We need to learn to be human, to really understand that all is interconnected and to work through all our divides that have created the present situation of unprecedented destruction and suffering.
My most unique quality or gift is my ability to be a committed catalyzer.
I can see connections and possibilities of convergence in many levels simultaneously.
For most people this is difficult, as we tend to work only in one level and to become knowledgeable in only one area, often missing the connections and interactions where richness and expansion lies. I have been able to create transformation with few resources and to craft the conditions to empower people who were looking to make positive change happen.
My unique understanding of the potential of hidden connections has allowed the projects I lead and have led over the years to be pioneers in their nature and champions of concrete results.
I have connected women to the potential of radio in Brazil, creating over two decades a very powerful network of 400 women´s radio programs distributed all over Brazil. I helped to integrate the women and environmental movements by founding the first Brazilian NGO that articulated both areas.
I co-created the project Adapta Sertão that regenerates soil, agriculture, forests, appropriate technology, policies, community-based-organizations, cooperatives, local policies, local governments, and territorial identity.
I also founded and direct Sinal do Vale, a learning community and international platform that seeks to create agents of transformation for resilient communities.
I feel that over the last three decades I have developed inner and outer competencies that are key for leadership in our complex times.
I know how to develop and work in teams based on partnerships rather than hierarchy. Many of these partnerships have lasted for long periods of time, enabling these individuals to transform as well.
I also have learned to distill the authentic expression of people´s souls, which helps me and them to find the way and create the conditions to let their gifts thrive.
I also feel that over all these years of hard work I have learned to create more loving cultures of work, in which there is a blend of power to do things and love to sustain them over time. My lifelong inquiry has been to create continuity – to ask and to answer “how can I perceive and build on the precious contributions of the past while enabling the new ones that emerge to continue and evolve”….
I seek to create a continuous flow of love and benefit that makes things better.
I am busy in creating a School for Agents of Transformation for Resilient Communities based on the experiences of Adapta Sertão and Sinal do Vale, which are related to major natural ecosystems, semi-arid and the Atlantic Rain Forest. In both cases, we can provide a model in which change agents can learn the theory and the practice of organic agriculture, regeneration of forests, relational food systems, local appropriate technologies and policy systems through mutual collaboration from a holistic perspective.
My mission is to create concrete initiatives with tangible results which enhances resilience and community. These projects are manifested as platforms, environments, and cultures of collaboration for positive change, mutual understanding and joy. I seek to co-create a sort of new language that helps to heal divides and allows us to then joy and benefit from our diversity.
My vision is to consolidate these two experiences, Adapta Sertao and Sinal do Vale which are grounded in a new relationship with the earth, and transform them in references of integral development in which people and environment can work together in a balance and harmonious way . The ultimate view is that in ten years those – Adapta Sertao and Sinal do Vale – can be recognized as exemplars of resilient communities which are built to last respecting the trinity of soil, soul and society. They will the source of education for new agents of transformation that can make a difference in their own communities across the globe.
2006 World Champion by the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) given to WEDO.
2005 Tech Award for Tecnologies that benefit Humanity of the Silicon Valley.
2004 National Award for Digital Inclusion
2003 Unesco Award for Cultur
2004 Woman of the year for the contribution to the Environment by the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro.
Network of 400 women’s radio programs in Brazil, created over two decades of dedicated and creative work. These radio programs were broadcast across the country in the most remote and underserved areas. It gave thousands of poor and disempowered women a source of connection and expression. ( 1988-2007) www.cemina.org.br
Women´s Action Agenda 21 and Planet FEMEA as part of the process of the UN Global Agendas at the 1990´s, starting by the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Conference in 1992. I was the coordinator of a very unique process between 1990-1992.
As a co-founder of WEDO ( Women, Environment and Development Organization) together with Wangari Mathaai, Bela Abzug, Vandana Shiva and many others, we were able to open the heavy doors of the UN and to introduce a new vision of women on critical global issues. The 14 topics of the Women´s Action Agenda 21 were then presented at the Rio Conference at the women´s tent called Planet Femea, where women´s networks from all over the world participated, making it a very unique event in the history of women´s movement.
Founding and managing Adapta Sertao ( www.adaptasertao.net) – a unique project in terms of integrating Climate Change solutions, poverty reduction, and women´s empowerment in one of the most affected biomes of Brazil – the semi-arid region. Adapta Sertao is a pioneering project in terms of creating a new vision of ecosystem regeneration – working not only on agriculture but also connecting policy systems, farmers, cooperatives, science and technology.
Sinal do Vale – www.sinaldovale.org
Sinal do Vale is a living laboratory for the transition to sustainability and a international learning platform for change makers. Situated on 250 hectares of land in the Atlantic Rainforest, which is one of the world’s most biodiverse yet also most threatened biomes, SINAL is made up of an innovative organic farm, a rainforest restoration project, and an event and retreat center. We offer a portfolio of services, projects and products that respond to the challenges of social-environmental restoration and provide social entrepreneurs, students, and volunteers with a space for both dialogue and practical experimentation in the field of sustainability. Since 2012, our volunteer program has been the heart of our work, as we have received over 300 volunteers from around the world – all ages with a concentration on higher ages. Located just 50 km from the center of Rio de Janeiro, SINAL is uniquely positioned as a learning community and international hub where diverse sectors of society can collaborate to confront one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: how to evolve towards a sustainable future.
Sinal was founded in 2011 and has been selected as a key best practice in environmental education for children by the major Brazilian TV Network, Rede Globo.