INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.

Jamie Van LeeuwenJamie Van Leeuwen is the CEO & Founder of Global Livingston Institute. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo and learn more at

What do you do?
Listen. Think. Act. The mission of Global Livingston Institute (GLI) is to educate students and community leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empower awareness, collaboration, conversations, and personal growth.

Why do you do it?
We want to change the way people think about Africa. We want them to listen and think before they act. We want them to think big and think differently about how we solve our most complex social issues. Ultimately, the GLI is dedicated to improving communities globally.

What impact are you making?
In 2017…More than 35 immersion trips. More than 125 Ugandans into the workforce. More than 40,000 attended our music festivals. More than 8,000 tested for HIV. More than 3,000 scholars and community leaders engaged in our programs. More than 200 traveled to Uganda. More than a million reached through social media. More than 40 women participating in our women’s leadership summit. Ultimately our impact is changing the way people think about Africa!

What (or who) inspires you to make this impact?
The people who live and work in Africa who are eager to build new partnerships and innovate solutions to poverty.

What’s your bog dream for the organization and the impact you want to make?
We want to be part of the best community development work on the planet.

What resources do you need to make those dreams come true?
We want to engage the international community to forge new innovative partnerships. We are looking for the smartest people in the room to collaborate with us and innovate with us to drive resources that put people back to work through strategic public private partnerships.

What is (or has been) your biggest challenge?
Changing perceptions about Africa. Africa is not about rebel soldiers or ebola or starving children. It is about a continent of people with hope and a desire to impact positive change. It is not about building schools… it is about building partnerships.

What words of advise do you have for other leaders looking to make an impact?
Listen and think before you act. Don’t just do something… stand there. And create a place for everyone at the table!

How can others support you or your cause?
There are so many ways to engage in good community development. Join us on an immersion trip or come to the Women’s Leadership Summit! Come to one of our fall music festivals. Invest in our job creation initiatives. Read about us, join our social media networks and help us to change the way that people think about Africa!

Orapin Marketing + Public Relations serves those who serve others. We help purpose-driven companies and nonprofits tell their stories and get the attention they deserve for the impact they make by creating content and securing press coverage, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership opportunities. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out at