The Global Switchboard fosters effective global engagement and inclusive dialogue through our network, our co-working space, and our digital hub. We encourage peace, cooperation, and mutual understanding by educating and advocating for human rights and human dignity and by facilitating collaborations that amplify the impact of globally focused people and organizations in our region.
In our region, effective global engagement should involve working collaboratively in a variety of arenas from business and economy, immigration and refugees, educational opportunities, and any other single topic. The Global Switchboard provides connective tissue in our sector. We have created a robust network of engaged scholars, civic actors, nonprofit organizations, policymakers and concerned citizens. That network can be called upon and will respond resoundingly to think critically about major issues and propose new, creative, and inclusive solutions for our region.
As we grow as an organization and network, we have had the opportunity and responsibility to reflect on what’s happening in the global engagement space, both for the members of our network as well as the city as a whole. We aspire to have a role in shaping the direction of the City of Pittsburgh in terms of global engagement; indeed, we view part of our role of fostering effective global engagement in driving that very conversation forward.
One of the ways that we seek to drive the global engagement conversation is through the expansion of our network, and possibly, as a result, our physical space. As we move to include more members of our community, we believe that ‘better’ community engagement may also involve a ‘bigger’ and more robust community space. We are interested in flexing the muscles of co-working by thinking big: how could a physical space impact all the ways we think about global engagement in Pittsburgh?
Our co-working space is at capacity and serves as a revenue positive program for the organization. Now, we are faced with the opportunity to examine additional layers to add to our physical layers in the city to help us achieve our role as convener and facilitator of global engagement.
So, we want to hear from you! What do you think our next space should look like? Should it be a warehouse in the Strip District? Should it have a retail component that supports the sale of wares from artists around the world? Should it have a food service function that provides international food and education about lesser-known communities? Should it have a community center for newcomers to the City? Should it have a maker space that could support entrepreneurial innovation? Should it have off site classroom so that students have the opportunity to interface with global professionals?
We want you to help us think about the next steps of The Global Switchboard Space so that we are more able to serve our mission of fostering effective global engagement. More than anything, we want to know what your idea adds to the table- what does your idea accomplish that we cannot in our current iteration?