Dedicated to building a thriving world from the ground up, Melanie’s social change journey began at 20 in 1994 with a semester abroad in mainland China. Through field studies in Senegal and Zimbabwe, and being inspired by local social entrepreneurs, Melanie identified Empowerment WORKS’ flagship approach to turning local resources into solutions, now called, “7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS)”. In 2001, Melanie formed “Empowerment WORKS” as a global sustainability think-tank in action to advance 7SS and connect the world’s most culturally rich, yet economically challenged communities with access to ethical markets, appropriate technologies and partners.

In 2007 after participating in the World Social Forum in Kenya, Melanie launched The Global Summit event series to unite eco, social and economic movements.

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. In 2013 she publicly released a medicinal plant based AIDS patent, laying the foundation for BioNova™ Health ( Melanie is trained in transformative mediation, Reiki, loves animals and is fluent in French and Spanish.