Communities of Practice

Organizations working for change at the grassroots level.

Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, global, non-profit organization with offices in London, UK, Seattle, USA, and Sydney, Australia. In a bid to reverse the continued decline in the world's fisheries, the MSC is seeking to harness consumer purchasing power to generate change and promote environmentally responsible stewardship of the world's most important renewable food source. MSC's role is to recognize, via a certification program, well-managed fisheries and to harness consumer preference for seafood products bearing the MSC label of approval.
The Village Education Project
The Village Education Project is a nonprofit foundation that seeks to enhance the educational opportunities of children in rural villages, thus enhancing the prospects of entire communities. Their current project is underway in the villages outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. Students in sponsored villages are given scholarships to attend secondary school, and their primary schools are supported with a summer teaching program and resource support. The project was founded in August 2005 by volunteer teachers and a school principal in the mountains of Ecuador.
Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps works in three main areas: 1. Emergency relief services that assist people afflicted by conflict or disaster. 2. Sustainable economic development that integrates agriculture, health, housing and infrastructure, economic development, education and environment, and local management. 3. Civil society initiatives that promote citizen participation, accountability, conflict management, and the rule of law.
Accion International
The mission of ACCION International is to give people the tools they need to work their way out of poverty. By providing "micro" loans and business training to poor women and men who start their own businesses, ACCION's partner lending organizations help people work their own way up the economic ladder, with dignity and pride. With capital, people can grow their own businesses. They can earn enough to afford basics like running water, better food and schooling for their children.
ActionAid International
ActionAid is an international development agency that aims to fight poverty worldwide. Formed in 1972, for over 30 years it has been growing and expanding to where it is today: helping over 13 million of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people in 42 countries worldwide.
All Day Buffet
Pleased to meet you, we're All Day Buffet. Our mission on this planet is simple: change the world through creativity and business. We put things into the world that make it a better place.

Let's create a new economy—one that mimics nature where systems are whole and everything is connected. Where the lines between business, social issues, and creativity are erased because they are inherent in everything we do. Where we create real things of value from sincere intention, because that is the core of anything "good."
American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations
The AFL-CIO's mission is to bring social and economic justice to the United States by enabling working people to have a voice on the job, in government, in a changing global economy, and in their communities.
Center for Legislative Development
The Center for Legislative Development, Inc. (CLD) formerly the Congressional Research and Training Service, Inc. (CRTS) is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan, independent legislative development organization that addresses both the need for strengthening the capability of legislative institutions and the broadening of citizen participation in the legislative process. The CLD's vision is a society where responsive and gender-fair legislation is enacted by democratically elected and functioning legislatures with broad participation in the decision-making process to promote equality, development, and peace for all.
Ceres (pronounced "series") is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. The Ceres mission is to integrate sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and its people.

Ceres launched the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy project (BICEP) to work directly with key allies in the business community and with members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation.
Christian Aid
Christian Aid is an agency of churches in the UK and Ireland that believes in strengthening people to find their own solutions to the problems they face. Christian Aid has 16 field offices in order to support local organisations, which are best placed to understand local needs.
Creative Commons
Too often the debate over creative control tends to the extremes. At one pole is a vision of total control—a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and in which "all rights reserved" (and then some) is the norm. At the other end is a vision of anarchy—a world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are left vulnerable to exploitation. Balance, compromise, and moderation—once the driving forces of a copyright system that valued innovation and protection equally—have become endangered species.

Creative Commons is working to revive them. We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them—to declare "some rights reserved."

