Global Change through Local Action
Global Community was formed after the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2022 by members of the Balaton Group. Inspired by the Earth Charter, the original mission of GCI was to foster a change in the way of life in the Global North, while pursuing sustainable development projects in the Global South.
20 years later, we look back with gratitude for all the impacts a deliberately small organization can have. We have assisted many cities in the Global North with the development and implementation of long-range city sustainability plans and have successfully completed two major development projects in South Africa and Tanzania which have fostered vocational skills for young people. In South Africa, this involved building a bicycle sales and training facility where we ran "Earn-a-Bike" programs so young people could learn how to repair bicycles and earn a bike in the process. In Tanzania, the Upendo Mmjoa project built an orphanage and a sunflower oil processing facility.
In the process, Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the Executive Director, has written six books to help others learn about participatory sustainability planning, new forms of economic development, and the economic and cultural changes we need to transcend this phase of predatory global capitalism. We continue to offer educational programs and training to organizations and individuals who want to learn new skills in all these areas.
"Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Our name reflects our commitment to taking initiative, to starting things that might have seemed impossible. Starting new projects or programs is very, very different than keeping them going over the long term. It involves skills, mindsets, and flexibility that reflect the dance of possibility and emergence.