About Us

The Global Renaissance is being created by tens of thousands of people in every corner of the earth. Every time we smile at a stranger, let someone go ahead of us in traffic, help somebody learn to read, make friends with someone really different from us, or ask the power company for renewable energy, we are bringing about a more harmonious world where all beings can thrive. When we move out of what is easy, and work with impoverished people, lead our company to use eco-friendly cleaning products, or join our town’s planning commission, we help move the world more quickly into the future we truly want.

This website was started by just one person, Jackie McMakin. The purpose is to spread the conviction that:

We can head for global re-birth
if we decide that’s what we want to create.

My life’s work has been mentoring people and organization to create the best future they can imagine. Now I am near the last quarter of my life, an elder. In his book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing, author Zalman Schlacter-Shalomi writes that one role for elders is “to mentor the world.” That lit a fire in me. I began to ask: How could each of us, not just elders, mentor the world? That what this website is designed to address.

I graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio. My junior year was spent at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, hitchhiking around Britain, and hosteling in Europe. Marrying Dave McMakin in 1956, our first years were spent in Japan where he was in the Air Force and I worked at a Tokyo university which was a cooperative American-Japanese project after World War II. We then served in Korea as volunteers for a year. Traveling in twenty countries on the way home from Seoul to New York, made us into international people at the young age of twenty-five. In the early sixty’s, responding to President Kennedy’s call to serve the country, we moved to Northern Virginia where we’ve lived ever since.

Through Dave’s work in the Agency for International Development and mine as a vocational counselor, we have met dozens of people giving their lives to make the world a better place. In retirement, we’ve indulged our passion for long distance cycling and through SERVAS, have stayed in the homes of folks in other countries who also are working hard to live sustainably. We’ve also had the good fortune of serving a rural health project in El Salvador, an aboriginal college in Australia, and a community development project in South Africa.

Volunteer work in downtown Washington and with South African students keeps us in touch with young people who have huge dreams for their future. Our own children, Tom and Peg, their spouses Mary and Frank, and our grand children, Valerie, Wilson, Heather and Wes keep us focused on the choice: Do we want to leave them a mess or a beautiful thriving planet?

In March 2010, we moved to Shelburne VT.  The reason? We were looking for a cooler climate. What has delighted us is that while the climate is cooler than Washington DC, Vermont is a virtual hot bed for sustainability education, support of local farms, crafting a state energy plan that should deliver dramatic reduction of fossil fuel use. Vermonters have fun doing good. The Fall’s Pumpkin Regatta is a case in point. Crazy people get in carved out giant pumpkins and paddle for all their worth in a race for charity. We have started the Vermont Global Exchange which links eighteen Vermont-based leaders of organizations involved in international development. It is inspiring to be part of showcasing the innovations pioneered by these dedicated folks who are putting Global Renaissance together piece by piece.

A young friend suggested I start this website and has taken my hand each step of the technical way. So here it is. It’s an experiment. I hope this tiny spark will contribute to a huge flaming desire around our beautiful earth to do what needs to be done to insure that it and all people thrive. I will continue to encourage that in any way I can. If you want to get in touch, email me at theglobalrenaissance (at) gmail (dot) com.

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