MiB: Rockefeller Foundation’s Saadia Madsbjerg

We speak with Rockefeller Foundation managing director, Saadia Madsbjerg. She leads the$4 billion dollars Foundation’s work on Innovation. 

Madsbjerg joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where she was Sr Vice Pres for Strategic Planning. Previously, she worked at McKinsey & Company for 6 years, and at Cisco for 4 years.  She has a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Finance and a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Copenhagen Business School.

I found the work Madsbjerg does with the Rockefeller Foundation to be fascinating. All of the projects they invest in are quite different than what you might have imagined on your own. For example, the response to issues such as climate change is to work on a region’s “resilience” — the ability to bounce back from disasters relatively quickly. As an example of the outside the box thinking of the foundation, they discovered that Oyster Beds provides a huge, natural surf break from storm surges. The work they do on global food scarcity and starvation focuses on Harvest Loss and Food Waste. In the USA, half of all food is thrown away. Finding a way to change that percentage would feed a lot of people at little additional cost.

The books she discussed are here.

You can hear the full interview, including our podcast extras below, as well as iTunesSoundcloud, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts can be found iTunesSoundcloud, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Sebastian Mallaby, author of “More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite,” and a new biography of “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.”




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