2019

Chris Hewitt: Money Made By Local Trade at Hudson Valley Current [Ep. 170]

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


Chris Hewitt, a social entrepreneur who has started a series of businesses, co-founded the Hudson Valley Current in 2013. The economic development nonprofit organization strives to keep money local, create vibrant Main Streets, and share the abundance that's all around us. With a mid-Hudson Valley based local currency—the Current—our communities work together to create strong connections, localized exchanges, and economic resilience. 

Hewitt launched Country Wisdom News in August 2010 as a monthly newspaper that combined age-old and modern thoughts on community, the land, and the home. Known today as Livelihood, the publication speaks to local economic initiatives and reaches over 20,000 readers each month. 

Chris studied Professional & Technical Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology with a focus on printing, publishing, and journalism. He loves the Hudson Valley, his garden and family in Kerhonkson, and his fun, innovative office in Kingston.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Chris’s background growing up in Long Island in a family of entrepreneurs that prepared Chris for his journey in business, investing, fatherhood, and community-hood

  • The backstory on the Hudson Valley Current and an overview of its current initiatives that span not only local currency, but other forms of community resilience (eg: food security)

  • An overview of the importance and value of having a working local currency – especially one built on trust

  • An update the on the current stats for the Current: they now have over 380 members who’ve exchanged over 600,000 Currents.

  • Some exciting research in collaboration with a Bard College professor that maps the impact of the Current on the local Hudson Valley 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.

Kwaku Osei: Pioneering Community-Directed Funds at Cooperative Capital [Ep. 169]

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


Kwaku Osei is the CEO of Cooperative Capital. He was previously an Executive Associate at Rock Ventures where he worked on special projects with Dan Gilbert and served as CEO to Project X LLC, a $1MM+ tech spinout of Rock Ventures. Prior to Rock Ventures he was at Deloitte Consulting in DC, where he focused on technology, business process reengineering, strategic change and communications for various clients. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Honor's College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with University Honors.

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Interview Highlights:

  • A window into Kwaku’s background and his assertive, pioneering approach to his work

  • An overview of the purpose and some of the design considerations of Cooperative Capital and it’s community-based fund(s)

  • Kwaku shares his struggle with overcoming some of the legal hurdles pertaining to securities law that have delayed the launch of the fund(s)

  • We hear about some other actors in the Next Economy doing similar pioneering work in the space of democratizing capital and community development

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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.

Modou Sowe: No-Till Farming in California & The Gambia [Ep. 168]

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


Modou Sowe is born to a farming community called Wellingara Village in The Gambia. He was among the lucky children of farmers with the opportunity to be educated.

Upon completion of his High School education in 2004, he realized that the ever increasing livestock theft has affected farmers and even forced them to sell the herds.

With the determination for a change, he organized his fellow youths to combat against this problem by forming a small community based organization called the shepherd and livestock owners association which expands to be a national association called The National Livestock Owners Association in which he is the Secretary General.

Modou is also the national youth coordinator of the national coordinating organization for farmers association The Gambia (NACOFAG). Which is the national networking organization for all farmers associations in The Gambia.

In 2018, he was selected to participate in a yearlong leadership training program by the McCain Institute for International Leadership in the USA and specialized in farming.

Modou hopes to increase youth participation in the agricultural value chain of The Gambia for youth empowerment opportunities, economic development and national food security by establishing the first ever no till organic farm academy that will train, support and motivate youth farmers in no-till farming.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Modou shares his background, giving some background on his agricultural work in The Gambia

  • Modou discusses his experience with Singing Frogs Farm, no till farming, and it’s implications for climate change and the conditions for farming in The Gambia

  • Modou shares his insights for what he believes is most needed for the people and the land in The Gambia

https://www.gofundme.com/support-next-generation-farmers-in-the-gambia/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/next-generation-leaders/modou-sowe/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/podcast/in-the-arena-episode-29-modou-sowe/

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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.

