Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens with Dr. Rajiv Shah

Event time: 
Monday, December 4, 2023 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE ), 101 (Auditorium) See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

About the Book

On October 10th 2023, Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, published a book with stories—from his own career, the 110-year history of the Foundation, and leaders as well as unsung heroes around the world—that reveal it is realistic to be optimistic about our capacity to make large-scale change.

Such a bold assertion might surprise people. In the face of climate change and other crises, distrust and cynicism are leading too many to aim too low. Our institutions, including governments and businesses, are also scrambling to keep up with today’s challenges, which feel so big and complicated.

Shah wrote Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens to share stories that can help leaders everywhere, and at every level, reimagine what’s possible.

Working with a broad coalitions and dedicated teams at The Rockefeller Foundation and elsewhere, Shah has helped vaccinate nearly a billion children, lead high-pressure responses to the Haiti earthquake and against Ebola, dramatically expanded American Covid-19 testing at the height of the pandemic, and began connecting a billion people to electricity for the first time.

With these stories and more, the book reveals the power of the big bet mindset: a belief that seeking to solve problems boldly, rather than settle for incremental improvements, will attract partners with the capacity to achieve transformational change. And Big Bets shares lessons learned in success and failure for those seeking to change their community or the wider world, including:

· Be an optimist. Don’t get caught up in today’s cynicism.

· Think bigger. Focus on what it takes to boldly solve problems.

· Find fresh, innovative solutions, even ones that are risky.

· Recruit and retain unlikely partners.

· Fiercely measure results, learn, and persist.

Published by Simon Element, the book will be available everywhere on October 10, 2023. The proceeds from Big Bets will go to The Rockefeller Foundation and contribute to its ongoing work to support big bets for humanity—and those who will lead them.

About the Author

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah serves as president of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. With a century-long track record of leveraging science, technology, and innovation, The Foundation is pioneering new ways to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School. He has received several honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the US Global Leadership Award. He is married to Shivam Mallick Shah, and they have three children.