Rockefeller, Mastercard Launch $50 Million Data Science Initiative

Rockefeller, Mastercard Launch $50 Million Data Science Initiative

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth have announced a five-year, $50 million commitment in support of a socially focused data science initiative.

Announced at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Data Science for Social Impact, as the initiative is called, will focus on empowering nonprofit, civic, and government organizations with the data science tools, expertise, and resources they need to address the world's most pressing challenges. Building on the Rockefeller Foundation's leadership in the social impact space and the Mastercard Center’s innovations in data philanthropy, the initiative will identify key priorities for and investment opportunities aimed at accelerating "data for good" efforts. By growing the data science capabilities of social and civic organizations, the collaboration aims to help social change organizations identify trends and new insights that enable them to build more impactful programs for the people and communities they serve.

In conjunction with the launch, the foundation and Mastercard also announced a $20 million investment in DataKind, a global nonprofit that has completed more than two hundred and fifty data science and artificial intelligence projects with the help of a network of about thirty thousand data science volunteers spread across five worldwide chapters. Established in 2011, DataKind will use the investment to transition from a project- to a platform-based model, enabling it to support more organizations around a set of common challenges, including community health and inclusive economic growth. 

"Like the introduction of science to medicine a hundred years ago transformed the delivery of health worldwide, we are poised to take the next big leap bringing data science to social impact," said Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv J. Shah. "We're excited to invite partners from the public and private sectors to join Data Science for Social Impact and help us inspire a new generation of social sector leaders to use data for good."