Like the Baobab Tree, each part of the membership journey is valuable. Membership is available free of charge, however we do ask for your commitment in time to complete short modules to progress through each of the tiers.
Inspired by the tree of life narrative, as a member you will grow your understanding and commitment to EWB’s work as you progress up the tiers. Your journey through the cycle of the Baobab is broken down into three tiers: Sprout; Roots; Fruit.
Tier 1 – Sprout
As a sprout first pops through soil, it soaks in sunlight and oxygen for the first time. Members at our first tier of membership experience their first exposure to everything EWB, learning about initiatives and successes through our newsletter and connecting to their local Chapter for the first time.
- EWB & Community Newsletters
- Engagement in your local Chapter Activities*
- Access to the Beyond Borders Impact Webinar Series
- Access to EWB’s National Networking Platform
- Virtual & in-Person Social Mixers and Networking Events*
- Printable EWB Merchandise
- Eligibility to vote at EWB’s Annual General Meeting
- Eligibility to continue your journey to Tier 2, or Root level, Membership and unlock many more benefits such as the Systems Change Leadership and Advocacy know how, discounted access to National Conference and Day of Action, and much more.
*subject to availability or Chapter invitation
To register, click the link below for a 20-minute orientation into who we are and how we create impact.
Tier 2 – Roots
Before the Baobab tree can grow to its full height, it extends its roots deep to set in place a strong foundation for all of its future growth. During your second tier of membership you will become more involved with (inter)national initiatives across EWB’s network and have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge with access to a variety of leadership and fellowship opportunities.
- All Tier 1, Sprout level, Benefits, plus,
- EWB Basic Merchandise*
- Free access to Systems Change Leadership and EWB Advocacy materials
- Discounted access to National Conference and Hill Day events
- Access to Exclusive Workshops and Training at National Conference and Hill Day
- Eligibility to Apply for Leadership Opportunities at EWB, such as Chapter Executives, Presidents, Junior Fellows, Program Committees*
* While stocks last
Tier 1 (Sprout) members will automatically receive an invitation to progress to Tier 2. If you have not received your invitation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tier 3 – Fruit
Congratulations! After showcasing strength, resilience and deep learning through your sprout and roots phase, you have evolved into the coveted fruit of the Baobab. During your third tier of membership you have completed all necessary workshops and have earned your certificate! You gain access to exclusive learnings and training, EWB networking circles, and the opportunity to spread your impact even further through senior leadership opportunities.
- All Tier 1 (Sprout) and Tier 2 (Root) Benefits, plus,
- EWB Elite Merchandise
- Access to Exclusive Workshops & Training (special speaker events)
- Systems Change Leadership Certificate
- Invitation to Baobab Ceremony
- Access to Professional EWBer LinkedIn Group on Graduation
- Eligibility to Apply for Senior Leadership Opportunities, e.g. Distributed Team, Board Committees, Board of Directors)
Why the Tree of Life
The Baobab is a symbol of life and positivity in a landscape where little can thrive. It is this type of resilience that our members also possess. The Baobab tree is most often found in drier, less tropical areas of South and East Africa. Although the Baobab grows in harsh conditions, it has learned from its environment how to survive, grow and produce year after year.
Each part of the Baobab can harvest something different and rewarding. As Africa’s tree of life, it can provide water, food, shelter and relief from sickness. Its bark can be turned into clothing, its seeds can transform into oil and its fruits are rich in nutrients.
In many places where they grow, the Baobab is recognized as a symbol of community and is used as a gathering place and venue for ceremonies, community meetings, rituals and classrooms. These giant trees are known for their perseverance as they can regrow their bark if it has been stripped or burnt; countless generations can benefit from the value of just one tree! This is the same perseverance EWB members possess because taking action on a national and international scale requires consistent dedication and rethinking to spark lasting impact.
The Circle of the Baobab
The culmination and final major milestone in the life of an EWBer is the commitment you make to international development and the eradication of poverty at the circle of baobab ceremony.
Each year at the national conference, Engineers Without Borders holds a ceremony called the Circle of the Baobab. Through this ceremony, we show our respect for our members who have made a thoughtful, lifelong commitment to building a better world, and we invite these individuals to publicly symbolize their commitment by joining the Circle of the Baobab. Members who graduate to this stage of EWB membership will receive a Baobab ring, which is to be worn on the fifth finger of their working hand to act as a reminder of this lifelong commitment.
The Baobab and its endurance, and cultural and environmental importance is rooted within EWB Membership just as it is to the communities they grow within. Through your membership, you also have the chance to help create innovative and systemic change that can be felt by future generations. The ring you receive at this ceremony has been chosen because it is infinite like your commitment to look for new solutions to new problems that may arise in your local or international communities. This is why the ring has been chosen as a symbol to wear in honor of your membership at EWB and to your wider promise to unlock your potential and work to eradicate the conditions of poverty.