Thus, a single goal unites Creative Commons' current and future projects: to build a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright in the face of increasingly restrictive default rules.
Digital Solidarity Fund
Transforming the digital divide into digital opportunities to promote peace, sustainable development, democracy, transparency and good governance constitutes the basic objective of the Digital Solidarity Fund. The Fund’s mode of operation is based on traditional North-South cooperation, in addition to an increased cooperation effort between the emerging South and the least developed countries, an approach which is often better suited to local realities. The funds raised are used to support projects aimed at reducing digital disparities, particularly through financing: Development projects that have a strong impact on socio-economic activities and preserve cultural diversity; non-solvent demand in order to create new activities and, in due course, new markets and improved job opportunities; the supply of appropriate equipment; the development of local contents, applications and services for administrations and communities (health, education, etc.), particularly for marginalized groups (women, disabled people, etc.); the training of human resources and the fight against intellectual migration.
Earth Rights Institute
Earth Rights Institute is dedicated to securing a culture of peace and justice by establishing dynamic worldwide networks of persons of goodwill and special skill, promoting policies and programs which further democratic rights to common heritage resources, and building ecological communities.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the U.S. government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 50,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.

EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit and depends on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of our budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight—and win—more cases.
Fair Trade Resource Network
The Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) seeks to improve people's lives through Fair Trade alternatives by providing information, leadership, and inspiration. FTRN gathers, develops, and disseminates educational resources to people and organizations interested in the movement to build a more just and sustainable world through Fair Trade. FTRN is committed to creating positive change in the world by empowering consumers with an understanding of the impact of their purchasing choices and by educating businesses about the impact of their trading practices. FTRN believes that the resulting expanded economic opportunities created by Fair Trade will benefit all, particularly the world's most disadvantaged.
Food for the Hungry
Food for the Hungry works in more than 45 developing countries to provide disaster and emergency relief, and implement sustainable development programs to transform communities physically and spiritually. Areas of expertise include Child Development, Church Development, Economic Development, Food Security, Health, HIV/AIDS, and Water.
Forest Ethics
Founded in 1994, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests, and to achieve that goal we’ve created a revolutionary new approach. The first step is determining which forests are Endangered Forests. We have staff members who live in the forests and work with scientists to define the areas that are most important to protect. We also work with First Nations to make sure their interests are represented—and that they receive funding to implement a viable, ecofriendly economy. When we find that Endangered Forests are being destroyed, we determine which corporations are purchasing the products of that destruction. If a corporation refuses to change its practices, we hold that company publicly accountable—with protests, websites, email campaigns, national advertisements, and more. And when a company is ready to protect Endangered Forests, we help them implement sound policies through our Corporate Action Program. Either way, the end result is that we turn our corporate adversaries into allies. And while logging companies may be able to tune out the protests of environmental groups, they can’t ignore their largest customers—the corporations we work with, such as Staples, Home Depot, Estee Lauder and Dell—when they demand environmental reform. Whether it’s by brokering agreements with logging companies or by negotiating legislated protection, the end result is that Endangered Forests are saved. To date, ForestEthics has protected over seven million acres of Endangered Forest in British Columbia and Chile.
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
The Global Call to Action against Poverty is a worldwide alliance committed to making world leaders live up to their promises, and to making a breakthrough on poverty in 2005. It is an alliance between a range of actors around the common cause of ending poverty: existing coalitions, community groups, trade unions, individuals, religious and faith groups, campaigners and more.
The Global Marshall Plan
The Global Marshall Plan aims at a "World in Balance". To achieve this we need a better design of globalization and the global economic processes - a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy. This is a matter of an improved global structural framework, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, environmental protection and equity, altogether resulting in a new global 'economic miracle'.
Global Migration and Gender Network
The GMGN was established as a result of a two-day workshop on gender and international migration, convened in March 2005 by the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM). Its purpose is to provide a means for practitioners and researchers with an interest in this issue to share information and ideas on a regular basis. The co-ordination will initially be assumed by the GCIM Secretariat. The network will be issuing a regular newsletter to all network subscribers, incorporating links to relevant documents, news of forthcoming conferences and publications, book reviews and opinion pieces. The success of the network and its newsletter will depend on the input provided by subscribers. Please inform your colleagues of this initiative and provide the GMGN with items that you would like to feature in the newsletter. We are delighted to say that a number of eminent people in the field of gender and international migration have already expressed their support for the network. Their messages can be found below.
Global Network Initiative
In an effort to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy, a diverse coalition of leading information and communications companies, major human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders today launched the Global Network Initiative.

