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Meridian Institute

Rockefeller Foundation Agricultural Strategy Support

Related: Agriculture and Food Systems

Beginning in 2000, Meridian Institute assisted senior leaders at the Rockefeller Foundation with strategy assessment and planning activities, which in turn led to the establishment of (and Meridian’s involvement in) various follow-on activities.


In 2000 and again in 2002, Meridian conducted “issue mapping” processes for the Foundation, to help them better understand issues relating to agricultural biotechnology globally and how the Foundation might best direct its grant-making and convening activities in this arena. In the first process, Meridian interviewed 141 individuals from 34 countries directly involved with the subject. In the interviews, Meridian staff gathered information and perspectives on a broad range of topics related to plant biotechnology, including health risks, ethics, potential environmental impacts, intellectual property rights (IPR), biosafety, labeling, global trade, plant genetic resources, and food security for the poor and excluded in developing countries. The second issue mapping process was similar but smaller in scale, and served to test and reassess the findings from the first mapping summary and to keep the Foundation up to date on key issues and opportunities in the plant biotechnology field.


In these mapping processes, IPR and biosafety emerged as issues of critical concern and interest to the Foundation and stakeholders alike. This led the Foundation to launch several targeted activities, for which Meridian provided process design and facilitation services. These activities include the following (click on the links for more information):