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Switchboard Hub: creating a virtual home for global engagement

The Global Switchboard is Pittsburgh’s home for global engagement, located in the neighborhood of Lawrenceville. As a nonprofit organization, The Global Switchboard coordinates a membership network that fosters effective global engagement in the region by encouraging mutual understanding and promoting human dignity. Through our network and our co-working space, we facilitate collaborations that amplify the impact of globally focused people and organizations, promote peace and cooperation, educate and advocate for human rights, and support inclusive dialogue and interaction among our region's diverse communities.

Managing the membership network involves much more than fostering collaboration between existing organizations. Through partnerships with the Sprout Fund, The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and Welcoming Pittsburgh (an initiative of the Mayor’s Office) we have brought a new set of resources to our members, including catalytic funding for small scale projects and periodic internship matching events.

As a connecting organization we bridge the gap between civic leaders in various sectors and cultural groups in the city. Across the board we hear a desire for a centralized location for global engagement information. Many people in the university community are looking for ways to connect international research initiatives to local community problems. Many refugee communities are searching for meaningful connection and access to services long after the resettlement phase has concluded. As a direct result, we’re launching The Global Switchboard Hub, dedicated to Pittsburgh's globally-focused individuals and organizations, that captures the full scope of global engagement in Pittsburgh.

We've teamed up with The Sprout Fund to determine the best way forward, and are eager to learn from their experience as stewards of the Remake Learning Network. We plan to leverage the hub to amplify our role as a connecting organization.

As an online platform, the hub will be a tremendous resource to the public - a virtual space for documenting and cataloging local global engagement activity that can be used from any location, and by anyone. The hub will act as a portal for immigrant and refugee communities to identify critical social services and to aid newcomers in the complex process of integration. The hub will position us to bridge gaps in the the global engagement social profit landscape by creating a platform for comprehensive searches across issue areas and geographic focuses. The hub will also help us bridge sectors, including but not limited to academic, public, business, and foundation communities. Finally the hub will help us connect globally conscious Pittsburgh natives to relevant cultural offerings, and young students and professionals to internship and job opportunities. As Pittsburgh’s home for global engagement, we need to do more than operate a co-working space, and support issue-area advocacy - we need to establish a digital forum, built on an accessible, inclusive, user friendly platform.

You will find our short video pitch for the Switchboard Hub above. For more context see our full-length video (7mins) on our website here.


Nov 30 2016

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