From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia, companies in the information and communications industries face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies that require censorship and disclosure of personal information in ways that conflict with internationally recognized human rights laws and standards.

The Initiative is founded upon new Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy—supported by specific implementation commitments and a framework for accountability and learning—that provide a systematic approach for companies, NGOs, investors, academics and others to work together in resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards.
Green Gold Corporation
The Green Gold Corporation contributes to the wellbeing of the communities of the Biogeographic regions of Chocó, Colombia, through research and training processes, the promotion of alliances and productive systems and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Certified Green Gold program in Chocó, Colombia, is the first project of its kind in the world, which looks to reverse the devastating processes done to these unique ecosystems, caused by out of control large scale mining of one of the most bio-diverse eco-regions of the world. Currently the initiative is being implemented in 12 Afro-Colombian communities, within the municipalities of Condoto and Tadó, the project seeks the active participation of the population, who are represented by the community councils, to ensure the successful development of the area. Green Gold demands compliance with socially and environmentally responsible practices, by imposing a rigorous certification process on all mining methods, this then puts an added value on the metals produced, whether they be raw materials for jewellery making, environmental souvenirs, or as ready made jewellery.
HandCrafting Justice
HandCrafting Justice (HCJ) is a project of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. HCJ works in cooperation with women struggling for economic justice and independence in the developing world. HCJ supports and assists them in their efforts to create employment for themselves in order to provide for their families and improve their lives. HCJ does this by: marketing items they make; raising consciousness of the situations in which they live; creating opportunities for women and men in the U.S. to get involved; telling the stories of women, men and children; and creating networks of justice and solidarity in search of sustainable economic options for those in the developing world.
Human Rights First
Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence. Human Rights First protects people at risk: refugees who flee persecution, victims of crimes against humanity or other mass human rights violations, victims of discrimination, those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security, and human rights advocates who are targeted for defending the rights of others. These groups are often the first victims of societal instability and breakdown; their treatment is a harbinger of wider-scale repression. Human Rights First works to prevent violations against these groups and to seek justice and accountability for violations against them. Human Rights First is practical and effective. We advocate for change at the highest levels of national and international policymaking. We seek justice through the courts. We raise awareness and understanding through the media. We build coalitions among those with divergent views. And we mobilize people to act.
Hunger Project
The Hunger Project is an unconventional, strategic organization. The Hunger Project does not provide “relief.” Rather, The Hunger Projects works in authentic partnership with the people of developing countries to address the root causes of hunger and to ensure that all people have the chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Today, The Hunger Project works in more than 10,000 villages across 13 developing countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. It carries out proven strategies that are empowering millions of people to achieve lasting progress in health, education, nutrition and family income. In addition to directly empowering hungry people, The Hunger Project works strategically to change policies, catalyze society-wide transformation of the conditions holding hunger in place, and strengthen the local democratic structures through which people can meet their basic needs on a sustainable basis.
Hunt Alternatives Fund
Hunt Alternatives Fund advances innovative and inclusive approaches to social change at local, national, and global levels. Since its founding in Denver in 1981, the Fund has contributed $50 million to social change through a blend of grant making and operating programs. Today, the Fund operates out of Cambridge, MA, and is focused on strengthening youth arts organizations, supporting leaders of social movements, and advocating for the full inclusion of all stakeholders in peace processes.
Instituto Promundo
