Internship Opportunity with True Roots! (deadline August 25, 2017)

Internship Opportunity with True Roots! (deadline August 25, 2017)

Exciting news: we’re on the hunt for an intern! True Roots is looking to expand the scope and reach of their work, while providing practical experience to someone studying/seeking to work in the field of international development.

The intern will work directly with True Roots Consultant Summer Lewis. Summer has been working in the field of international development in a variety of areas over the past 15 years, and has a strong network of contacts around the world. This is as much a mentoring experience as an internship, with the opportunity to ask questions and get personalized feedback, advice, and coaching. Continue reading

Navigating the Field of International Development: Advice and Q&A Session – July 31, 2017 from 7:30 – 9 pm CST

Navigating the Field of International Development: Advice and Q&A Session – July 31, 2017 from 7:30 – 9 pm CST

Ever wondered what it’s like working in the field of international development? What should you study? How do you get a job? How should you connect with organizations and practitioners? What other opportunities are out there?

True Roots Consultant Summer Lewis has studied and worked in the field of international development over the past 15 years and she gets asked these questions a lot. Here’s your chance to get some answers! Join Summer for “Navigating the Field of International Development: Advice and Q&A Session,” July 31, 2017 from 7:30 – 9 pm CST (Mexico City time)!  Continue reading

A Story of Success and Resiliency: The Asociación Chajulense de Mujeres in Guatemala

A Story of Success and Resiliency: The Asociación Chajulense de Mujeres in Guatemala

We recently came across a blog post from The Coffee Trust celebrating the continued success of Juana Hu Mateo and the Asociación Chajulense de Mujeres (The Chajulense Women’s Association) in Guatemala. True Roots consultants Jose Luis Zárate and Summer Lewis had the honor of working with Juana Hu Mateo and the Asociación for many years, and it’s a joy to hear about this group’s self-sufficiency and resiliency over the years! Continue reading

What is Monitoring and Evaluation and Why is it Important? An Example from Rotary International

What is Monitoring and Evaluation and Why is it Important? An Example from Rotary International

In any project, it is important to measure outputs: number of trainings, number of people trained, number of loans given out, number of latrines built, etc. But we should also go beyond numbers to measure change, to demonstrate the deeper outcomes and impact of a project. For example: what knowledge, skills, and attitudes did participants acquire as part of training, and how do they apply these knowledge, skills, and attitudes post-training? And going even deeper: is there a “ripple effect” from these activities, over time and at various levels? Are there changes across generations, at a personal, family, community, regional, national, and global level? Continue reading

True Value Chains

True Value Chains

Amy Kay Pavlovich, owner of Connected Fair Trade, recently wrote about the power of connection between individuals and organizations committed to making this world a better place. She featured True Roots consultant Summer Lewis and her former student employee Azmina Karim in her blog post, “Amazing Friends of Amazing Friends”:

“Fair Trade brings like minded people around the world together.  Sometimes it is through the short business chain of producers, importing partners and retailers.  Sometimes, as in this case, it is through friends of friends of friends.  Continue reading

Diversification and Resiliency in Coffee-farming Communities

Diversification and Resiliency in Coffee-farming Communities

Visiting Honduras on a work trip in 2014, I saw and heard first-hand about the devastation caused by coffee leaf rust. I recently read a news article about Honduras’ recovery from coffee leaf rust, and record crop during the 2016-2017 harvest. It’s encouraging to see this sort of progress! The article cites government-funded programs launched in 2008 focused on renovating smallholder coffee plots (removing old trees and planting more disease resistant varieties) as one of the major drivers of the progress seen now. This got me thinking about coffee, development, and the related complexities. Continue reading

The Specialty Coffee Symposium Fellowship: Working Towards Industry Sustainability

The Specialty Coffee Symposium Fellowship: Working Towards Industry Sustainability

I was recently selected as a Fellow for the Specialty Coffee Association of America Re:Co Symposium in Seattle, Washington, USA, April 19-20, 2017. According to the official website:

“Re:co (Regarding: coffee) is a unique event designed for high-level discussion, leading innovation and strategy development for those passionate and influential in the world of specialty coffee.[…] It is an essential event for leaders of businesses who believe that collaborative work and discussion can benefit all involved.”

So what does Re:Co have to do with my work, and why is it important to me?

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Pots, Pans, and Personal Growth: Development and Responsibility at the Individual Level

Pots, Pans, and Personal Growth: Development and Responsibility at the Individual Level

In addition to consulting with True Roots on social responsibility projects, I offer accountability coaching to individuals looking to shift life gears–to switch careers, go freelance, live abroad–or all of the above. This is similar to the work I do with businesses and organizations looking to carry out effective projects for the greater social and economic good. Social responsibility has a lot in common with personal responsibility!

I received an email from a coaching client the other day with this subject line: “Fw: ORDER: Cuisinart 12 Piece Multiclad Pro Stainless Pots & Pans.”

Continue reading