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Our Network
The Goldin Institute works with over 100 cities in over 40 countries worldwide to build meaningful partnerships rooted in the knowledge, skills and assets of local leadership.
The Goldin Institute works to build grassroots partnerships for global change that are rooted in the power of communities coming together to build their own solutions and determine their own futures.
  • 100
    We have trained and partnered with grassroots leaders in over 100 cities.
  • 40
    We work in 40 countries from Afghanistan to Zanzibar and everywhere in between.
  • 150
    Over 150 Alumni lead social change across the globe

Since 2002, the Chicago-based Goldin Institute has inspired, equipped and connected grassroots leaders in over 50 countries to lead community driven social change.

We support communities to achieve their goals through a combination of on-line and on-the-ground initiatives where everyone can contribute. We know that real and lasting progress towards a more just, peaceful and sustainable world requires that those closest to the issue, especially often excluded voices with the most at stake in making progress, have leadership roles in any social change movement.

We are committed to building partnerships that cut across different sectors of civil society including leadership from government institutions, media outlets, educational institutions, religious communities, activists, business leaders and community partners. Through these relationships, our participants can effectively work to affect social change in systemic ways.

Our community-driven approach is critical to developing creative and effective grassroots strategies that balance community building and social action. This approach focuses on bringing often neglected perspectives and voices to the table for creative exchanges. By linking grassroots efforts from around the world in our global network, we provide opportunities to build innovative multi-sector relationships and solutions that both adapt to particular local contexts and draw from creative solutions and approaches from around the globe.  

Dominant perspectives on policy and development tend to emphasize large-scale and quantitative approaches to understanding and surmounting social problems. While recognizing the value of such approaches, we create a space for qualitative individual and community-based perspectives. By focusing on methodologies that emphasize cooperative approaches to assessment, development, and policy initiatives, we promote a perspective that sees individuals and communities as active partners in defining and achieving a just and sustainable future.

To support community-driven social change, the Goldin Institute built the GATHER platform to support communities of practice who can learn from each other and collaborate across boundaries.  The GATHER Platform helps grassroots leaders and their communities:

  • Build on our assets by inviting their neighbors to share their talents and activating our shared community assets. We start with what we have and focus on what’s working rather than what we lack and what’s broken.
  • Commit to equity and justice to get at the root of the issues and so that people who are too often left out can take leadership roles in our future. We know that our diversity helps us to see and change the system.
  • Enhance both trust and capacity recognizing that our ability to make real and sustainable progress requires us to maintain bonds that keep us going when times are tough. We balance building relationships and taking action.
  • Make local and global connections by linking grassroots efforts in our global network, we provide opportunities to adapt creative solutions to local contexts. We connect and equip a global network of grassroots leaders.