Global Leaders For Justice: Using Media For Breakthroughs

August 4, 2010 My teen dialog yesterday: “Did you have fun waterskiing with your dad?”

“Yah, we did, how was your Global Leaders for Justice thingie? What’d you DO all day, mom?”

“Um…well…let’s see…I got to work with Sabore Ole Oyie, a Masai Chief trying to build a local well so girls wouldn’t walk all day for water vying for turf with wildlife that could gobble them up en route…(GWLN video of Sabore and his Olsonyo-Rasha Water Project here partnering with BluePlanetNetwork) I met Smarita Sengupta a young woman empowering teens in Calcutta to escape the sex trafficking slave trade…”

“I got jazzed about using cell phones for health with Blanche Angeline Pitt from Tanzania who wants to deliver medical info to midwives in rural villages to prevent childbirth deaths and debunk taboos…And I made a local friend with Yolande Poirier, an Oracle pro who’s big on raising women’s visibility in tech, STEM, and media imprints.”

“Did you get to see GWLN alum? Anyone I know from ‘07?” (Yours truly, Amy Jussel, was honored to be a USA delegate for Women Leaders for the World, and my teen grew close to several of the attendees) “Well…no one YOU knew was there this time, but you CAN meet some of the 2010 leaders if you wanna come with me Thursday to the Global Innovation Dialogues when they all state their visions for change…“Cool. So there are GUYS in the program this year too?”

“Well, no, GLJ is different than WLW but it’s all —the event is free, open to the public (Aug 5) if you wanna bring a friend or two, but I CANNOT have you squirming or edgy or rushing me before I’m ready to go, you got it?” (rolls eyes/stomps off with a hrumpf) “Gawd mom…I’m 15, not 5, REALLY.”

It’s been awhile since I first took the GWLN training  (flashback: grueling, intense, overwhelming, mind-altering and VERY exhausting but cool, and yes, I DO realize I haven’t changed my bio photo since then, cough!) so I’m eager to trade experiences with other delegates, since GWLN itself has come a long way.

Linda Alepin, founder of GWLN, has posted a video channel on Vimeo, and aligned with a powerhouse network of leaders eager to serve one another, whether it’s updating the GWLN Twitter feed regularly, opening up a new Facebook group for dialogue, or championing change with new divisions abroad, like the GWLN alliances in Turkey…

I get a ‘boost’ of inspiration every time I renew my commitment to this organization and have the honor to show up at one of their alumni events to lend a hand…

You can, too: The Global Innovation Dialogue this Thursday (Aug. 5, 2010) will give you a snapshot into the projects of these amazing leaders with 21 participants from 13 countries, improving thousands of lives…

I’m eager to meet more than just the one-on-one handful of leaders yesterday that I had the opportunity to ‘lead from the mountaintop’ finding multiple pathways to make their visions come alive.

Media is a major conduit in the conversation, not just for research and resources, but for awareness, e-commerce, and even as a delivery/distribution platform.

In the case of Blanche’s need for an Ushahidi crowdsourcing success using m-Health in Tanzania to deliver services, I can envision a Frontline SMS Medic approach to serving remote locales…maybe even teaming with older recycled Hope Phones and using best practices from other mHealth projects that have succeeded in rural villages hither and yon.

So needless to say, the last thing I want is a pack o’ teens tuggin’ on me to go out for dinner or ice cream or scurry me out when I wanna hear tales from these emerging global visionaries of a new style of leader!

As  GWLN founder Linda Alepin expressed about leadership styles,

“It’s become painfully obvious that the world’s most persistent problems cannot be overcome with traditional models of leadership…Our network’s mission is to leverage the talents of women leaders and ignite a new future for humanity. Our goal is to create 500 women leaders by 2013 through GWLN.”

She’s well on her way to that figure.

