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Women Transforming the Globe

Announcing: The Ripple Academy 

Women Transforming the Globe

From Women's Earth Alliance and United Religions Initiative 

The announcement below was made last month, signaling a new partnership between Women's Earth Alliance  (WEA) and the United Religions Initiative (URI). Both of them are globally invested at the grassroots in women’s empowerment and leadership. This new collaborative relationship will strengthen the hundreds of projects both groups bring to the table. WEA has more than a dozen ongoing partnerships with women’s groups around the world, and URI has 838 cooperation circles, many of them devoted to women’s issues. Together the women’s movement everywhere will be strengthened. The announcement below details what the new project envisions in some detail.

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  Photo: Women’s Earth Alliance

Photo: Women’s Earth Alliance

URI and WEA come together at a critical time – when efforts to build bridges across nations, learn from each other, and activate people power are needed more than ever. Our partnership enables both organizations to reach deeper and wider, catalyzing a global ripple effect that begins in our communities. The time is now.

The Ripple Academy will unleash a global cadre of women leaders allied to forge and amplify solutions for peace, justice, and environmental healing in communities around the world. Women's Earth Alliance (WEA) and the United Religions Initiative (URI) have nurtured networks of committed grassroots leaders in more than 100 countries over 28 years. The Ripple Academy will bring together the best of URI’s and WEA’s models, offering a coordinated training experience to equip leading changemakers with the skills, tools, and alliances they need to build bridges of cooperation and environmental solutions for generations to come. The Ripple Academy is …

  URI Pakistan Celebrating Women’s Day in 2015 – Photo: United Religions Initiative

URI Pakistan Celebrating Women’s Day in 2015 – Photo: United Religions Initiative

  • Designed collaboratively by a global team dedicated to healing societal challenges, centering the leadership of women, and catalyzing environmental protection
  • Focused on action and solutions
  • Designed by trusted grassroots leaders who have track records of success and are poised to create broader impact
  • A participatory curriculum of practical skills for creating far-reaching solutions that integrate environmental protection, peacebuilding, and justice
  • An in-person and online learning platform to strengthen alliances among leaders across borders and share replicable solutions

Ripple Academy participants will transform grassroots initiatives into high-impact and scalable projects with long-term ripple effects.

Technical and entrepreneurship training, a networking platform, leadership skills, and mentorship will empower participants to organize communities, mobilize resources, and launch environmental projects and campaigns.

Projects could range from women’s clean cookstove microenterprises in Kenya, community seed banks in Egypt, sanitation efforts in India, to water rights in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine.

Why Women and the Environment?

Because when women thrive, the natural world, peace, and justice thrive. As underscored by countless governments, development agencies, and the United Nations alike, women are often both the most impacted by conflict and environmental crises, as well as best positioned to design and spread solutions. This work fosters women’s environmental leadership because without a healthy natural world and access to water, food and clean energy, peace cannot flourish. 

The Plan Going Forward


  • Convene global design team to build curriculum and learning platform
  • Select pilot cohort of 20 leaders
  • Launch with an in-person gathering and a year of coordinated skill building, action planning, peer learning, seed funding, and project implementation
  • Provide ongoing mentorship to strengthen projects’ far-reaching impact


  • Scale Ripple Academy, launching a second cohort of 50 leaders
  • Broaden regional scope and coordinate sub-regional groups
  • Refine program based on learning and feedback from year one
  • Integrate alumni into mentorship programming


  • Mobilize annual cohorts of 75+ leaders
  • Further broaden regional scope and define sub-groups based on regions and topics
  • Design and launch impact evaluation with mechanisms to integrate ongoing learning
  • Collaborate with universities and additional global partners to grow Ripple Academy

Within five years, graduates will transform the lives of tens of thousands of people around the globe. Within ten years, hundreds of thousands of people will benefit from Ripple Academy leaders’ projects in healthy food, clean water, land protection, peacebuilding, and much more.

This report is republished from the United Religions Initiative February 28, 2017 posting.

Header Photo:Mibby23, Creative Commons 2.0 nc