Podcast

Amelia Swan Baxter: Building The Next Economy With WholeTrees [Ep. 151]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Amelia Baxter believes that the 21st century built environment is filled with opportunities for trees. Baxter co-founded WholeTrees in 2007 to develop and sell products and technologies that would scale the use of waste-trees in commercial construction, increasing forest revenues, and offering green construction markets a new material for the 21st century. Amelia has led project teams in over $2M in USDA research grants working toward the commercialization of the tree's natural engineering. By raising equity investment for her company, attracting national executive talent, and pinpointing nascent urban markets for trees as structure, Baxter has participated in the growth of a truly conscious and regenerative company.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How WholeTrees provides an ecological, economic, social, and aesthetic benefit

  • Coming from a place of heart as well as a place of necessity to attract great staff and business culture

  • How the character and inner work of company leaders ripples throughout the entire organization

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Aaron Tanaka: Creating a Just, Regenerative, and Democratic Economy [Ep. 150]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Aaron Tanaka is founder and Director of the Boston-based Center for Economic Democracy. Aaron is also a community organizer, grant-maker, impact investor, and a founding organizer of the Boston Ujima Project, which brings together neighbors, workers, business owners and investors to create a new community-controlled regional economy. He is an Echoing Green and BALLE Fellow, and co-chair of the national New Economy Coalition and the Asian American Resource Workshop.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Aaron Tanaka include:

  • How Aaron got into the work he is doing today

  • Aaron’s thoughts on democratizing capital and the launch of the Boston Ujima Project

  • How social entrepreneurs can get more involved in grassroots activism and movement building

  • The balance between creating examples of Next Economy solutions and organizing for policy change at the government level

  • Aaron’s thoughts on how folks can help create the Next Economy

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Funmilola Fagbamila: Black Lives Matter, White Allyship, & Emotional Intelligence [Ep. 149]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian American scholar, activist, playwright and artist. She currently serves as a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. As a founding member of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Funmilola has been organizing with BLM since its inception in 2013 and currently serves as the Arts and Culture director for the Los Angeles chapter. Her writing, political analyses and social commentary have been featured in publications such as the Guardian, NOW THIS news, and NPR. Funmilola has delivered keynote addresses at colleges and universities across the country. Her public commentary frequently touches on the topics of critical race theory, black complexity, criminal justice, health and wellness, modern pan-africanism, and the Arts.

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Some highlights from Erin Axelrod’s conversation with Funmilola Fagbamila include:

  • Exploring the roots of the Black Lives Matter Movement

  • Discussion of the myth of meritocracy in America

  • Emotional intelligence helps us to hear each other across ideological differences

  • Suggestions for supportive white allyship

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Varshini Prakash: Sunrise Movement Sees The Green New Deal on the Horizon [Ep. 148]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Varshini was born and raised outside Boston, MA. She got involved in the climate movement as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign early in her time at UMass and led the campaign for two years. In Spring 2016, the campaign won after a 2-week long mass escalation in which over 700 students, faculty, and alumni participated. 32 were arrested after peacefully refusing to leave the Whitmore Administration Building until UMass agreed to climate action. For the last three years, she has coordinated fossil fuel divestment campaigns with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network at a regional and national level. She supported campaigns across the country through training, mentorship, and strategic guidance. Varshini supported the launch of Sunrise, a movement building an army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. 

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Some highlights from Erin Axelrod’s conversation with Varshini Prakash include:

  • The Sunrise Movement is mobilizing tens of thousands to stop business as usual with The Green New Deal

  • The Green New Deal aims to address our climate crisis as well as wealth- and racial inequity

  • Today’s youth leadership are particularly positioned to be vanguards for social change

  • Envisioning a world where all of our basic needs as humans are met while providing a benefit to each other and our environment and contrasting this vision with our current world which is more of a lose-lose, zero-sum game.

  • How the Green New Deal harkens back to The New Deal and how the Green New Deal will similarly take many pieces of legislation over a period of decades.

