LIFT's mission is to create, model, and share an inclusive and locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.
Our team members include:
Phoenix Soleil is a teacher of Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness and has a passion for developing people, teams, and organizations. She has led trainings in communication, racial justice, personal development, theater improvisation, and play for individuals, groups, and organizations such as Google, the Kellogg Foundation, Mind Body Awareness Project, and Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
As a teacher and committed practitioner of the Insight Meditation Tradition, she was nominated and selected for Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Program, and currently Teaches at East Bay Meditation Center. Her deep practice includes several silent meditation retreats of two months or more. Phoenix is also an Affiliate Trainer for Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, where she offers organizational development trainings focused on increasing inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Email her at phoenix (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Shawn Berry is an organizational strategist inspired to harness the power of business to create resilient local economies as patterns to be documented, open sourced, scaled globally and adapted regionally. Shawn left an early career path in nuclear physics research to found the Woodshanti Cooperative (1997-2011), a custom cabinet and furniture shop in San Francisco that set the standard for ethical craftsmanship in the green building movement. This hands on experience as an entrepreneur combined with community organizing and systems theory to craft the vision for LIFT Economy to model an economy that works for all life.
Shawn is especially gifted at assessing and addressing gaps in the ways in which we organize our businesses and our lives. He has remarkable skills in being able to stay present in the often chaotic environment of leading a business, as he helps clients craft and adapt frameworks and models to enable them to be more efficient and effective. Shawn’s experience with working in democratic, multi-stakeholder work environments enables him to offer invaluable counseling in organizing business structures and communicating effectively with partners, employees and board members. Email him at shawn (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Kevin Bayuk's roots are in entrepreneurship, having spent nearly a decade starting and growing technology companies, and activating projects and organizations that regenerate healthy ecosystems and socially just and joyful environments. After immersing himself in all aspects of starting and growing companies, Kevin focused his attention on learning about and teaching eco-systemic design. Now Kevin is merging his experience in business with his experience in permaculture to help businesses care for people while enhancing the earth.
Kevin also serves as the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown developing the business case to address climate change through existing practices and technologies. He frequently teaches classes, workshops, does public speaking, facilitates meetings, plans events and provides one on one mentoring as a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute San Francisco. Kevin has helped design and start food security gardens and public learning experiences intent on reminding people that we,too, are nature.
Kevin has raised millions of dollars to capitalize business operations, led teams of more than 30 employees, and can speak well to the benefits and pitfalls of raising capital and the many paths of growing a business. He loves spreadsheets and loves to dig into operating models. One investor of Kevin’s last technology company said, “Kevin oozes strategy.” Email him at kevin (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Erin Axelrod is a problem-solver, systems-designer, entrepreneur and community organizer. After earning her BA in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, Erin worked for four years as the City Programs Coordinator for Daily Acts Organization producing water conservation programs for cities, transforming lawns into food, and helping design and manage a successful greywater reuse education & installation program.
She received her Permaculture Design Certificate with Toby Hemenway and has worked with the Fibershed Project as a contributing author for an Economic Feasibility study for implementing a bioregional-scale regenerative textile mill in CA.
Her consulting with LIFT Economy has led her to a specialization in accelerating the spread of climate-benefitting and land-based businesses in the Next Economy. She does this through a range of initiatives including client work with companies like North Coast Brewing Company, Kendall Jackson and Singing Frogs Farm, among others. She also convenes LIFT Economy's regenerative agriculture investor network (RAIN) and a Restorative Ocean Economies Field-Building Initiative. Erin lives and works on a Grassfed beef and Land Restoration Project, Freestone Ranch, just outside of her hometown of Petaluma. When not working, she loves to forage wild mushrooms, huckleberries, elderberries and bay nuts to make nutrient dense foods for her friends. A frequent public speaker, she has given presentations at conferences including Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP), Permaculture Voices Conference, FoodFunded, Sustainable Enterprise Conference, NorCal Permaculture Convergence, and the CA Greywater Conference. Email her at erin (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Ryan Honeyman is a consultant and coauthor of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). Ryan has helped over 30 companies—like Patagonia, Allbirds, Ben & Jerry’s, King Arthur Flour, Tanka Bar, and Red Bay Coffee—become Certified B Corporations and maximize the value of their B Corp certification.
In recent years, most of Ryan’s energy has been focused on answering the question “what is the appropriate role of a white person in advocating for racial justice (especially a white, cisgender, heterosexual, non-disabled, upper middle class male who is a U.S. citizen)?” Ryan is a cofounder of the Dismantle Collective, a person of color-led group of Certified B Corps whose goal is to name, disrupt, and dismantle white supremacy. His piece “White People: Let’s Talk About White Supremacy” is the most read article on the LIFT website.
Ryan has written articles for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Utne Reader, and TriplePundit. He has been a featured speaker at SOCAP, Bioneers, the B Corp Champions Retreat, CatalystCreativ, and the Sustainable Enterprise Conference. Email him at ryan (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Jenny Kassan is the founder of LIFT Economy Law.
Jenny has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises. She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars and raised several hundred thousand for her own business. Jenny serves her clients in the areas of business start-up, entity structuring to preserve mission, enterprise finance, securities regulation, investment crowdfunding, nonprofit law, and cooperatives.
Jenny serves on the Small Business Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In 2010, Jenny co-founded Cutting Edge Capital, a consulting firm that helps social ventures raise community capital and pioneers tools for a more inclusive and values-driven economy. Jenny served as Cutting Edge Capital’s CEO for five years.
Jenny is currently the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies. Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Email her at jenny (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Prior to joining forces with LIFT Economy, Andrew K. Baskin served on the Board of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis while earning his degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, pioneering original research as a McNair Scholar with departmental honors.
By prioritizing solutions-focused leverage points for systemic change that elevate collective health, justice and sustainability in the dimensions of agroecology, food systems, and cooperative economics, Andrew cultivates a praxis of values-based systems thinking rooted in the pursuit of economic autonomy and cultural healing. Email him at andrew (at) lifteconomy (dot) com.
Pablo Muñoz Ledo's focus for the last 20 years has been on improving the relationship between organic producers and consumers. In 2001, for example, Pablo founded Aires de Campo (the organic label in Mexico).
Pablo moved on in 2006 to run a non-profit organization called Bionexos. At Bionexos, he visited and documented a wide diversity of organic production projects, helped sustainable farming cooperatives and associations launch their products in Europe and the United States, and initiated a Mexican consumers’ organic food cooperative model based on the principles of direct local sourcing.
Pablo has summarized and systematized the lessons he has learned in an innovative storytelling, transparency, and contact platform called Into™. Email him at pablo (at) lookin (dot) to.