Worldshapers: Women Wired to Make A Difference

worldshapers-logoMay 24, 2009 Passionistas span the globe in all shapes, sizes and countries, and it makes me wonder sometimes if some of us are just ‘hard-wired’ with the ‘want to make a difference’ gene from the get go.

As a GWLN delegate for Women Leaders for the World, I remember sprawling in the social room late at night squeezing in important chats with my roomies from Uganda, Peru, Guatamala, Pakistan discussing whether our work led us or we led our work.

After all, the team that year spanned from eager faces like young Ritah from Rwanda to our grand dame of wisdom, Fetanu from Ethiopia who celebrated her 63rd birthday doing the mambo in her socks. (delegate bios here)

What unites and inspires us in this media ‘Age of Conversation’ is the ability to FIND each other, connect directly, and expand that energy faster to build on each other’s work to help sustain it, rather than each enclave trying to ‘go it alone.’

Jasmin Tragas headed up the ”Shout Out Social’ to raise awareness and funds for women in poverty launching and expanding her S.O.S. project as part of her Opportunity Australia ambassadorship. Next? She went on to the newly published Worldshapers ’09, a FREE, just  released, amazing book sure to jump start the feel good factor. (download free here at

jasmin-tragasAnd get this:

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Jasmin and I were already ‘connected’ in a web of intricate overlapping threads…

The NextNow Collaboratory, Aussie Gavin Heaton co-editor of The Age of Conversation collaborative book, Britt Bravo’s Changeblogger network and through Eileen Clegg of Visual Insight.

Is it any surprise Jasmin’s blog is called WonderWebby?

At first glance, it seems discordant that I wouldn’t know of all these touchpoints of overlap…after all, social media is about building friendships and connection.

But like many of my ‘virtual acquaintances’ Jasmin and I have never met, it wasn’t until our paths kept crossing as we hovered in the same ‘goodsphere’ that the ‘aha’ moment of mutuality and momentum finally occurred.

We were united by our web of passions first, and then backtracking I now see all the silkspun overlap between our friends, organizations, alliances and such.

Ah, what tangled webs we weave!

On Jasmin’s blog about ‘social seeds’ and the nourishment of same, she uses a video by my own gal pal guru of visual insight, Eileen Clegg to talk about the value of sharing your unique voice on the web.

“When you use social media you have the opportunity to share your personality, thoughts, and ideas through your contribution to conversations. As our different experiences converge, ideas begin to seed.

For instance, have you found that links posted by friends on social networking sites often point to ideas and inspiration? Or does the content lead you to distraction? Are you focusing on the creative ideas to be found around you? Who has inspired you lately?”

This is where I realize that I subliminally knew Jasmin before I even KNEW I knew Jasmin…sure enough, I went back into my archives and I’d linked to her blog based on an idea and inspiration that I found particularly thought provoking a few YEARS ago.

That means she was part of my thought patterns and influence far before I ever caught a whiff of overlap…Much less became one of the 16 authors in the book below. (listed in alphabetical order)


Featured in the new book WorldShapers 2009:

Amy Jussel – Founder/Executive Director of Shaping Youth USA

Amy Sample Ward Director of community and content at Netsquared and nonprofit consultant @amyrsward UK

Anita Pahor – Director of Partnerships at Emberin Australia

Annie Le Cavalier Executive Director Vibewire Youth Inc. @vibewire Australia

Daphne Nederhorst – Founder and Executive Director of SAWA Canada

Debra Askanase Social Media for Non Profits @askdebra Jerusalem

Eileen Clegg – Visual Journalist and Founder of Visual Insight @eileenclegg USA

Jasmin Tragas – WorldShapers catalyst, Opportunity International Australia, Social Media/Innovation Ambassador,IBM

Jyl Johnson Pattee Co-Founder of Mom It Forward @jyl_momIF USA

Karen Muanu – Love Without Boundaries @VibeWire Youth USA

Lucky Chhetri – Co-founder EWN – Empowering Women of Nepal, Nepal

Marigo Raftopolous – Management Consultant, Serious Games evangelist @marigo Australia

Nancy White – Full Circle Associates, Connecting Solutions for a Changing World @nancywhite USA

Phaedra Boinidiris – CEO/Co-Founder of USA

Sandy Skees – President/Founder USA

Stacey Monk – CEO/Co-Founder of Epic Change @staceymonk USA

This is the vast potential and promise of WorldShapers that unfolds upon the web…Synapses fire, brainpower converges, experiences and ideas seed themselves even deeply in the subconscious…and one day a little sprig pops up from all the nourishment and growth.

