‘Think globally, act locally’ are the words that The One World Collective swears by.

Empowered with a passion for cultural and environmental diversity, this not-for-profit organisation is changing the world one community project at a time. The One World Collective’s central concept, ‘For the World, By the World’, promotes a sense of continuity in various aspects of the community. The team not only ‘talks the talk’ but they undoubtedly ‘walk the walk’ too. This strong sustainable approach shines through in both The One World Collective’s hubs and projects.

Social activist and not-for-profit pioneer Katie Johnston is an advocate for positive change within communities. She started The One World Collective to “meet like-minded people who believed in a vision of creating a healthier and happier world together, as individuals”. Katie’s aspirations became reality and her organisation now includes six leading volunteers and more than 300 motivated members who are ready to make a difference. And, she assures that there is always space for more. Katie explains, “The Brisbane Hub is a sharing platform where members offer their ideas and skills that can contribute towards co-creating a healthier and happier world; then it is up to us as individuals to implement it in our lives.” Everybody is welcome to share and collaborate as a team.

West End is the heart of all things creative and diverse in Brisbane; the ideal base for meeting and collaborating with potential project partners. Katie thinks, “There is so much actually happening; a lot of people talk about it but the community in West End actually do it and live it.” The atmosphere in West End is that of cultural diversity and harmonious co-existence. The One World Collective conveys this environment to lower socio-economic communities. The teams’ ideas generate projects which reflect communities’ available resources and they work to build new skills. The Collective collaborates with individuals, community groups and organisations to bring about change. In the last year, The One World Collective has hosted more than 70 events on sustainability, community and culture-related concepts.

One example is The Rooftop Garden Project in Colombia which raises awareness about land grabs, environmental destruction and displacement. It aims to localise the food economy and ensure that everybody has plenty. This self-sufficiency strategy is continued in The Eco-Bling Project which encourages indigenous Australian communities to take initiative and use the strengths and resources available to them. They use upcycled materials to produce and sell jewellery and in so doing, create their own opportunities and success. Katie and her team enact the same level of self sufficiency within The One World Collective. Their business strategy is cleverly structured so that the for-profit projects feed the not-for-profit projects and cover administration costs. Also, 100 per cent of donations go to the projects.

The One World Collective is an organisation built from an engagement with people, culture and the environment. Katie simply says, “I love diversity; it’s beautiful.” Her shared compassion shapes The One World Collective’s hubs and projects, and perpetuates the idea, ‘Think globally, Act locally’.


Words by Charlotte Adderley

Images by Georgia Hoare