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Modeled on nature, I’m leaving Thousand Currents

By Rajasvini Bhansali, former Thousand Currents Executive Director

Transition is a natural part of every ecosystem. As all of life cycles with its endings and beginnings, it is with respect, love, and honor that I announce my decision to end my tenure as Thousand Currents’ Executive Director.

Our partners model that change is to be embraced, rather than resisted. It has been my deepest and most profound honor to accompany them and their vital work during my time at Thousand Currents. Seeing our partners’ triumphs and setbacks, achievements and wisdom, and their ever-renewing courage and joy will remain with me all of my life.

I do not leave with a heavy heart, just love and appreciation for the intimacy we share on our team. I am profoundly confident in our incredible staff, who embody our values in their work every day. I know that with the support of our experienced and committed board of directors, they will continue to create and maintain partnerships that bring forth the best of collective action and embody the best of our human nature.

My departure is just another milestone in the long story of an almost 33-year-old organization that has embraced learning as part of its fundamental ethos since its earliest days. I leave Thousand Currents a strong and vibrant organization, with a renewed and deepened strategy, and I happily join a circle of former leaders who continue to uphold and support our vision.

When I joined what was IDEX in 2010, we were at the depth of the recession, struggling to stay afloat. Thanks to multi-year, flexible funding commitments from key institutional funders and our base of individual donors, I am proud to say that we have increased our operating budget by more than a factor of eight – from $500,000 per year at the start of my tenure to $4.2 million at the end of our FY2017, including a healthy reserve fund of over $1 million.[1]

But growth for growth’s sake was never our goal. Channeling even more resources to our effective grassroots partners has been our purpose…and remains so.

This leadership transition for Thousand Currents is simply another expression of the positive, transformational energy emanating from the web of indigenous, women, and youth leaders in the Global South. In its very name, Thousand Currents represents a multitude, and from this ever-moving, interdependent, beloved global community, another director will emerge.

As in ecosystems, big changes send reverberations through all aspects of our lives. Yet Thousand Currents now has a tremendous opportunity to expand the principle of interdependence – as living beings and as an organization – beyond our boundaries. Each person reading this announcement plays an important role in rebuilding our food systems, creating new economies, and fighting for climate justice. As Executive Director of Thousand Currents for the past eight years, I hope that I served this extraordinary organization with accountability and care. I was led by the depth of commitment and fierce love that our long-term grassroots partners, as well as our philanthropic partners, bring to Thousand Currents every single day.

Thousand Currents will continue to create spaces where people can connect with the universality of the human experience. We will continue to invest in people and power and its potential. Together, we will travel along a path of discovery that adds more context and depth to issues on the other side of the planet, as well as in your own backyard.

Even though I will leave Thousand Currents in this current role, together with you I will continue to share our vision for the generations to come.

In solidarity,



The search for Thousand Currents’ new Executive Director is being led by Blueridge Advisors.

We know many of you may want to share appreciation and best wishes with Vini. We greatly value people reaching out, but so as not to overwhelm her, kindly share your messages via the comments box below.

[1] This figure also includes revenue earned through our fiscal sponsorship of the Global Black Lives Matter Network.

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