As I wrote in this post about Shaping Youth via Global Women’s Leadership, Camille Smith of the network said:

“Leaders create what isn’t yet.”

Worldshapers is the outcome of Jasmin’s ‘wonderwebby’ seed, her hope for women’s opportunity to ChipIn coupled with The Girl Effect in full tilt…and dare I say, perhaps even inspired by the initial probono success of Drew and Gavin’s original “Age of Conversation.”

We don’t know where we pick up scatterings of seeds that have blown our way and rooted themselves in our souls…but Worldshapers is one of them that I know will sprout some new sprigs for me to pay forward as well.

Personally, as I downloaded the free book, and started reading through each of the 16 short blurbs in Worldshapers I felt that tingle of camaraderie and spirit that jazzed me into “I’ve gotta meet this person” mode…quickly followed by, “wow, Jasmin should also connect with Michealene, and Betsy and Beth and Britt, and, and…and…”

You see my point?

The seed becomes like that mesmerizing little iPhorest phone app from the Conservation Fund, where you plant the virtual seed and ‘shake it’ to rain, then the tree grows before your eyes to fruition.


The virtual tree becomes a real tree planted in the real world, and then you start all over and do it again.

And again. And again.

Thank you Jasmin Tragas and other Worldshapers, for seeding knowledge collectively so we can anchor our roots and ALL grow with renewal…

Freshness never felt so good.

Visual Credits: WorldShapers Graphic by AlpenaMi, IPhorest screenshot from, Eileen Clegg’s Shout Out for Creativity Videos (Part One:47, Part Two:41 and Part Three (1:47 above) to add Visual Insight.

Related Posts

David Bressler on WorldShapers: When You Find Something Good, Share!

A Woman’s Investment: An eBook About Some Amazing WorldShapers

WonderWebby: Women Wired to Change the World (Jasmin Tragas)

Worldshapers ’09 Slideshare Version of the eBook

Shout Out Social ‘o9 Slideshare Presentation and S.O.S. Event

The Gift of Creativity: Shout Out Social Project

A Woman’s Investment: A Project By Women for Women and Women Changing Their World, (GoGirlGo, Beth Kanter etc.)

Opportunity International Project Against Poverty in the Philippines Social Entrepreneurs ‘Rebalancing’ Society

Businessweek: The Social Media Gender Gap (Women of the Web)

Sheconomy: When it Comes to Social Media, Women are at the Forefront



  1. Amy,

    Thanks for the expanded piece on your involvement and the great work you’re doing.

    I definitely see your point! It’s great to be part of a good thing, and that in itself is something we need to understand more… I believe that the positive energy created by sharing, separate from the good deeds themselves, will help improve people’s lives.

    Peace, and good luck!!!


  2. Hi David, Anxious to hear about YOUR nonprofit venture you’ve got cookin’ (I checked out your site, obviously!)

    I do believe the positive catalyst starts spinning with unstoppable momentum…(unfortunately, the converse media equation is true as well) Like you, I had ZERO nonprofit training, so I’m STILL flying by the seat of my pants…

    That said, I’ve been through the Craigs List Foundation Nonprofit Bootcamp, Compass Point, TechSoup NTen, Foundation Center, yadayada, and am finally getting the drill on social hybrid models…What rev gen model are you using?

    Let’s keep in touch…much to bring to the table on all sides of a global conversation. I just love the connectivity of finding like-minded souls. I’m all about teamwork, ethical integrity and open source ‘best practices’ for sharing info…(I try to avoid ‘swimming with sharks’ whenever possible) Hope to hear more soon!

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