Our History

Oil Painting of Fjordvang by Hildur Jackson

Gaia Trust was 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 was 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 ten years in order to free up capital for 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 two major NGO initiatives resulting were the Global Ecovillage Network and Gaia Education. In addition, over 500 grants were made to sustainability projects in over 50 countries. One of the key concepts was to support the first permaculture course in about twenty countries. Another was to establish a venture capital daughter company, Gaia Technologies A/S.

It was always Gaia Trust’s intention to use up its capital while the founders were still active, and this policy has been followed. In 2024, Gaia Trust was closed down after 37 years of grantmaking when the capital of about $30 million was used up. The board of directors of Gaia Trust during most of this period was Ross Jackson (chair), Lars Kjeldsen, Flemming Jensen, and Peter Pruzan.