Nandan Nilekani's EkStep Foundation to become part of Bill Gates-led $500 million Co-Impact fund

A group of the world's leading philanthropists, including Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani announced formation of 'Co-Impact', a new global model for collaborative philanthropy and social change at scale.

It will invest $500 million in three critical areas health, education, and economic opportunity to improve the lives of undeserved populations across the developing world, according to a statement released by Co-Impact.

The EkStep Foundation, co-founded by Rohini Nilekani and Nandan Nilekani, will serve as Co-Impact's technical partner by supporting a number of its programmes with their open knowledge and societal platform assets as well as capacity building, the statement said.

"At EkStep Foundation, we are investing in creating open digital public goods. Our intent is for it to benefit an ecosystem of innovators who can create contextual solutions for the development sector through the Societal Platforms approach. We support Co-Impact's visionary efforts of driving large-scale systemic development, and are glad to be their Technical Partner in this endeavour," Rohini and Nandan Nilekani said in a statement.

Nandan Nilekani. Image: Company website

Nandan Nilekani. Image: Company website

Co-Impact's initial core partners are Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, Dr Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation, the statement said.

In addition to its role as a core partner, The Rockefeller Foundation has incubated Co-Impact and will provide staff, significant operating funds, and ongoing strategic support, it said.

Olivia Leland, Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation and founding director of the Giving Pledge, is the founder of Co-Impact and will be Co-Impact's CEO, the statement said.

"We believe that collaboration is critical to solving some of the world's most daunting social challenges," said Leland. "Our goal is to build a community where philanthropists can work and learn together along with successful social change leaders to drive extraordinary results. Our hope is that over time more philanthropists will come together to pool resources and expertise to support great social change approaches and drive results at scale."

Co-Impact expects to add additional core partners as well as co-investors interested in specific initiatives or geographic areas, the statement said.

"In addition, a Co-Impact network will provide a broader group of philanthropists from around the world with an opportunity to contribute, exchange, and learn from Co- Impact's model," it added.

Co-Impact's goal is to improve the lives of millions by advancing education, improving people's health, and providing economic opportunity so that all families, no matter where they live, have a more hopeful future, the statement said.

Co-Impact will make its first system change grants in the first half of 2018, it said.

"These grants will be informed by more than a year's worth of due diligence and field research. Systems change grants will be up to $50 million, flexibly structured, and will go to initiatives with proven leadership and results that are poised to scale even further. Co-Impact will also seek to unlock additional participation by governments and the private sector," the statement said.

Updated Date: Nov 16, 2017 07:59 AM

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