The Transnational Institute's History Founded in 1974

The Transnational Institute (TNI) was founded in 1974 as the international programme of the Washington DC-based Institute for Policy Studies. For 50 years, TNI’s history has been entwined with the history of global social movements and their struggle for economic, social and environmental justice.

Orlando Letelier at TNI

Photo by TNI

Former director Orlando Letelier

TNI throughout its history has:

Frequently identified crucial issues on the horizon – third world debt, World Trade Organisation, corporate power, carbon trading - and played a key role in putting them on the agenda for social movements.

Been bold in tackling structures of power, even though this led to the assassination of its first director, Orlando Letelier by the Chilean secret service.

Had a deep mutually respectful relationship with grassroots movements,from national liberation movements in 1970s and 1980s to those comprising the global justice movement more recently.

Brought together and catalysed networks, from the foundation in 1977 of one of the first global organisations studying transnational corporations, Transnational Information Exchange, to the formation of the Linking Alternatives Network in 2006.

Dedicated itself to putting forward alternative proposals to reflect the just world that TNI, its Fellows, staff, and networks are committed to turning into reality.


TNI Timeline
TNI timeline

Ideas into movement

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50 years. Hundreds of social struggles. Countless ideas turned into movement. 

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