In the early '80s people from four San Francisco Bay Area non-profits (ARC Foundation, Center for Innovative Diplomacy, Community Data Processing, and Foundation for the Arts of Peace) came together around a vision of a computer network to support the work of individuals and organizations working to reduce the risks of war and to promote peace. As a result of that collaboration, PeaceNet was launched. Another early online network, EcoNet, joined with PeaceNet and the project became the Institute for Global Communications (IGC). It then became a project of the Tides Foundation.

Over the years thousands of people got connected to information and, most importantly to each other, via IGC's services. For many it was their first introduction to the online world and for many organizations the early use of digital collaboration tools had a significant and positive impact on their growth and effectiveness. Initially, the IGC service used dial-up modems and a command line interface. Later, IGC used the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Helping to foster and support the development of similar services around the world was a priority for IGC, and the organization was a founding member of the Association for Progressive Communications. Other APC members were the first, or among the first, online and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in their country. Today APC is a vibrant NGO with member organizations in dozens of countries, operating and supporting programs covering a wide-range of progressive issues with a focus on access and equity using communications technology.

Over the years IGC phased out the various services it pioneered and offered as they became generally available from other providers. On June 30th, 2017 IGC ceased operation and helped migrate its remaining users to APC member organization Web Networks based in Canada. A more complete history of IGC will be written and shared here. If you have any questions, or would like to contact any of the IGC alums, please email

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