NEW YORK, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rockefeller Foundation, celebrating 100 years of global innovation, today unveiled the names of the individuals and institutions that will be honored as part of its second annual Innovation Awards ceremony on June 26, 2012 in New York.
Britain's Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of The Portland Trust and Big Society Capital and Director of Social Finance US, will receive an innovation award from the Foundation for developing innovative financing models for social programs. Other award recipients include Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, Ltd.; J. Carl Ganter, Director and Co-Founder of Circle of Blue; and representatives from the international youth empowerment organization, Design for Change.
After co-founding the internationally renowned venture capital firm Apax Partners Worldwide, Sir Ronald Cohen focused his efforts on helping the disadvantaged and spurring economic development among poor and vulnerable populations in the United Kingdom and the Middle East. In 2002, he co-founded Bridges Ventures, which invests in the poorest parts of Britain and which he has chaired for 10 years. As co-founder of both Social Finance U.K. in 2007 and its U.S. sister organization, Social Finance Incorporated in 2010, he helped usher in the use of new financial securities including Social Impact Bonds, which raise capital from private investors for non-profits whose work addresses costly social problems.
"At the Rockefeller Foundation, we are constantly searching for innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges, and we have been big proponents of the social impact bonds that Sir Ronald Cohen helped create," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "His ground-breaking innovations in social finance are having a tremendous global impact and have the ability to shift how we finance public services. We are honored to have the opportunity to recognize his outstanding contributions by presenting him with our Innovation Award."
The world's first Social Impact Bond, launched in 2010, is financing non-profits working with ex-offenders to keep them out of the prison system. When this work succeeds, the government of the United Kingdom will share a minority of the savings with the bond's investors who will receive a fair return for taking the risk of funding the prevention program.
Cohen will receive his award at the Foundation's annual Innovation Forum, to be held in Manhattan on June 26, 2012. As part of his recognition, Social Finance Entities in the USA, UK and Israel, Inc. will also share a $100,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation in order to support future innovative work.
Past recipients of The Rockefeller Foundation's Innovation Award include President Bill Clinton, Dr. Sania Nishtar of Heartfile, an NGO and think tank in Pakistan and Jane Weru of the Akiba Mashinani Trust in Kenya.
For a live stream of The Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Awards dinner, please visit: http://centennial.rockefellerfoundation.org/events/entry/innovation-forum-2012if
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation's mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913. Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization. Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization's benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered. To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work. First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses. Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives. In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact. These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urban economic security, and social and economic security. For more information, please visit http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org
The Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Forum
The Rockefeller Foundation's annual Innovation Forum convenes some of the most creative and inventive minds from the worlds of business, government, civil society and journalism to bring innovation to bear on urgent challenges facing poor or vulnerable people around the world. This year's Innovation Forum will focus on one of today's most pressing issues – how to ensure that the benefits of new technologies do not bypass the world's poor. The Foundation will seek to address this issue by showcasing some of the latest cutting-edge technologies and inviting participants to imagine how these technologies might benefit people around the world. The Foundation will then leverage some of the ideas and recommendations discussed at the Forum to search for new ways of ensuring rapid advancements in technology help those who are most vulnerable.
SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation