Melanie St.James


Co-Create: Empowerment WORKS’ Interactive, Collaborative Solutions Role-Play Workshop

Achieving Meaningful Collaboration is a harder than it sounds. Communication, mutual-appreciation & understanding across diverse social & economic backgrounds/disciplines is the foundation for success.

Designed to empower individuals, businesses, and organizations in developing whole-system solutions from the ground-up, this interactive role-PLAY cultivates the inherent potential of all people to co-create.

Whether you are involved in the business community, a project of your own, or exploring new ways to make a difference, this Workshop is for you.

Outcomes / Objectives:

  • Deepen social impact – engage & empower diverse community members to advance mutual goals
  • Learn creative use of resources at hand & bring your vision(s) to life with NO money
  • Get beyond the choir by engaging diverse economic sectors in successful collaboration
  • Design long-term economic sustainability into your projects

Key Activities:

1. Intro to the EW Community-Led Solutions Approach – and 6 key Partners In Empowerment™ (PIE) categories.
2. To experience cross-sector synergy, participants organize into groups of 6 (one representing each PIE category), and jointly develop solutions to critical issue of choice, and
3. Groups share project results with all participants, reinforcing lessons learned.


BIO: Melanie St.James, MPA

Empowerment WORKS’ Executive Director / Global Programs Officer

Melanie’s passion to promote a sustainable world began at 20 in 1994 with a semester in mainland China where she saw the early warning signs of the most pressing social and environmental challenges facing humanity.

In 1999, Melanie’s in international development  field research took her into separatist conflict regions of West Africa where her experience with culturally-rich communities underscored the need for collaborative, whole-system and most of all, locally-led solutions.  Putting this theory into practice, Melanie started Empowerment WORKS, along with EW’s first locally-led programs in Senegal and Zimbabwe in 2001.

As Executive Director of Empowerment Works, Melanie oversees programs, innovates educational workshops and presents publicly at diverse environmental and social forums. In 2007 after participating in the World Social Forum in Kenya, Melanie initiated  Empowerment WORKS’ biennial conference The Global Summit (2008, 2010, 2012 +) – which she continues to develop as a platform to unite the world’s most powerful and grass-roots voices to develop sustainable solutions.

Following her father’s footsteps as a green inventor in the private sector, in 2002 Melanie founded, BioNova™ Medical Corporation, a medicinal plant based intellectual property management firm, reinvesting in indigenous knowledge to conserve bio-diversity.

Melanie holds a Masters of Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Graduate School of International Policy Studies, and a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain. Her training in Transformative Mediation and International Negotiations has contributed to EW’s multi-sector collaboration model. Fluent in French and Spanish, Ms. St.James has lived and conducted research throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and Central America.

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