More than a decade of transforming societies and many more years to come

Letter from the director


Many say that an entrepreneur is nothing more than a nonconformist, someone who doesn’t find his ideal job and decides to create his own. That’s what happened to a group of friends working in the cooperation sector who decided to create GlobalCAD, the Centre of Partnerships for Development.

Perhaps disillusioned by the bureaucracy and the lack of impact, or maybe following the intuition that we could achieve better results by working independently, we stopped seeking for the ideal organisation and decided to create it.

By 2019, more than a decade after the Centre’s inception, we knew that our efforts had paid out. GlobalCAD had developed an amazing network of engaged, motivated and highly capable collaborators and established offices and legal entities in Barcelona, Berlin, San Cristobal de las Casas and Washington D.C.

We had implemented more than 100 projects around the world together with the leading international development organisations at the global level.

GlobalCAD team has implemented more than 100 projects around the world

Then 2020 came.

Almost overnight the world as we had known it completely changed. Every country, sector and organisation was somehow impacted by COVID-19. For many organisations, the health crisis meant shutting down operations completely, others were less affected. But either way, the pandemic has made us all completely re-think the way we operate, manage our teams and engage with our clients.

GlobalCAD was no exception. As I am writing this note, I haven’t seen my team or met our partners and collaborators in more than three months. At each new project we embark on, each proposal we write, we have to think of solutions around the restrictions imposed by health agencies, our utmost priority being, of course, the safety of our team and others.

But while all those changes came in as a shock, we are optimistic.

It’s going to be challenging, for sure, managing a business amidst so much uncertainty and instability. But our confidence comes from knowing that we have all the tools to do so.

First of all, we’ve built resilience. Fourteen years managing and implementing dozens of projects with a variety of clients, partners and collaborators worldwide have made us remarkably adaptable. We became used to changing topic, geography and language at a heartbeat.

We’ve encountered many bumps in the road and have always found a way to recover – and learn – from them, coming out stronger. All that knowledge will help us face this new, unprecedented crisis, and surely overcome yet another challenge.

Second, we have the people. Along the years, we’ve built a capable team and a tight community of collaborators, partners, clients, like-minded people who have shared our mission and have passionately worked with us towards a common goal.

Working remotely, GlobalCAD is providing adapted responses to the COVID19 crisis

These strong ties have become even tighter over the past couple of months – I can see how our core team has managed to work just as collaboratively through Skype as they would in our morning coffee briefings sitting at our office’s kitchen table.

Finally, we have a vision. That same idea, the one that sparked us to take a leap and open a new business, the vision that we could contribute to a positive global change by generating innovative and open shared value, by cooperating and building partnerships. That has never changed; rather it solidified and became GlobalCAD’s DNA.

The next few months – the next few years – will not be easy. There will be a lot of changing, adapting, finding new ways of working, restructuring. But I ask you not to be pessimistic.

Instead, I invite you to use this time to check what’s in your toolbox. What have you learnt, built, envisioned so far that will help you go through this crisis? What pillars can you rely on to get you through those tough times?

As I look back, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved.

On behalf of the GlobalCAD team, it is a pleasure to share with you our 10 Year Report and our Publications Catalogue, a summary of all that we’ve built together and what we’ve learned during the last period.

They are two compilations of the many adventures we’ve been involved with: projects, publications, partnerships. They are also a reminder of what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal and a foundation upon which keep building in the years to come.

Thank you for being a part of these efforts,

Fernando Casado

Fernando Casado
Fernando Casado
Fernando is the founder and director of CAD bringing together 20 years’ experience working with international organizations in the development field. He is a PhD economist and journalist specialized in projects related to economic and sustainable development. @Fernando_Casado