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Lindsay Cruver: Raising Our Regenerative Mussel Memory at Catalina Sea Ranch [Ep. 147]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Lindsay Cruver is the Director of Research & Development at Catalina Sea Ranch, and her team evaluates and implements new science and technology to advance sustainable and regenerative offshore crop cultivation. She earned her bachelors degree in Biology from the George Washington University and is the daughter of the CEO of Catalina Sea Ranch, the first offshore aquaculture facility in the United States, based in Los Angeles, California.

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Some highlights from Erin Axelrod’s conversation with Lindsay Cruver include:

  • The 100-acre Catalina Sea Ranch is the first and currently the only offshore aquaculture facility in the U.S. and is located on the periphery of about 26,000 acres (40 square miles) of U.S. Federal waters of the San Pedro Shelf.

  • Lindsay describes the sea ranching process and the technology that Catalina Sea Ranch uses and contrasts clean aquaculture from dirty aquaculture

  • Lindsay shares how their production process benefits their environment by creating habitat for other organisms such that private and commercial fishers surround the ranch to catch yellowtail fish the ranch attracts

  • Listeners are invited to consider mussels as a healthy source of sustainably produced protein

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Tur-Ha Ak & Nicole Deane: Safety, Self-Determination, and Equity for the Disenfranchised [Ep. 146]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Tur-Ha Ak is the CEO of Urban Protection Industries, a harm reduction security company. He created the unique "harm reduction security" model to provide security for drug rehabilitation clinics in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco in the 1990s. The harm reduction security model emphasizes maintaining and enforcing boundaries within a specific geographical area, and building and utilizing community relationships to enhance security. Urban Protection continues to use this model today as the primary security for the Laurel Business Improvement District in Oakland. Urban Protection has also provided personal security services for Cheryl Davila of Berkeley City Council, Patrisse Cullors of Black Lives Matter, and Cat Brooks (Oakland Mayoral candidate) in the face of heightened threats from white nationalists. 

Tur-Ha is also the founder of Community Ready Corps (CRC), a Black grassroots organization with a mission to organize and empower the Black community towards safety, self determination and equity. Under Tur-Ha’s leadership, CRC has spearheaded and helped build effective multi-racial coalitions that address the most pressing issues facing the Black community in the Bay Area, including the Anti Police-Terror Project (which created the first replicable model nationally for community rapid response to police violence), the State of Black Oakland (a People’s Assembly), and Oakland Justice Coalition. Recognizing that Black people face a triple threat of state, racist vigilante, and inter-communal violence, Tur-Ha has dedicated his life to creating a culture and climate of safety and protection in Black communities by organizing neighborhood safety teams and rapid response networks, and providing free, regular self defense training for children and adults.

Nicole Deane is an organizer, filmmaker, and co-founder of Community Ready Corps (Allies & Accomplices), a cross-class, intergenerational and multi-tendency organization of white people committed to fighting white supremacy. CRC(A) works to move, teach, and support white people to weaponize white privilege and divest of white power, and to organize in a direct and disciplined relationship with Community Ready Corps.

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Some highlights from Erin Axelrod’s conversation with Tur-Ha Ak & Nicole Deane include:

  • Community Ready Corps was born in the moment when Oscar Grant was murdered

  • The “Next Economy” really begins with deep discussion of the existing predatory economy that’s built off the backs of disenfranchised people before we can formulate just and equitable next steps, such as achieving self determination for all people (which is CRC’s Prime Objective).

  • Defining the terms “persistent reestablishment of white supremacy” and “The 5 Methods of Weaponization and Divestment of White Power & Privilege

  • How the 2018 Black Solidarity Week began with listening sessions for each of the “9 areas of self determination” to determine ways to best support existing community efforts and how the 2019 Black Solidarity Week (Feb 17-23, 2019) attempts to organize and present a Black Solidarity Agenda and Plan of Action

  • The CRC’s Black Solidarity Fund, already having raised ~$25k of it’s $30k 2019 goal, is now giving out Black Solidarity Micro-grants of $500-$1500, to support existing programs from other organizations and to fund CRC’s programs

How Listeners Can Support Black Solidarity Week

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Paul Polman: B Corps, Climate Change, and the Future of Capitalism [Ep. 145]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Paul Polman was Chief Executive Officer of Unilever from 2009-2019. Under his leadership Unilever set out an ambitious vision to decouple its growth from overall environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact.

