2023 Year in review

As we wrap up 2023, we want to take a moment to reflect on some of our favorite moments from the past 12 months and thank you for connecting with us in-person, online or both! This year, we welcomed more than 30,000 visitors to the Discovery Center. Look back on some highlights from 2023 in this short video.

Exploring the universality of birth and motherhood

Our special exhibition Designing Motherhood: Things that Make or Break our Births opened in February. Featuring more than 200 objects, the exhibition transformed the Discovery Center’s galleries into an immersive journey through the arc of human reproduction.

Designing Motherhood was on view in Philadelphia and Boston before debuting in Seattle. Throughout 2023, we welcomed several local partners — including BLKBRY, NurtureNW, Open Arms Perinatal Services, PEPS, and WestSide Baby, to participate in events related to the themes in the exhibition.

Designing Motherhood showcases an unapologetic truth about motherhood: It’s complicated, and approaches to it are as varied as they are personal.


Last chance: Designing Motherhood is on display through Dec. 30, when it will go to Sweden next and make way for our upcoming exhibition, A Better Way To Go: The Future of Toilets and Sanitation which opens February 28, 2024. 

Visitors enjoy a group tour of the Discovery Center.

Tours, tours and more tours

In 2023 we hosted nearly 5,400 people for 230 general and school tour groups and we worked with partner organizations to bring topics like climate change, food security and global sanitation to life.

These unique experiences gave hundreds of middle- and high-school students a chance to dive deeply into topics they care about while learning how to get involved and take action.

For Designing Motherhood, we invited caregivers and their little ones to join us for regular stroller tours of the exhibition. We also hosted a series of staff chats with employees from the Gates Foundation focused on topics ranging from education to infectious diseases to innovations in soil health.

Coming together to bring about change

In 2023, the Discovery Center hosted several public programs and events highlighting important causes and challenges. Along with the Designing Motherhood opening reception, we began the year by celebrating International Women’s Day with a MOTH storytelling event and exploring the Importance of Care with local thought leaders. Our incredible cohort of Youth Ambassadors planned this year’s Teen Action Fair The event brought together over 1,000 teens and focused on the theme of “Those Who Made Us” exploring the connections between family life, mental health and racial equity.

As spring turned to summer, the Discovery Center hosted a film screening of the documentary “Deconstructing Karen,” opened our doors for the Seattle Design Festival, and brought together members of the local Asian and AAPI communities for a powerful conversation about hate crimes in the wake of COVID-19.

In the fall, we explored the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ families at Parenting While Queer. We also celebrated Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month at Drag Loteria and during a conversation about intersectional belonging, inclusion, and healing that was facilitated by author Jesse Leon.

Toward the end of the year, we invited young changemakers to gather at the Discovery Center and learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals while connecting with other leaders. Our World Polio Day event celebrated the progress made in eradicating the disease while discussing the obstacles that remain. A total of 28 vendors and over 2,100 visitors came through our doors for Giving Marketplace, an event that gives shoppers a chance to support the work of mission-driven organizations while purchasing gifts for the holidays.

New year, new website

The Discovery Center website underwent a major redesign in late 2023 to provide an updated visual platform for multimedia and storytelling and to provide resources and inspiration to take action.

Be sure to explore DiscoverGates.org and check out our new digs!

A better world is within reach

We recently updated our Get Involved Gallery with new interactive activities and information that focus on the Sustainable Development Goals which range from ending extreme poverty and hunger to improving healthy living, education, gender equality, and access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. Find out more about the foundation’s Goalkeepers community and stop by the gallery to explore and give us your feedback on these new experiences.

Thank you for your partnership and support this year. We wish you a safe and healthy start to 2024 and look forward to seeing you soon!

The Discovery Center team

Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter

By clicking Submit, you agree to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Privacy & Cookie Notice.