Catalyst Action Training (CAT) for Community Development

Tools to catalyze sustainable social change

Providing diverse trainees a collaboration roadmap, 7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) community development education promotes Asset Based Community-driven Development (ABCD) and our philosophy of self-determination.

Applied as a curriculum, 7SS empowers local communities to turn local assets into holistic solutions. Ultimately, when delivered world-wide, the 7SS curriculum is our opportunity to empower a global community of practice to thrive in interdependence.  To ensure local relevance of educational content & tools, EW partners with local organizations and social entrepreneurs to co-develop, co-deliver and measure impact.

In Spring 2017, bringing these tools for locally-led resilience to communities devastated by Nepal's 2015 earthquake, Empowerment WORKS' regional director Bandita Thapa is working with diverse local partners to launch a new 7SS train-the-trainer pilot program called, 'Catalyst Action Training (CAT)'.  Contact us to get involved.


  • In 2013, in partnership with Living Mandala  educational collective, EW developed two Permaculture Design Courses bringing 7SS to the villages of Bodh Gaya, India and in 2014 back home in California produced a multi-weekend course offering the the best that the West Coast's PDC educators have to offer within each of the 7 Stages.

How to scale-up local solutions?

WHAT'S NEXT: Appropriate mobile technology meets on-the-ground training

While basic 7SS capacity building tools help communities be more resilient, nothing exists in a vacuum. Building robust local economies calls for a network of cross-sector global partners to ensure more equitable trade and value added investments.  

  • To bring 7SS to the entrepreneurs who need it most, EW is co-developing a multi-sector resource exchange platform called (through the 1PIE Hackathon at The Global Summit V and local development partners including Zimbabwean SMS education consultancy, Hurukuro).

  • Through 1PIE, the 7SS framework is used to index a shared knowledge base where community organizers are invited to create community profiles to share their goals & successes, identify needed skills, appropriate technologies, showcase local assets, and increase access to ethical markets. The first 1PIE application tracks the impact of local projects, and is supported directly by CAT and other 7SS trainings.

As we develop a comprehensive social impact toolkit via 1PIE, we recommend:


7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) Online Training (Coming Soon!)

7SS 2015

A catalyst for business, technological and social innovation, 7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS)" delivers is a universal tool-kit to turn local assets into holistic solutions from the ground up.  

7SS Basic Training Students will learn to:

  • Apply design-thinking to transform critical issues into opportunities

  • Unite people, businesses and organizations in win-win collaborations

  • Identify best practices and tools as needed within local context

  • Design an evaluation, set indicators & measure results