Global Grassroots 2011 Year-End Magazine - Page 3

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Global Grassroots 2011

Dear Friends,

A friend, recently contemplating the process of a plant going to seed explained how in awe she was of one living being giving everything it has to the process of becoming or serving another. As the plant dies and leaves only seed for the next generation of its species, so too must we consider how much we have to give to the process of change and how much we leave behind as fertilizer for what is to come.

Over the last year at Global Grassroots, we have seen the beginnings of transition. We have been deepening our roots, fine-tuning our core program, while simultaneously experiencing the momentum and exciting challenges of scaling globally. Since 2006, Global Grassroots has built, tested and demonstrated an effective program model for catalyzing grassroots, conscious social change agents, led by vulnerable women in post-conflict countries. Our Academy for Conscious Change continues to serve hundreds of change agents operating dozens of civil society organizations benefiting tens of thousands of vulnerable women and girls across Rwanda. Demand for access to our curriculum is constantly growing – currently 170 women’s groups in 45 countries. And yet, we also continue to experience the challenge of the economic crisis which has limited our ability to fully fund our programs to keep pace with this demand.

As such, knowing that we have a successful program model, knowing that demand exists for our work, but realizing the challenges of mobilizing enough funding to allow us to meet that demand alone, we have begun the process of looking inward, evaluating our work and exploring a new vision of sustainability.

In addition to continuing to serve our change agents with our high-engagement social venture incubator, we are considering how else to leverage our assets. How can we share and teach our insights, tools and methodology to broaden our impact in collaboration with other organizations? How can we use technology to disseminate our core curriculum, making it instantly available globally without the same capital-intensive, high-touch approach? What other audiences can we serve and how can we also generate revenue while creating social value? Finally, which efforts must we let go of, using their lessons to fertilize new endeavors?

I look out onto the brilliant colors of autumn in New Hampshire as I write. It is now a time of shifting from the outward adventures of summer and harvest to the introverted hibernation of winter. The easy transition of nature provides a metaphor for where we find ourselves at Global Grassroots.

photo by Laya Madsen