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avatar for Melanie St.James

Melanie St.James

The Global Summit / Empowerment WORKS / BioNova Health
CEO/ Founder
Rio de Janeiro / Oakland, CA

Ever rising to the challenge of co-creating a thriving world, Melanie is the passionate social architect behind The Global Summit series and founder of facilitating organization, Empowerment WORKS, which supports year round impact. 

Through early life studies in mainland China, Melanie's eyes were opened to the need for mass collaboration in locally-led solutions. She identified Empowerment WORKS' flagship approach, "7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS)" based on initiatives conceived through Population and Human Security research (in Senegal) , and Sustainable Development Seminar (in Zimbabwe) during her time at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Graduate School of International Policy Studies (MIIS). In 2001, she formed “Empowerment WORKS” as a global sustainability think-tank in action to nourish these ideas with other change agents. 

In 2007 after participating in the World Social Forum in Kenya, Melanie created and launched The Global Summit to unite social, economic and environmental movements for a sustainable future.   In 2009 she seized an opportunity to launch EW's 7SS curriculum in China, 15 years after studying there.  

Aside from her work with EW, Melanie is the founder of social enterprise, BioNova Health (preserving medicinal plant and cultural heritage), which is being developed as a model partner enterprise, supporting Empowerment WORKS' SynergyFund.org.

Melanie holds a Masters of Public Administration in International Management from MIIS, and a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain. Melanie has had training in Transformative Mediation and International Negotiations, loves animals, is fluent in French, Spanish and (almost Portuguese). Connect on LinkedIn