Paul actively seeks cooperation with other companies to implement sustainable business strategies and drive systemic change. He is Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the B Team and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact. Paul previously served as Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Paul has been closely involved in global discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and action to tackle climate change. In 2016, Paul was asked by the UN Secretary-General to be a member of the SDG Advocacy Group, tasked with promoting action on the 2030 Agenda.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Paul Polman include:

  • How Paul first got interested in sustainability

  • Why Paul chose not to report quarterly returns, and instead only report annual returns to his shareholders

  • How he reconciles the need for growth on a finite planet

  • The growth of the B Corp movement

  • What he thinks about expanding ownership to workers, suppliers, and community members

  • Paul’s thoughts on permaculture and regenerative agriculture

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Robin DiAngelo: White Fragility and Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism [Ep. 144]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a former Associate Professor of Multicultural Education (Westfield State University) and currently Affiliate Faculty at the University of Washington. Dr. DiAngelo’s scholarship is in Critical Discourse Analysis and Whiteness Studies. In addition to her academic work, she have been a consultant, mediator, and workplace racial equity trainer for over 20 years. Dr. DiAngelo has numerous publications and books, including “What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy." Her first book, co-authored with Özlem Sensoy: "Is Everyone Really Equal: An Introduction to Social Justice Education" received the Critic's Choice Award by the American Educational Studies Association and the Education Award from the American Educational Research Association. Her latest book, "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism" (Beacon Press) has been on the New York Times Bestseller List since it debuted in June 2018. For more information see her website: www.robindiangelo.com.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Robin DiAngelo include:

  • How Dr. DiAngelo first got into this work as a “classic white progressive” who was “clueless about racism.”

  • Why good, open-minded, liberal progressives (who marched in the 60s) still have a fundamentally racist worldview

  • How having one or more historically marginalized identities (e.g., being a woman, low-income, LGBTQ, Jewish, etc.) does not mean that one understands the experience of racism

  • Why naming, disrupting, and dismantling white supremacy shifts the problem to white people, where it belongs.

  • How the unexamined values of individualism, meritocracy, objectivity, and conflict avoidance are part of the dominant culture and lead to problematic outcomes for people of color.

Resources:

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

john a. powell: Othering, Belonging, and Expanding the Circle of Human Concern [Ep. 143]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


john a. powell is Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was previously the Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University and the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. Prior to that john was the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care, and employment and is well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging” to effect equity-based interventions. john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with john a. powell include:

  • How john first got interested in the work he is doing today

  • The emergence of “white anxiety” and how this anxiety shapes our current political dialogue

  • john’s views on Anand Giridharadas’s book “Winners Take All” and companies who believe they are “doing good” (while actually reinforcing our broken system)

  • His work around a New Social Compact

  • john’s opinions on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats

  • The 2019 Othering and Belonging Conference in Berkeley

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Jed Emerson: The Purpose of Capital [Ep. 142]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Originator of the concepts of Blended Value and Total Portfolio Management, Jed Emerson has extensive experience leading, staffing and advising funds, firms, social ventures and foundations pursuing financial performance with social/environmental impact. In addition to his writing, Jed currently focuses on working with families exploring how to ensure a long term legacy by managing their full net worth for impact. He also advises investment firms on the implications of an impact investing framework for their practice. He is an internationally recognized Thought Leader in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Emerson has played founder roles with some of the nation’s leading venture philanthropy, community venture capital and social enterprises.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Jed Emerson include:

  • Jed’s experience working in the non-profit sector before getting into philanthropy and impact investing

  • Why we often get sidetracked into the “how” of impact investing, instead of deeply exploring “why” we are doing this in the first place

  • Jed’s thoughts on reparations and whether wealthy individuals should give their money back to society

  • Comparisons between the books Winners Take All, Decolonizing Wealth, and Jed’s own book, The Purpose of Capital

  • Jed’s request for listeners, as they think about how to actualize his thoughts / advice in their daily lives

Help these ideas reach more eyes & ears:

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.