Chuck Brown: Just Transition, Philanthropy, and The Scourge of DAFs [Ep. 167]

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


Chuck Brown is the founder of Orion Advising, a consultancy in service of social entrepreneurs and investors seeking a Just Transition to the new economy. He sits on the board of Social Enterprise Alliance Bay Area, is a member-leader of Resource Generation Bay Area, and would be glad to connect with you and hear your story: chuck@orionadvising.com. 

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Interview Highlights:

  • How Chuck first got into the work he is doing today

  • Social entrepreneurship that focuses on systemic changes in solidarity with poor and working class folks

  • Chuck’s evolving understanding of “giving back” versus “giving it ALL back”

  • What Chuck learned as a foundation insider about Donor Advised Funds (DAFs)

  • Leaders that inspire Chuck and resources he recommends for folks interested in learning more

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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.

Vincent Medina & Louis Trevino: Reviving & Strengthening Indigenous Foods of SF Bay Area [Ep. 166]

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


Vincent Medina is a member of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, where he also serves as a Councilman representing his family’s lineage. He and Louis Trevino co-founded mak-‘amham, an organization and restaurant focused on reviving and strengthening traditional Ohlone foods and sharing them with their communities. Vincent was born and continues to live in his family’s indigenous tribal area of Halkin (Southern Oakland/San Leandro/San Lorenzo).

Louis Trevino is a Rumsen Ohlone community member active in the cultural revitalization efforts of his people. He is focused primarily on the revitalization of the Rumsen language and traditional Ohlone foods. He longs for a full and holistic revitalization of the lifeways of his ancestors, including language, story, song, art, food, and every other aspect of traditional Rumsen Ohlone culture, and he is grateful to contribute to the effort. With his partner, Vincent, Louis co-founded mak-‘amham, which works to promote traditional Ohlone foods within their families, as well as to educate the public about Ohlone cuisine and identity.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Beyond the isolation of overcoming suppression of their culture in their own home, Vincent and Louis are creating a space where their fellow Ohlone community can see their traditional culture reflected through Cafe Ohlone.

  • Unapologetic and uncompromising, integrity of culture is paramount in all mak-‘amham does

  • Building allies, calls to action, and standing against misinformation & ongoing oppression

  • How to respectfully connect with your local Indigenous Community

https://www.makamham.com

https://heydaybooks.com/qa-with-vincent-medina/

https://ohlone.tumblr.com/

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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.

Layla Saad: Me and White Supremacy [Ep. 165]

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


Layla Saad is a globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change.

As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West, and lives in Middle East, Layla has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives. Layla's work is driven by her powerful desire to 'become a good ancestor'; to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone.

Me and White Supremacy is Layla's first book. Initially offered for free following an Instagram challenge under the same name, the best-selling digital Me And White Supremacy Workbook was downloaded by close to ninety thousand people around the world in the space of six months, before becoming a traditionally published book. Layla's work has been brought into homes, educational institutions and workplaces around the world that are seeking to create personal and collective change.

Layla earned her Bachelor of Law degree from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. She lives in Doha, Qatar with her husband, Sam, and two children, Maya and Mohamed. Find out more about Layla at www.laylafsaad.com.

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Interview Highlights:

  • The backstory on Layla’s new book Me and White Supremacy

  • Layla’s defines some basic terms and understanding and describes her approach

  • How this challenging self reflective work is not a replacement for outward action

  • Prioritizing self care along with personal work

  • Rooting this work in person, on the ground, in community

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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.

Scott Moore y Medina: Story-Informed Design at Indigenous-Owned Architectural B Corp [Ep. 164]

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


Scott Moore y Medina, AIA NCARB AICAE PID, is an architect, community builder and co-founder of Blue Star Integrative Studio, an Indigenous American creative business enterprise headquartered in Tulsa, OK with satellite offices in California and South Dakota. Blue Star Integrative Studio is dedicated to quality design, environmental excellence, and smart community building. In his work, Scott creates place-based, common sense solutions centered around community involvement and local empowerment for clients and communities facing unique challenges. He has coordinated several sustainable planning projects and designed healthy, energy efficient projects in North America. He is actively bringing efficient, affordable, replicable, and culturally relevant designs to life, while leading game-changing projects that improve lives and support resilient economies.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How being a multicultural person lends strengths in bridging cultural divides

  • Scott shares his experience being mentored by Bob Berkabile at BNIM, 1 of 15 to study under the architect Buckminster Fuller

  • Deep dive into the details of a highly innovative project in partnership with Thunder Valley CDC on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

  • The fundamental importance of rooting into story, history, identity

  • Power in investigating your identity, acknowledging trauma, and moving on by being proactive

Blue Star Integrative Studio website

Blue Star Firm Profile

Blue Star Capabilities Statement

BSIS Facebook Page

BSIS in Instagram   

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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.

