with the things that we have, the relationships that enable us to achieve our goals and our feelings that we have about how well we are doing in life.

‘The Bellagio Initiative Summit is an opportunity for people from different parts of the world, different backgrounds and different approaches to consider the current and future challenges to human wellbeing and come up with some concrete proposals for how philanthropists and those working in international development can work together to find more effective ways to overcome them.’

Other participants and panellists over the next two weeks will include:

  • Caroline Anstey, managing director, World Bank
  • Sania Yaba Nkrumah MP, chairwoman and leader, Convention People’s Party, Ghana
  • Steve Radelet, chief economist, USAID
  • Xiulan Zhang, Director, Institute of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University
  • Sally Osberg, president and CEO, the Skoll Foundation.