I can only imagine how carefully the addition of male participants for GLJ were screened to protect the vibrant force field of energy she’s created since the very first graduating class of leaders in 2005…As this San Jose Business Journal article conveys about Linda Alepin’s vision:

GWLN would be “an international group of women leaders, bound together by the Internet, changing the world”

She’s right; it’s a very different dynamic at GWLN…

Much like the She’s Geeky UNconference awhile back, there’s a certain exhale of being in a powerful group where concepts are expressed with safety and ease (no chance the power will be used against you, no cloak-n-dagger intellectual property hijacks, nondisclosure escapades, etc).

Ideas are voiced with strength and conviction and critiqued with productive how-tos (rather than ‘shot down’ by naysayers)

It all leads to a refined, accelerated process for ANY leadership entity to emulate and share with their own teams. Rather than duplicate, we collaborate…

Rather than compete we align…And much like the ‘guild effect’ which we’ve seen resonate in kids’ social networking communities, our GWLN leadership style takes on a similar tenor and trust ‘self-policing’ our own actions and antics to ensure ALL sounding boards are a safe haven for unguarded ideas. I’m THRILLED that ‘the girl effect’ is starting to take hold among MALE go-getters who want to uplift, inspire, co-create, and move forward faster with participatory learning to achieve MDG and humanitarian goals for social justice in fresh new ways.

It’s not just lip-service when we see how this leadership style impacts communities and imparts knowledge, information sharing and resources.

To get a sense of what GWLN is all about, here are a couple of fresh new videos hot out of the hopper to give you a sense of what the organization is all about.

Anyone in the Bay Area has the added opportunity to meet the board, local alumni, supporters and funders along with the 2010 Global Leaders for Justice themselves if you pre-reg pronto for Thurs., Aug. 5! Questions to:

Intro – Aug 2010 from Linda Alepin on Vimeo.

Catherine – Aug 2010 from Linda Alepin on Vimeo.

Part Two with specific examples of teamwork/breakthrough thinking and the use of media and partnership for powerful change to help youth and humanity throughout the world is in the next post, which I WAS going to email in ‘mentor’ mode, but have decided some of these links could be valuable for ALL global leaders working toward justice, so will share and hope you’ll add to them, since that’s what this network is all about!

—-BREAKING/NEW UPDATE!—-If anyone would like to join in a micro-scale version of the valuable GWLN training to eliminate scarcity thinking and connect with our amazing network of global leaders to fast track your projects…

One of the head honchos on the board of GWLN, Barbara Fittipaldi, (President, CEO of Center for New Futures) has agreed to host a 2-day, intensive workshop August 9 & 10, 2010 ($400)

“Authentic & Breakthrough Leadership”

At:  Global Fund for Women

8:30-5:30  Mon/Tues (9-5 core session)

Barbara is ‘team lead’ with a coalition of six Bay Area national and International nonprofit representatives packing “ten times the work into 2-days of breakthroughs” for your organization.

Corporate coffers, NGOs, nonprofits and larger orgs should readily be able to afford this, so come one, come all…

They’d like to have headcount pronto, since it’s coming up so fast…BUT they’ll also be creating a ‘waiting list’ for repeat workshops if notice is too short here. (sorry folks, I just found out yesterday at GWLN session!)

As Barbara Fittipaldi expressed:

“We do this two-day course at Google (originally named Innovative Leadership, until the head of Google University asked to rename it Accomplishing Your Dreams) and it has become one of their most popular programs.  It’s great fun too!

Location of 2-day training:

Main Office
Global Fund for Women
222 Sutter Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Phone 415.248.4800

8:30 AM to 5:30 PM with lunch on your own (yes you can bring your own lunch)

And a subtle reminder of why matters to so many seeking sustainable change…

My Shaping Youth post on The Girl Effect: A WorldChanging Media Message



  1. I know what you mean when you say “I get a ‘boost’ of inspiration every time I renew my commitment to this organization and have the honor to show up at one of their alumni events to lend a hand.” GWLN programs are life-changing and infectious and changing the world.

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