The Global Switchboard is a nonprofit organization with a co-working space located in the neighborhood of Lawrenceville. As Pittsburgh’s home for global engagement, The Global Switchboard facilitates the collaboration of globally-focused organizations and individuals to amplify each member’s impact and create a network for collective action.
A long list of individuals and organizations have helped to shape The Global Switchboard, but two organizations are chiefly responsible for its launch – Amizade Global Service Learning and Global Solutions Pittsburgh.
In the Spring of 2013 Amizade’s Executive Director, Brandon Blache-Cohen, initiated a series of conversations with leaders of many of the globally-focused organizations in the city of Pittsburgh, seeking shared interest in a co-working environment. Stakeholders imagined that a shared space could raise the visibility of member organizations, and at the same time provide a collaborative environment, wherein members could discover new ways to impact the world. Amizade led the effort to find a location, finance the build-out, and design the membership structure.
To effectively power the creation of The Global Switchboard, Amizade needed a long-term, committed partner. Under the leadership of then Executive Director, Daniel Giovanelli, Global Solutions Pittsburgh (GSP) was the natural fit both, in terms of their size and in terms of their shared vision for what The Global Switchboard could become. GSP committed to a five-year sublease, full assistance in member recruitment, and in a shared role in facilitating the development of the coalition. And, in so doing, GSP became the anchor to the project.
The network of globally-focused individuals and organizations affiliated with The Global Switchboard grew rapidly. When the initial dream was realized, GSP approached Amizade about an idea to amplify the project’s success. After months of planning, in late 2015 Amizade and Global Solutions Pittsburgh made a major announcement: in January of 2016 Global Solutions Pittsburgh would assume the mantle of The Global Switchboard. GSP thereby agreed to take on management of the co-working space and began a transition plan to solidify its strategic investment in The Global Switchboard as its primary method of achieving the long held goal of building a community in western Pennsylvania dedicated to global engagement.