Ripple Effect Group Story
April 5, 2012
Posted by Cari Class
I had the opportunity to meet Jacqueline Novogratz in Oct of 2011 at a gathering of women change agents in my home community of Santa Cruz, California. First of all, I was honored to be included in the short list of 20 women and community leaders invited to this small group session to meet with someone I held in such high esteem. Jacqueline is a globally recognized thought-leader supporting break through ideas in poverty alleviation through her work with Acumen Fund. Second of all, it was a dream come true because Jacqueline’s book, “The Blue Sweater, Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World“, had rocked my world when I read it the year earlier. I am a huge fan. I hadn’t read a book armed with a yellow highlighter and dozens of Post-it notes since college. I lovingly took my well-worn, dog-eared book to have her sign it at the talk she gave to a larger group later in the evening. What a thrill for me! If you are interested in international development—this book needs to be on your “must read” list.
The impending event was pivotal for me. For a long while I had felt there was something else I needed to be doing. I was restless and frustrated but had not been able to wrap my mind around a vision for “what was next” for me. Then it was as if the curtain was pulled back and everything was revealed. Even the poster promoting her upcoming presentation was titled the “What’s Next” lecture series, sponsored by my own co-working place of business, NextSpace. Well, that was what was NEXT for me. Why not take everything I had been deeply immersed in for the last five years through my work with Dining for Women, and combine it with my skills in design communication? Facilitating social change on a daily basis is where my true passion lies and what excites me about getting up in the morning. I have a deep, unrelenting desire to make a difference in the world for good, and to spend the rest of my life using my time and talents to do so. But to make the package whole and complete, the perfect plan was partner with other change agents who shared my intensity and vision for a better world and who had expertise in nonprofit development. That was it! And from there, Ripple Effect Group was born. It is my intention to use this driving force inside me to work with other visionaries to help them realize their goals of changing the world for good.