The program encourages young people to question traditional gender norms, aiming to promote gender equitable behaviors and attitudes among youth. It seeks to contribute to their sexual and reproductive health, to prevent gender violence and to reduce the violent behaviors, particularly among young men. Program H focuses on gender equity promotion among young men and has already been replicated in more than 20 countries.The program was proved to have positive impact on the prevention of gender violence and the reduction of youth vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Program M motivates young women to assume more autonomy in different spheres of their lives through reflexions on gender norms, rights and women empowerment. Program D seeks to promote respect for sexual diversity and to reduce homophobia among young men.
Instituto de Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul
Instituto de Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul is a nonprofit organization for development engaged in socioeconomic research and education. It endeavours to rethink the economy and to head the economic system in new directions, based on civil society participation and empowerment.
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Enabling the rural poor to overcome poverty.
International Lifeline Fund
Lifeline is a private non-profit foundation that works to alleviate human suffering in Africa through cost-effective development projects. Lifeline makes every effort to identify, employ, and promote technological developments that can vastly improve the effectiveness and reduce the cost of its humanitarian programs. The foundation's current work includes teaching the construction of fuel-efficient stoves in Sudan and drilling borehole wells for clean water in Uganda. Lifeline seeks to identify projects that promote self-sufficiency and durable solutions, and to staff its programs with local talent and dedicated volunteers wherever possible.
Jesuit Refugee Service Europe
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organization that specializes in working with refugees and migrants. Their mission is to accompany, serve, and plead the cause of refugees and forcibly displaced people. They are particularly concerned with the "forgotten" refugees who have moved out of the media spotlight. The European branch works in 20 countries, including Lebanon, where they give aid to asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. JRS provides food and shelter to destitute migrants and visits asylum seekers in detention to give legal advice and counseling to those traumatized by persecution and flight. They serve as chaplains in closed facilities as well as in open reception and accommodation centers.
Jobs with Justice
Founded in 1987, JwJ's mission is to improve working people's standard of living, fight for job security, and protect workers' right to organize. JwJ's core belief is that in order to be successful, workers' rights struggles have to be part of a larger campaign for economic and social justice. To that end, JwJ has created a network of local coalitions that connect labor, faith-based, community, and student organizations to work together on workplace and community social justice campaigns. Read More >>
Navdanya started as a program of the Research Foundation for science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE), a participatory research initiative founded by world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr. Vandana Shiva, to provide direction and support to environmental activism. 1984 was the year of the Punjab Violence and the Bhopal tragedy. This violence demanded a paradigm shift in the practice of agriculture. Navdanya was born of this search for nonviolent farming, which protects biodiversity, the Earth and our small farmers. Navdanya means nine crops that represent India's collective source of food security. The main aim of the Navdanya biodiversity conservation programme is to support local farmers, rescue and conserve crops and plants that are being pushed to extinction and make them available through direct marketing. Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic negineering, defended people's knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation. It has its own seed bank and organic farm spread over an ares of 20 acres in Uttranchal, north India.
new economics foundation
new economics foundation is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. Its aim is to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment, and social issues.
One World Trust
The One World Trust promotes education and research into the changes required within global organisations in order to achieve the eradication of poverty, injustice and war. It conducts research on practical ways to make global organisations more responsive to the people they affect, and on how the rule of law can be applied equally to all. It educates political leaders and opinion-formers about the findings of its research. Its guiding vision is a world where all peoples live in peace and security and have equal access to opportunity and participation.
Oxfam International
Oxfam works to overcome suffering through emergency aid and development programs that empower people to work their own way out of poverty.
Personal Democracy Forum
Technology and the Internet are changing democracy in America. Personal Democracy Forum is a hub for the exciting conversation underway between political professionals, technologists, and anyone else invigorated by the remarkable potential of technology to engage citizens in the democratic process.

