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Local Roots, Global Connections

Dr. Bob Stilger, Annie Stilger Virnig | TEDxTokyo 2010

Dr. Bob Stilger and his daughter, Annie Stilger Virnig, believe in the power of collaborating with people everywhere to create healthy, resilient communities and a world that works for us all. They say that linking local actions globally while preserving regional culture, flavor and form produces large-scale systems change. Bob, who first came to Japan as a Waseda University student in 1970, later spent twenty-five years as the executive director of a U.S.–based community development corporation. A former co-president of The Berkana Institute, he crisscrosses the planet to discover how people build communities. Annie grew up immersed in a culture of grounded grassroots activism that emphasizes global interconnectivity. She graduated from Macalester College last year with an independent major—“Local and Global Social Change”—and has joined communities in Mexico, India, South Africa and the United States. She now travels and works around the world.