What is the CumberlandCenter and its Global Action Platform™?

 The CumberlandCenter is a research-business alliance to create abundance through innovation in food, health and prosperity at the local, regional and global levels. The Center’s goal is to enable a shift from a world of scarcity – to a world of abundance. The Center advances actions and strategies that create expanding opportunity for all people through the growth of regional innovation hubs.

In carrying out its mission, the Center acts as:

(1) A Trusted Convener and Facilitator
(2) A Research Center
(3) A Center for Concierge Enterprise Services
(4) A National and Global Communications and Action Platform

The Center’s programs are delivered through the Global Action Platform™, a distinctive systems model developed by the Center to translate innovative ideas into action. The Platform connects the various initiatives of the Center and its strategic partners into a process designed to create critical impact.

The Global Action Platform is founded on a proprietary process that builds Collaborative AdvantageTM to translate ideas and solutions into action. The Platform serves as an open systems framework to create abundance – to achieve ample supplies of nutritious food, healthy and thriving populations, stronger economies and world-wide prosperity. This result is achieved through cross sector collaboration and cooperation among business, research, government, foundations, NGOs, and the media.

The Global Action Platform is an integrated system made up of four functional areas: Convene, Challenge, Connect, and Communicate.

How does the Global Action Platform™ provide solutions for our world?

Our world’s biggest challenge is approaching: nine billion people in 2050. How will we achieve abundant food, health and prosperity for everyone on earth…and sustain the complex ecosystems of our planet?

New innovations in food cultivation, energy and water use, production, manufacturing, packaging and distribution; breakthrough concepts in nutrition and human health and personalized medicine; and growing consensus about how to expand prosperity hold significant promise for abundance for a growing human population.

The next three to five years are critical for world leaders to work collaboratively and efficiently together.

The Global Action Platform convenes leaders from around the world to develop an aligned strategic action plan for viable solutions that are local, regional and global. Through cross-sector collaboration with businesses, research institutions, governments, foundations, NGO’s and the media, The Global Action Platform translates innovative ideas into positive actions.

Interconnections of Food, Health and Prosperity

Achieving solutions to global challenges, stewardship of our planet, human well-being and fostering a strong world economy depends on continuous innovation and sustaining healthy societies. We need to provide every individual with the opportunity to prosper, with health, wellness and access to nutritious food, within an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace.

Prosperity Through Human Innovation:

Innovation for our future is a human product. People are our most critical asset and innovation is the toolkit of our future.

Hence, the abundance agenda of the Center’s Global Action Platform is built on a distinctive focus on the integration of food, health, and prosperity

What are the strategic focus areas?

Global Action Summit has four strategic functional components:

CONVENE: As a “neutral convener”, the Center brings together leaders from the corporate, government, research, media, and NGO sectors in multiple forums. The Global Action Summit is the principal convening activity of the Center. The Summit is an annual international conference held in Nashville Tennessee USA, to align cross-sector perspectives and to create, guide and facilitate leadership initiatives. Senior-level participants include business leaders, research scientists, government officials, media leaders, NGO directors, committees and Summit Fellows. Events, conferences and outreach activities are held throughout the year, to help facilitate program goals.


CHALLENGE: Investment funds provide capitalization for innovations that create abundant food, health and prosperity. The Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge offers up to $1Million US Dollars in investments for transformative innovations ready to be scaled into a business enterprise.


CONNECT: An interactive portal is being created as a network hub to align food, health and regional economic innovators, research institutions, investors, and businesses to accelerate Collaborative Advantage TM initiatives, partner programs, strategic action and efficient, sustainable implementation.


COMMUNICATE: Outcomes from the Global Action Platform, leadership perspectives, programs, events and activities are disseminated through the annual Global Action Report, news, archives, online forums, and through integrated socially responsible media channels and educational units and curricula.

What is the ultimate goal and impact?

The ultimate goal is to advance global action to create food, health and prosperity in regional innovation hubs around the world – so that every individual has an opportunity to thrive and flourish.

