GKI’S LINK Program Named One of the Global Top 100 Social Innovations for the Next Century

March 18, 2013
Photo Credit: Sara Farley
Photo Credit: Sara Farley

The Global Knowledge Initiative’s flagship partnership-forging program (LINK, which stands for the Learning and Innovation Network for Knowledge and Solutions) has been awarded an exciting honor. Selected from more than 1000 nominations, GKI’s LINK has been dubbed one of the world’s top 100 most transformative innovations for the next 100 years!

This humbling designation comes courtesy of the Rockefeller Foundation, a leader in global philanthropy with a storied history of support for science, technology, and innovation. While celebrating a century of giving, the Rockefeller Foundation recognizes that communities worldwide face increasingly complex and interconnected challenges. The Next Century Innovators Award represents one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s first steps into a new century of philanthropy by leveraging the talent and energy of the world’s most innovative organizations.

We are elated that the Rockefeller Foundation has included us in its Top 100 list while judging nominees on criteria such as catalytic innovation, impact, and “spark”. The Foundation’s Next Century Innovators web page includes profiles of all of the inspiring top 100 innovators, including GKI.

When GKI began just a short four years ago, we set out to solve the most pressing global problems (e.g., food insecurity) and their localized manifestations (e.g., plant disease). We believed—and gathered evidence from farmers, researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs who validated the idea—that problem solving today requires networks of collaboration across organizational and national boundaries. These networks seldom form spontaneously. Why? Because key resources—particularly knowledge—remain dispersed across isolated disciplines, disjointed institutions, and distant geographies. Thus, even good intentions translate at best into piecemeal solutions. LINK casts aside business-as-usual for the more robust approach to solving challenges availed through collaborative innovation.

As GKI looks forward, laying the groundwork for new rounds of LINK in East Africa and Southeast Asia, we reflect on the road we’ve traveled; GKI’s success thus far could not have been possible without our supporters who have spurred us forward, pushing our limits. While we are proud to showcase this honor, we believe passionately that this is just the beginning of the impact we will achieve. With the help of our supporters and partners, we can go further in sharing knowledge, forging collaborative partnerships, and solving the toughest challenges facing developing countries today.

The Global Knowledge Initiative’s Andrew Gerard, Amanda Rose and Sara Farley with Dr. Daniel Rukazambuga and his team at one of the coffee washing stations in rural Rwanda.
The Global Knowledge Initiative’s Andrew Gerard, Amanda Rose and Sara Farley with Dr. Daniel Rukazambuga and his team at one of the coffee washing stations in rural Rwanda.