Professional Development

In that moment, she decided to become an engineer so that no girl would ever have to carry water again.

In that moment, she decided to become an engineer so that no girl would ever have to carry water again.

It does not matter where you are in the world; development is development. And without fail, no matter the country or culture the truth remains the same:

Women are the Changemakers.

In New Orleans, we train women who want to change their lives and their community in the same professional skill sets that we include in every water project around the world. By working on projects that have a global reach, local women are provided the opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience so that they can be a success in their chosen careers without having to leave New Orleans just to get their foot in the door.


Our seminars are targeted at practical skills

We offer seminars on the following topics:

  • Storytelling for Change
  • Public Speaking
  • Managing from Motivation
  • Nonprofit 101
  • Water, Health and Sanitation

Currently, we hold 5-7 seminars a year

Catalyst Fellowship

For the women that want to move beyond individual workshops and directly impact a community of women somewhere else in the world we have the Catalyst Fellowship.

Water is the biggest obstacle to women worldwide and through the Catalyst Movement, women connect through a common cause, transforming themselves and the lives of women everywhere.

The Catalyst Fellowship has been developed through this idea, to bring a group of people together and effect change in a clear and meaningful way. Each cohort works as a team in New Orleans addressing a specific goal, learning to initiate change and take leadership. We accept up to three Fellows per cohort, one per track.

There are three tracks in this Fellowship and we accept one Fellow per track per cohort. These tracks mimic the three core pillars of every successful project, whether it is a water system in Kenya or a start-up organization in the Treme.

Programming: You will take the lead on the programmatic side of the initiative. You may organize workshops, events, speaking engagements, clubs, or whatever else is necessary to complete your initiative. You will coordinate with organizations and venues. You will work with the Marketing and Development Fellows to get things done efficiently and effectively. You will learn to network and speak publicly. You will learn how to deal with the paperwork necessary to pull off an amazing program.

Marketing: You will take the lead on everything that is heard, seen, and imagined in the initiative. You will recruit organizations and volunteers for programming. You will imagine the fantastical and learn how to pull even a quarter of it off. You will work with the Programming and Development Fellows to make everything appealing and compelling. You will learn to design, brand, and speak. You will learn what is necessary to pull it off.

Development: You will take the lead on the finances and numbers that are essential to a successful initiative. You will recruit volunteers, venues, and vendors. You will work with the Programming and Marketing Fellows to ensure that everything is accounted for, and that everyone that could be asked has been. You will learn to sell an idea. You will learn how to speak publicly, how to tell stories, and how important measurements are to the success of an organization.


Through this pilot program we have been able to train four amazing women in their chosen career, one of whom has already been hired to a position at the World Trade Center of New Orleans because of the workshops we have held to train her in public speaking, fundraising, and nonprofit administration. She is currently working on grants to support foreign trade investment in New Orleans.

Another of the women will be presenting a workshop she has developed to 40 local female leaders at the Tulane Student Leadership Conference, and another will be hosting seminars with our support on how to use public speaking to build partnerships to groups of women both from local universities and from locally based organizations. This impact is only possible because these women have studied the models of social change used in effective water projects around the world.

We believe that New Orleans can and should be an international hub that serves as a model for other cities aspiring to become global players. We already have the educational programs (Tulane’s Payson Center and School of Tropical Health and Medicine as well as UNO’s program in International Studies), but without programs like ours New Orleans will never be more than an educational springboard. Graduates of these programs will continue to have to leave New Orleans to find training programs and employment in San Francisco, Washington DC, or New York.