How does the Global Action Platform lead to action?

A number of initiatives and tools have been developed to translate ideas from the Summit into action. These include the following:

1. Global Action Summit – Nashville

The Global Action Summit is the principal convening facility. Each November, this invitation-only event is hosted annually in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The Summit convenes top senior level decision makers from the corporate, government, academic, media and NGO communities from around the world with a distinctive focus on innovation to create abundance of food, health and prosperity. As the keystone of the CumberlandCenter’s convening activities, the Summit is a neutral forum without bias. The Summit builds on the idea that business is the economic engine of global prosperity and innovation. The Center combines this economic engine with the research culture of universities to create a trusted, inclusive framework for action.

2. Leadership Committees and Dialogues

Facilitated meetings and on line forums on special topics developed by Summit participants will be launched and sustained by the CumberlandCenter within the integrated initiatives of the Global Action Platform in food, health and prosperity. Leadership committees for the Global Action Platform have been established to direct cross-sector initiatives. Initial discussions leverage the annual Global Action Summit into action plans and key global conferences held throughout the world.

3. Global Action Report

The Center works in partnership with the Diplomatic Courier to produce an annual Global Action Report. The report builds an annual inventory of best ideas and strategies, and makes recommendations for action to increase abundant food, health and prosperity. In addition, through its partnership with the Diplomatic Courier the Summit Report is shared at other major global events which have included the G8, G20, B20 Summits with plans for collaboration with the Asian Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and the DAVOS World Economic Forum.

4. Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge

To facilitate action, the Summit not only produces its annual Global Action Report but also sponsors an annual Global Food, Health and Innovation Challenge, which provides up to $1 million investments in new food/health innovations. (www.gfhichallenge.com)

5. Summit Fellows Program

The Summit Fellows Program is a project of the Global Action Summit to translate Summit ideas into action through a growing network of Fellows. The Summit Fellows are selected from two major categories: the foundation/non profit sector and graduate students nominated by leading universities. Summit Fellows are sponsored to attend the Summit at no cost and are required to conduct social entrepreneur projects in their communities or anywhere in the world.

6. Global Food and Health Network Portal

A part of the core mission is to create collaborative platforms for research and innovation. Company affiliates are working on the global expansion of the current network portal to include additional U.S. and other selected research universities and research institutions worldwide. Collaborating universities will be those with key strengths within the three core programs Food, Health and Prosperity. The development of a network portal, “Innovation Connect” is being planned, leveraging over three years of technical planning for the project, which has been organized with public and private funding by the CumberlandCenter, its development partners and research affiliates.

7. Business Partnerships and Opportunities

The design of the program and audience for each Summit provide unparalleled opportunities for innovators, investors, and business leaders to meet and discover mutual interests that may result in joint projects and ventures.

Why should companies and organizations get involved?
  • To advance innovations that create abundance in food, health and prosperity.
  • To access top global leaders from industry, government, media, academia and the NGO sectors;
  • To learn of the most advanced innovations and effective strategies from world-renowned experts
  • To enhance corporate visibility and reputation in exclusive markets around the world
  • To engage public, private and nonprofit leaders in the development of effective regulatory strategies and investments
  • To enhance visibility and reputation as a thought leader as a part of a emerging center for innovation around the world
  • To co-design programs and strategies that directly affect sponsor and partner business goals, global stewardship and social responsibility.


How can companies get involved?

There are a number of sponsorship and partner opportunities for companies and institutions to be involved in the Global Action Platform and Global Action Summit – each one customized to the sponsor’s particular needs. Sponsorships and partnerships offer a win-win alliances.

What is the governance?

The Global Action Platform is guided by a distinguished international steering committee and informed by extraordinary leadership partners that include the World Bank, The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness -Harvard Business School, NIH/Vanderbilt Medical Center (CRC), USAID, STEMconnector, The Global Alliance for Food Security Research, CGIAR, UC Davis – California Institute for Food and Agriculture Research (CIFAR), Oak Ridge National Laboratories, among many others.

