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Recently returned from medicine exploration in Zimbabwe, Melanie St. James was first inspired in 1999 by the culturally rich animist tribe in Senegal West Africa to use their rich cultural knowledge of medicinal plants to create livelihoods and conserve biodiversity. She’s since worked to bridge indigenous healers, health innovators and leading edge medical research centers to bring the best to life. This year, after meeting Mayan healers in Guatemala, Melanie was called to search for medicine to help people facing cancer, and has revamped the social enterprise, BioNova Health, whose mission is “to Optimize the Global Health Potential of Medicinal Plants, and Equitably Share the Benefits thereof with the Natural Heritage and Communities of Source.” Melanie founded asset based community development organization, Empowerment WORKS and co-produces the biennial forum, The Global Summit, advancing broader systemic change.
2015 Convergence Panel: Plant Medicine & Community Health – Past, Present & Future