Traverse City's J. Carl Ganter Receives Rockefeller Innovation Award

Traverse City: J. Carl Ganter has been honored with an Innovation Award by the Rockefeller Foundation for his innovative, multi-disciplinary approach to documenting and reporting on the global freshwater crisis with his Traverse City-based organization, Circle of Blue–an international network of leading journalists, scientists and data experts–of which he is co-founder and director.

Under Mr. Ganter’s guidance and leadership, Circle of Blue’s breakthrough model of reporting, data collection and sharing, and collaboration provides relevant, powerful and actionable information that is spurring new partnerships and action to addresses a critical challenge of the 21st century.

“At The Rockefeller Foundation, we are constantly searching for innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and it is clear that water scarcity is one of those problems that impacts all of us,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. “J. Carl Ganter and his team of journalists, scientists, programmers and data experts have taken a fresh approach to working together to document and report on a real global crisis, and we are honored to be able to recognize him and Circle of Blue for their trail-blazing work.”

Circle of Blue has served as the launching point for a number of innovations in communications, research programs and public policy that are helping citizens, scientists, business and community leaders, and policy makers understand the complexities of the fresh water crisis and pursue better solutions. In particular, their reports on the “chokepoints” in the water supply of the United States and China are informing the global conversation on the issue and inspiring action.

Ganter received his award at the Foundation’s annual Innovation Forum, held in Manhattan, New York on June 26, 2012. As part of his recognition, Circle of Blue will also receive a $100,000 grant through its fiscal sponsor, the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development Environment and Security, from The Rockefeller Foundation to support Circle of Blue’s future innovative work.

Other award recipients include Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, Ltd.; Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of The Portland Trust and Big Society Capital and Director of Social Finance US; and representatives from the international youth empowerment organization, Design for Change.

Past recipients of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Award include President Bill Clinton, Dr. Sania Nishtar of Heartfile, an NGO and think tank in Pakistan and Jane Weru of the Akiba Mashinani Trust in Kenya.

For more information on the Rockefeller Foundation and the Innovation Forum, visit

To learn more about J. Carl Ganter's work with Circle of Blue, visit