Who are some of the key partners and what is the significance of their partnership model?

Diplomatic Courier

The Diplomatic Courier is the premiere publisher of global policy and economic reports with clients including the Davos World Economic Forum, the G8, G20, B20, and the United Nations among others. The Diplomatic Courier is the global media partner for the Global Action Summit and a major strategic partner with the Center. Through this partnership, the Courier covers the annual Global Summit in Nashville and produces an independent Global Action Report that summarizes major ideas presented at the Summit. The Global Action Report provides editorial perspective on issues and defines recommendations for action. In addition the CumberlandCenter and Diplomatic Courier co-chair events related the Global Action Report at the National Press Club, the Reagan International Center and other forums throughout the world.

The partnership between the CumberlandCenter, Global Action Platform and the Diplomatic Courier provides its partners and sponsors with unrivaled market access to major corporations, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, media opinion leaders and change agents around the world – access that would take years and millions of dollars to create/reproduce. Summit sponsors can have exposure and access to conference events and activities and networks. Partners have access and direct working relationships with key leaders, initiatives, resources and networks, with opportunities to direct global actions and opportunities.

The World Bank

The World Bank serves as the major strategic partner on Global Food Innovation issues. The Bank is also a partner in the Global Food, Health and Innovation Challenge and is represented on the Steering Committee of the Global Action Summit. On June 25, 2013 the CumberlandCenter made a formal presentation on the 2013 Global Action Report to group of financial leaders convened by the World Bank at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is anticipated that the Global Action Report will be presented every year at the World Bank will become an annual event.

Harvard Business School

CumberlandCenter is a designated affiliate for the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School. The Institute was founded and is led by Michael Porter, the world’s leading economic strategist. Through its affiliation, CumberlandCenter provides access to proprietary case studies, data and tools developed by Porter and his team at Harvard. The Institute is the major strategic partner for the prosperity program of the the Global Action Platform and the annual Global Action Summit.

Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Medical Center at Vanderbilt University is a global medical research institution and one of the nation’s foremost and respected research universities. Vanderbilt was selected as the coordinator of the NIH National Consortium to Advance Biomedical Research. The Vanderbilt Medical Center serves as the major strategic partner of CumberlandCenter’s work on the health track, and has developed a task force on Global Health Innovation for the upcoming Summit.

UC Davis

UC Davis is the leading university in the integration of food, agriculture, nutrition and the social sciences. The university is also connected with research institutions worldwide, including the Global Alliance on Food Security Research. The Global Action Platform works in partnership with the World Food Center at UC Davis, CIFAR, Global HealthShare Initiative, Robert Mondavi Institute, Graduate School of Management, Agriculture Sustainability Institute, Foods for Health Institute, Seed Biotechnology Center, and other Centers and Institutes at UC Davis. The Global Action Platform has expansive insights, relationships and growing research networks, locally, regionally and globally through this relationship.

Other Partners

Partnerships are also established with a growing number of research organizations, councils, foundations and nonprofit organizations including the Oakridge National Laboratory, International Food Information Council, Buckminster Fuller Foundation, WorldLink, Future500, and the Global Alliance on Food Security Research and many more.

How does Global Action Summit compare to similar conferences such as Davos, Clinton Global Initiative, TED, and others?

Much like the Aspen Institute, Milken Global Conference, Clinton Global Initiative, TED and the Davos World Economic Forum, the Global Action Summit convenes top level senior executives for an annual program presented by world experts. As the newest of these global leadership forums, and the first in the Southeastern US, the Global Action Summit is the most dynamic, agile, innovative and fastest growing forum for today’s global leaders. The Global Action Summit combines best elements from the other major events, such as convening top global leaders (like Davos and Milken), requiring commitments for action (like CGI), engaging renowned experts and publishing reports (like Aspen), and focusing on innovation and cross sector ideas (like TED). The Global Action Summit is guided by the cross-sector leadership, partners and resources of the Global Action Platform.