Next week, I’ll head up to the Microsoft* campus in Redmond, Wash., to moderate a panel at Global Washington’s third annual conference. It’s a great model of statewide collaboration in the development community, and I thought you might want to know more about it.
During the 20th century, the state of Washington built a reputation for its airplanes, timber, software and coffee. Yet the state is now leading the way in addressing an entirely different class of global needs: good health, education, employment, food, shelter, and a chance for a better life.
With more than 300 international NGOs—including one of the world’s biggest (World Vision)—and largest foundations (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)—Washington state has become a leader in international development.
Global Washington and its 150 member organizations want to put Washington state on the map for this incredible achievement and are reaching well beyond the global development community in their outreach. This month, commuters on Washington state ferries saw posters promoting the global development sector. Listeners to local radio stations KPLU or KUOW heard radio spots highlighting this work.
And they’re reaching far beyond state borders. Travellers on Alaska Airlines* read an article about Global Washington and the sector in their in-flight magazine. There were full poster inserts in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times highlighting the work of a number of Global Washington’s member organizations and a letter signed by Bill Clapp and Bill Gates Senior.
Global Washington is seizing the opportunity to use its collective power to implement long-term solutions by helping developing countries create the capacity needed to provide sustainable solutions to their problems.
Together with the mayor of Seattle, they’ve launched an advocacy campaign called “Global Action Day,” an opportunity for Washingtonians to learn about, support and join the NGOs who are working to impact lives abroad by reducing disease, providing educational opportunities and strengthening communities and economies around the world. And in an effort to recognize the fearless leaders behind these development efforts, Global Washington just launched the annual Global Hero Award. This year they’re honoring Roy Prosterman, founder of Landesa*, a Seattle-based organization that partners with governments, foundations and local NGOs to ensure the world’s poorest families have secure land rights.
To learn more about the “other” Washington’s important export – a better quality of life for people all over the world – visit the conference website or join the conversation at #globalwaday.