One of the GCCW original coordinating committee members, Keith Horton, came up with the idea, and shared it with a number of academics around the world, with invaluable research assistance from Chad Lee-Stronach. Many academics gave helpful feedback and encouragement, especially Keith’s colleagues at Academics Stand Against Poverty.
In 2014, a group of academics and students at the University of Wollongong (in Australia) – Helen Hasan, Usman Iftikhar, Adam Lucas, Josh Pallas, and George Takacs – joined Keith in a committee aimed at turning the idea into reality. They organised a workshop on GCCW, held on December 4-5 2014 at the University of Wollongong. Twenty-two people participated, including academics from seven Australian universities and a number of activists. The workshop was a great success; many new ideas emerged, the vision and mission statements were drafted, and some of the committees running GCCW today were established, including the original coordinating committee (Keith Horton, Helen McGregor, George Takacs, Haydn Washington, and Sam Wilson). In 2015 Justin Westgate and Stuart Sontier from the design consultancy Antipode Studio (previously biote) developed the GCCW website, working largely pro bono, and GCCW was officially launched on May 26, 2015. The first GCCW was held in October 2015.
In 2020, the stewardship of GCCW transitioned from the University of Wollongong to the University of Tasmania.