Birgit Cameron: Patagonia Provisions' Pioneers Regenerative Organic Food [Ep. 163]

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


Birgit Cameron is Managing Director at Patagonia Provisions, a division of Patagonia Works, based in Sausalito, California. In 2012, she launched Patagonia Provisions with Yvon Chouinard, the founder/owner of Patagonia, and Patagonia’s CEO, Rose Marcario. The company was created as a way to broaden Patagonia’s environmental mission by partnering with forward-thinking farmers, ranchers and fisherman and offering a variety of regeneratively sourced organic food.

Over the past six years, she has introduced a varied line of mission-based food products intended to address critical environmental issues, while establishing a model to help restore the food chain. Patagonia Provisions has doubled its sales each year, as Birgit has rapidly expanded the company into national grocery and outdoor lifestyle chains and international markets. In addition, through Patagonia Provisions she has been a keen advocate, financial supporter and partner to a variety of noteworthy organizations who follow similar values and mission as the company: "we're in business to save our home planet". Her work with Patagonia Provisions has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.

In 2016, Birgit produced “Unbroken Ground”, an award-winning documentary detailing the critical role food plays in solving the environmental crisis. Later that year, working closely with The Land Institute, she introduced Patagonia Provisions’ Long Root Ale, the first beer made with a new perennial grain called Kernza. In 2018, she worked, as a part of Patagonia’s efforts, to establish the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROC), a new high-bar organic certification that includes optimizing soil health to sequester more carbon, and values animals' and workers' welfare. Under Birgit’s leadership, Patagonia Provisions has become a recognized leader in the organic food movement.

Birgit lives in Marin County, CA with her husband and their two daughters.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Birgit shares her background on how she came to lead Patagonia Provisions

  • Insight into how Patagonia Provisions vets its suppliers

  • A backstory on Patagonia Provisions’ beer, Long Root Ale, the first beer made with a new perennial grain called Kernza

  • A breakdown of what the regenerative-organic standard is and why it matters

  • What we can expect from Patagonia Provisions in the near future

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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.

Tim Wise: The Pathology of White Privilege [Ep. 162]

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


Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. He is also the host of the new podcast, Speak Out with Tim Wise.

He has also lectured internationally, in Canada and Bermuda, and has trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military, and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. Tim has provided anti-racism training to educators and administrators nationwide.

Tim is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America (City Lights Books). Other books include Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Books); his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (recently updated and re-released by Soft Skull Press); Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White; Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male; Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama; and Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How Tim first got into the work he is doing today

  • Why white progressives can, and do, cause the most daily damage to people of color

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

  • Why white people doing anti-racism work to “help” people of color is the wrong approach

  • What Tim is looking forward to in the future

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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.

Cat Berman: Investing in Economic Inclusion [Ep. 161]

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


Catherine is a three-time entrepreneur with experience launching and building scalable businesses. Before launching CNote, Catherine served as Managing Director of Charles Schwab where she led a strategy division focused on the future of finance incorporating behavioral economics and predictive analytics. Her previous company, Global Brigades, is now the world’s largest student development firm operating in 5 countries. Over the last two decades, Catherine has held senior roles in both management consulting and venture capital.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Cat’s story of how she originally got into the work she is doing today

  • What CNote is, why it is important, and how folks can use the platform

  • The Wisdom Fund, and how it was designed to bring new thinking, experimentation, and sustainable solutions to drive wealth creation for women, specifically low-income and women of color in the United States.

  • How individuals, institutions, and wealth advisors can participate in the movement to invest in economic inclusion

  • Next steps for Cat and the CNote team

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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.