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    Mara Ferreira, a former geographer, urban planner, and systems analyst for the city of Rio de Janeiro, has taken her skills and training to the countryside. She has developed a comprehensive systems approach that grassroots rural communities can readily use.

    Wigold Schäffer is developing, demonstrating and testing a new model for the operation of small farms that reconciles the preservation of secondary forests and attendant biodiversity with farmers' desires for higher incomes and improved quality of life.

    Zoica Bakirtzief has conceived a way for people with disabilities to enter into the job market. Rather than focusing on the few opportunities that exist in the formal sector for people who are disabled, diseased, and undereducated, she is training them to start and run their own businesses.

    Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.

    Joao Winther intends to give the fishermen living along Brazil's vast coast preventive legal protection so they can defend their continued use of the oceanfront.

    Reinaldo fosters the development of citizens as collaborators, entrepreneurs and knowledge producers. Through a methodology that creates new opportunities for cooperative learning, he is helping youth in Salvador and Sao Paulo create their own socially responsible enterprises, products and services through digital media.

    René Schärer makes it possible for local fishing communities to manage the use of their coastal waters, helping citizens and the government defuse environmental and economic threats posed by large, negligent, and unwelcome fishing vessels.

    Oscar Arruda has devised a strategy for enabling farmers in Brazil's semi-arid northeast to exploit an abundant local plant as an alternative crop that provides economic self-sufficiency in an otherwise depressed local economy.

    Rosangela Bieler, a 32-year-old journalist and paraplegic, is the founder and president of the Independent Living Center of Rio de Janeiro, an organization which is spearheading the movement of disabled Brazilians to win full citizenship.

    Mário Gurjão is using his business background to help citizen organizations harness their productive potentials and solve their financial problems. Using the Internet, Mário is not only training organizations to market and distribute their products; he is also increasing consumers' investment in and understanding of social change projects.