Based in Rio de Janeiro and with a US 501[c][3] charitable status, Catalytic Communities (CatComm) is an empowerment, communications, think tank, and advocacy NGO working since 2000 in support of Rio’s favelas at the intersection of sustainable community development, human rights, local-global networks, communications, and urban planning. CatComm supports and empowers residents of informal settlements, evolving strategically to support their needs as they arise.


CatComm functions as a news source, agenda setter, movement builder and research collaborative with the intention of supporting community-led favela development. Providing strategic training and communications–and functioning as a connector organization between favela civil society (community journalists and organizers, neighborhood collectives and associations), global civil society (international media and international advocates and activists), and academics and researchers–CatComm draws on the tools and resources of its collaborative and adaptive network to address the broad issues facing Rio’s favelas. CatComm builds knowledge and awareness across local and international spheres, resulting in policy recommendations and transforming public opinion through advocacy strategies.


CatComm champions an asset-based approach based on favela qualities and working to incubate a fair, rights-based and participatory model of favela integration to be exported as a solution to the challenges posed by informal housing worldwide. We conscientiously incubate programs to support Rio de Janeiro’s informal settlements knowing such communities will constitute nearly a third of the world’s population by 2050 (3 of 9.7 billion), and documenting what we do to serve as an example for other cities across the globe.


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  • JoinedMay 2006
  • Current cityRio de Janeiro
  • CountryBrazil
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