WTO Seattle riots
The “Battle in Seattle” street protests around the 1999 meeting here of the World Trade Organization left much of the rest of the world with the impression that Seattle is chock full of subversive people, would-be revolutionaries who want to change the world.
And it is, still, even though I bet half the people on the street these days don’t even know what WTO stands for.
Today’s Seattle subversives are much more low-key, superficially boring even — smiling at you in their wrinkled clothing, offering tea and cookies, mumbling quietly about equity and justice and gently nudging you toward whatever might be their most ambitious goal.
Take the iLEAP program, for example. Continue reading
Seattle has become a hub, or more accurately a hodgepodge, of international do-gooders.
To begin with, there’s that internationally oriented foundation based in Seattle run by a couple of mega-billionaires.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy, has made the Emerald City (do we still call it that?) an epicenter for matters of global health, poverty reduction and such.
But there’s much more going on here than the Gates Foundation. And, well, nobody seems to really have a handle on everything going on. It’s a hodgepodge.
That’s where another internationally oriented foundation in Seattle comes in. Appropriately enough, it’s called the Seattle International Foundation.
“We live in this amazing community where so many people are trying to make a difference,” said Maurico Vivero, executive director at the Seattle International Foundation (aka SIF).
But most of these people, and their organizations, Vivero says, have tended to work in relative isolation on their causes. The goal of SIF, he says, is to encourage collaboration among the literally hundreds of local organizations working globally to fight poverty and improve the welfare of the world’s poorest. Continue reading