The story of Glocal Cities starts with Jan Stenbeck, a Swedish visionary, entrepreneur and founder of the Kinnevik group, who founded the Global Metro City-The Glocal Forum in 2001. Like several of his visions and ventures, Jan was way ahead of his time and recognized the power of cities to disrupt business as well as help the vulnerable. He believed in the future of cities and mayors.
He founded the Glocal Forum as a Swiss NGO with its offices in Rome where with the support of the the World Bank President, James Wolfensohn the Glocal Forum organized several annual conferences for mayors. Towards the end of the decade, around 2009, the Glocal Forum ceased operations.
Vas Shenoy, the founder of Glocal Cities, was a part of the Glocal Forum till 2007, developing technology projects for the NGO as well creating an alliance of technology partners from Microsoft to Starbucks who quickly bought into the Glocal concept.
Vas always believed in Jan’s vision that cities were the future.Safe, smart and innovative cities are essential for sustainable growth and glocalization. So in 2017 he established a new organization, Glocal Cities, in Italy which brings together the three important philosophies: urban “incubation”, decentralized cooperation and support to conflict/post conflict communities. Glocal Cities has no legal links or connection with the Global Metro City-The Glocal Forum or with the Kinnevik group.