Personal Democracy Forum Manifesto

Democracy in America is changing.

A new force, rooted in new tools and practices built on and around the Internet, is rising alongside the old system of capital-intensive broadcast politics.

Today, for almost no money, anyone can be a reporter, a community organizer, an ad-maker, a publisher, a money-raiser, or a leader.

If what they have to say is compelling, it will spread.

The cost of finding like-minded souls, banding together, and speaking to the powerful has dropped to almost zero.

Networked voices are reviving the civic conversation.

More people, everyday, are discovering this new power. After years of being treated like passive subjects of marketing and manipulation, they want to be heard.

Members expect a say in the decision-making process of the organizations they join. Readers want to talk back to the news-makers. Citizens are insisting on more openness and transparency from government.

All the old institutions and players-big money, top-down parties, big-foot journalism, cloistered organizations-must adapt or face losing status and power.

Personal Democracy, where everyone is a full participant, is coming.

The Personal Democracy Forum is your place to meet the people who are making that change happen, discover the tools powering the new civic conversation, spot the early trends, and share in understanding and embracing this dynamic new force.
Solar Electric Light Fund
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is a cutting-edge, independent not-for-profit organization that designs and implements sustainable energy solutions for enhancements in health, education, agriculture, and economic growth in the developing world. SELF works to deliver solar power and wireless communications to rural villages in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. SELF facilitates a new generation of "whole village" solar electrification projects to power water pumping and purification, drip irrigation, health clinics (including vaccine refrigeration), schools, household and community lighting, and income-generating micro-enterprises that can be scaled up through the private sector or through public/private partnerships.
Tax Justice Network
The Tax Justice Network (TJN) is a non-aligned coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. TJN promotes tax justice and tax cooperation and resists tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax competition. It operates on a not-for-profit basis by bringing together organisations, social movements and individuals working towards these goals. In an era of globalisation, the Tax Justice Network is committed to a socially just, democratic and progressive system of taxation. TJN campaigns from an internationalist perspective for a tax system which is favourable for poor people in developing and developed countries, and finances public goods and taxes harmful activities which pollute and cause unacceptable inequality. Our objectives and demands are detailed in the TJN declaration.
Think Impact
Think Impact (formerly the Student Movement for Real Change) is a non-profit organization that connects American college students and recent graduates with rural villages in Africa to become social entrepreneurs.

Think Impact provides American college students and recent graduates with a unique opportunity—not just a chance to visit Africa once, but to begin a long-term commitment through its internship and fellowship programs in South Africa, Kenya, and Sierra Leone. Through Think Impact's Global Development Internships and Fellowships, young Americans are given the opportunity to alleviate poverty through a sustained commitment to social innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Our philosophy is people-powered global development. Think Impact focuses on the next generation of leaders. We offer students the ideas, leadership, and capital to leverage social innovation and local community resources to alleviate poverty.

Based in Washington, D.C., Think Impact began in 2001 when Executive Director Saul Garlick was a high school junior. Since then, the organization has grown into a national organization with presence on 40 college campuses with 72 program alumni.
Third World Network
The Third World Network is an independent non-profit international network of organizations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, the Third World and North-South issues. Its objectives are to conduct research on economic, social and environmental issues pertaining to the South; to publish books and magazines; to organize and participate in seminars; and to provide a platform representing broadly Southern interests and perspectives at international fora such as the UN conferences and processes.
Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action
In 2005, $170 billion USD will be sent by family members working and living in the North to their loved ones in the global South. Most will use the money transfer services of a financial institution headquartered in the United States, and will lose $25-30 billion USD in the process. Corporate-driven globalization has forced expressions of love for family and community through the wires—for a hefty fee. But if turned into an organizing opportunity, this experience for millions of people can become a powerful force in advancing global justice by holding these corporations accountable to the needs of the people. The Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA) is a transnational organizing project of globalized constituents that aims to transform the social, political, and economic relationships under globalization. TIGRA’s mission is to build a “people-centered transnational framework” for organizing, developing opportunities for action-based strategies that strengthen cross-ethnic leadership and promote systemic change.
World of Good
World of Good brings beautiful products to the American consumer market from artisan groups, cooperatives, NGOs, and non-profits in developing countries around the world. We promote Fair Trade with our purchasing practices, and we have a commitment to improving living conditions world-wide by reinvesting a portion of our profits into our affiliate non-profit.
Youth Tax Justice Network
The Youth Tax Justice Network connects a growing number of youth and students concerned with the issues of tax justice. Formed as an outcome of the 2007 World Social Forum in Nairobi, we work alongside the international Tax Justice Network and its sister networks . We seek to link young people into the campaign for a global financial system that enables citizen representation, sustainable fiscal policy, and more equitable societies. The network is designed by youth and students from around the world to share research and campaign experience and ideas related to tax systems; development finance; corruption; capital flight; offshore finance; and tax evasion and avoidance.

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