In 2014, Sandbox was established by 900 original members who shared a vision of co-creating a new community. Prior to this, there was a community with the same name that began in 2008 as casual conversations among friends who believed that their generation had something special to offer. The founders of this earlier community were Fabian Pfortmüller, Nico Luchsinger, Antoine Verdon, Christian Busch, and Severin Jan Ruegger. While still teenagers in Switzerland, Fabian and Nico developed an idea to build a network of future leaders from around the world. At the same time, the other three founders were demonstrating how intentionally bringing young people together on a global scale could make a positive impact. In May 2009, the five individuals founded an organization to unite a global community of inspiring young people who were empowered to support, create, grow, and eventually lead the world together.
The group was founded in Zurich and grew quickly through a series of dinners and events hosted in major cities around the world. Sandbox began to expand with hubs and ambassadors across the world. In 2013, the organization was backed by an investor, Centralway, which became the majority shareholder of the company, however, in 2014, Centralway decided to close the community's digital operations and announced to all members and staff that they would be starting again from zero. Members could no longer continue activity using the brand Sandbox Network. Shortly after the decision was made, a global ambassador invited members to a discussion on a new Facebook page called HQ. Most active members migrated to this new group to partake in the discussion, marking the beginning of a new era. Working committees were formed and led by members who volunteered to help rebuild the community. Sandbox's vision remains to create a global society owned and governed by the community, with a focus on empowering and supporting one another to achieve their goals. Today, Sandbox is still an active community of young pioneers who continue to collaborate and support each other through various initiatives, events, and programs.