In November 1991, the world was a very different place. The Soviet Union still existed; South Africa’s apartheid legislation had been repealed just months earlier; and the Middle East was still experiencing the effects of the Gulf War. It was in this context that 30 years ago today, on November 18th 1991, INTRAC was established as a UK registered charity.

While the founding of INTRAC was rooted in meetings as far back as 1989, the crucial moment came in a gathering at the historic Eagle and Child pub in St. Giles’ Street, Oxford. Brian Pratt, Alan Fowler, and John Hailey agreed to found an organisation which would bridge theory and practice, contribute to debates, and support organisations and individuals in the civil society sector. Joined later by fourth founder Piers Campbell, they set about making this vision a reality, with Brian Pratt serving as INTRAC’s first Director.

The Eagle and Child pub, where authors including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met and where INTRAC was founded

In the 30 years that have followed, INTRAC has worked with hundreds of large and small organisations in dozens of countries; we have published hundreds of freely accessible papers, newsletters, and blogs; and we have delivered training in a range of skills, both online and in person. While INTRAC has always been headquarted in the UK, we have become increasingly international. Today, we are fortunate to work with a network of committed consultants in many countries who make our activities possible.

Over the last 30 years, the world has changed dramatically and so too has INTRAC. However, the key vision for the organisation has remained the same. Through its consultancy work, delivery of training, research and publications, INTRAC continues to strive to help civil society organisations become stronger in their pursuit of positive social change.

In 1991, the world was experiencing a period of profound change and upheaval – that is equally true in 2021, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What also remains the same is INTRAC’s strong belief that civil society has a vital role to play in addressing these challenges. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has played a part in the INTRAC story over the last 30 years, as we look forward to celebrating this milestone with you, through a range of publications and activities continuing into 2022.

The majority of the INTRAC staff team in September 2021

INTRAC will continue to mark our 30th anniversary into 2022, with a number of publications and events under the over-arching topic of shifting the power. To keep up with these developments, and all aspects of our work, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

If you have a memory of INTRAC that you would like to share, we would love to hear it! Comment below, find us on social media, or contact us.