Gretchen Wallace


Gretchen Wallace's picture
Name: Gretchen Wallace
Organization: Global Grassroots
Title: President & Founder
Gretchen Steidle Wallace is the founder and President of Global Grassroots, an international non-profit which supports conscious social change driven by and for vulnerable women in post-conflict countries. Global Grassroots operates the Academy for Conscious Change, an 18 month social venture incubator providing conscious leadership skills, mind-body trauma healing, social entrepreneurship training and seed funding to help marginalized women and girls advance their own ideas for social change. Her model for advancing grassroots, women-led solutions to clean water access was chosen as a semifinalist for the Kyoto World Water Prize in 2009. Gretchen produced the Emmy-nominated documentary film about the Darfur genocide, The Devil Came on Horseback, and co-authored a memoir of the same title. She holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Gretchen is also an integrative breathwork practitioner, an alternative healing modality she uses to help survivors of war, disaster and sexual violence heal from post-traumatic stress. In 2007, Gretchen was honored by World Business Magazine and Shell as one of the top International 35 Women Under 35.In 2010 she was chosen with her husband as CNN Heroes working in Haiti after the earthquake. In the same year she was awarded the inaugural Susan J. Herman Award for Leadership in Holocaust and Genocide Awareness by the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College. In 2011 she was chosen one of seven Remarkable Women of the World by New Hampshire Magazine.

Challenge Entries

Young people have great potential to become life-long change agents after a single successful experience. Yet many lack the training and tools to get their first idea off the ground. Further, university students, often inspired from travel abroad, long to create meaningful impact in the world around the issues they are most passionate about. So called "Do-It-Yourself" philanthropy is often impulsive, conducted without alignment with a local community's needs or participation, and thus unsustainable.

C'est un incubateur interactif du risque social en ligne pour les femmes défavorisées des pays pauvres, qui encourage un leadership conscient et fournit des outils pour l'entrepreneuriat social.

Global Grassroots’ eAcademy is an interactive, online social venture incubator for underserved women and girls in poor countries, providing mindful leadership and social entrepreneurship tools.

In rural Mutara 50% of women experience domestic violence. Victims need women advocates to provide emotional support and guidance in reporting crimes and seeking recourse. “Relax” will train local women in women’s rights and provide cell phones to report violence in remote areas, ensure victim protection, encourage rapid intervention by police and seek justice.