Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Documentary Brings the Beauty of Cogeneration to PBS

Documentary Brings the Beauty of Cogeneration to PBS

A new documentary film, Ink & Linda, chronicles the unexpected friendship between Inksap, a Vietnamese-American street artist in his 20s, and Linda, a white modern dance teacher in her 70s. Shortly after a chance encounter brings these two together, they begin...

Announcing the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity

Announcing the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity

We’re out to show the world that older and younger people can help solve pressing problems when they work together. To that end, today we’re launching the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity, a partnership with the Ares Charitable Foundation to elevate...


Kenneth Bacon

Refugees International
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Bacon transformed Refugees International into a leading voice for peacekeeping, developing sustained, focused initiatives — rather than jumping from crisis to crisis, as in the past.

During the Clinton administration, Bacon was a familiar face on television as the bow-tied Pentagon spokesman updating reporters on the war in Bosnia and other military action. When he accepted a less visible post as president of Refugees International in 2001, he brought a journalist’s sensibility to the humanitarian organization, overhauling its communications operation to effectively tell the story of refugees’ plight. “One of the most rewarding parts of the job is sharing what I know, particularly in the field of communications, with a much younger staff,” Bacon said. “They, in turn, have taught me about Facebook, Twitter, and other networking operations that have become an important part of nongovernmental organization outreach.” Bacon molded Refugees International from a largely volunteer organization into a focused nonprofit with a multilingual staff of nearly 30. Under Bacon’s leadership, Refugees International pressured the federal government to allocate $200 million in humanitarian funding to Iraqi refugees from Oct. 2007 to Sept. 2008 and admit 13,784 Iraqis during that time span, nearly six times the admissions in the five prior years combined, according to the organization. Until his death at age 64 on Aug. 15 of melanoma-related complications, Bacon spotlighted what he considered the biggest developing story for refugees: the coming displacement of as many as 150 million people due to climate change.