Our History

Oil Painting of Fjordvang by Hildur Jackson

Gaia Trust is a Danish-based charitable association founded in 1987 on the initiative of Ross and Hildur Jackson, with the intention of supporting the transition to a sustainable and more spiritual future society through grants and proactive initiatives.

Gaia Trust has always been self-funded by earnings from its very successful daughter company Gaiacorp, a foreign currency manager and advisory firm. The basis for Gaiacorp’s business was software and research donated to Gaia Trust by operations researcher Ross Jackson, who retained 10% of the shares for the first five years. The announced intention from the beginning was to sell off Gaiacorp after about 10 years in order to free up capital for the charitable activities, and this sale was indeed completed in 2000.

Gaia Trust’s strategy has always been two-pronged with yin and yang components. The yin component was to support the ecovillage movement through grants, while the yang component was to invest its capital in “green” startup companies that would complement the grants policy, creating jobs and promoting more sustainable businesses.

The major projects resulting were the establishment of the Global Ecovillage Network and venture capital firm Gaia Technologies A/S. Over 300 grants have been made to projects in over 30 countries. One of the key concepts was to support the first permaculture course in a number of countries.

It was always Gaia Trust’s intention to use up its capital while the founders were still active, and this policy has been followed. Today, Gaia Trust no longer accepts grant applications, as available funds have been reduced substantially after using over $20 million in carrying out its objectives. Gaia Trust will continue to support smaller projects on its own initiative and maintain its website.

The current board of directors of Gaia Trust comprises Ross Jackson (chair), Lars Kjeldsen, Flemming Jensen and Peter Pruzan.