Andrew Baskin

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.

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.

Tre' Cates: Liberating Our Latent Potential Through Regenerative Design [Ep. 152]

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


Consulting with organizations in a variety of industries across 6 continents and 35 countries, Tré has proven to be indispensable in designing, developing, and implementing an organization’s purpose for the future. His industry experience is very diverse from the development of faith-based community organizations, a publicly-traded technology company, to a multinational organization working in 20+ countries. One of his companies was recognized twice as one of the fastest growing companies in the US on the INC 500/5000 list. He has won several top individual awards in the state of Colorado including Entrepreneur of Distinction in Boulder, CO and two-time semi-finalist of Colorado’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is active in his community by serving on the board of several companies including multiple non-profits. Tré has a BA in Philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University and a MA in Theology from Southwestern seminary.

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Some highlights from Andrew Baskin’s conversation with Tre’ Cates include:

  • Tre’s journey of personal fulfillment & the transformative role that mentorship played in his life

  • The paradigm shifting impact Tre’ experienced and aims to share with others through regenerative design

  • Tre’s application of values through cultural investments at his former tech company

  • The deep backstory on nRhythm and it’s relationship with Alan Savory and The Savory Institute

  • How managing for overall system health is a precondition that allows potential to be realized in living systems and organizations

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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.

Leah Penniman: Farming While Black [Ep. 137]

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


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Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs - including farmer trainings for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for people living under food apartheid, and regional organizing toward equity in the food system. Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. Leah has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Omega Sustainability Leadership Award, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, and Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land (Chelsea Green Publishing, November 2018) is a love song for the land and her people. Follow her @soulfirefarm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Some highlights from Andrew Baskin’s conversation with Leah Penniman include:

  • Stories of unquantifiably valuable moments of healing of intergenerational trauma through relationship with land for people of color

  • How Leah’s new book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, overcomes cultural erasure by providing a rare resource for Black/POC food & farming practitioners to learn about, celebrate, and reclaim their ancestral legacy of being in deep relationship with land

  • Leah shares details on the chapter in the book, “White People Uprooting Racism," for whose interest in antiracist work as white allies

  • Soul Fire Farm’s relationship with intentional community Wildseed and a POC/Indigenous-led land trust is reclaiming spaces in alignment with shared values

Resources:

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement by Dr. Monica White

The Color of Food by Natasha Bowens

Collective Courage A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard

The Movable School Goes to the Negro farmer by Thomas Monroe Campbell

Ed Whitfield: Racial Justice Meets Non-Extractive Financing [Ep. 78]

Being Human by Climbing Poetree

I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself) by James Brown

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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.

Donna Morton: A Chance to Change Finance for Good [Ep. 131]

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


Donna Morton is CEO and co-founder of Change Finance, which is working to create 100% clean ETFs for sustainable investments. Donna had decades of experience in sustainability, economics, social innovation, clean energy, and ethical wealth management. She was the CEO of a clean energy company and built a think tank which helped pass the first carbon tax in North America. She is also an Ashoka, Ogunte, and Unreasonable Fellow, and a lifelong serial social entrepreneur with international experience ranging from sustainability and economic policy to social justice and human rights issues.

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Some highlights from Andrew Baskin’s conversation with Donna Morton include: 

  • The four phases of Donna’s career from the power of saying no as an activist in resistance movements to the the power of yes as an activist in the house of finance.

  • The backstory of Change Finance and the innovation of financial products stemming from women & marginalized groups

  • What ETF’s are and how financial activists can leverage them to take back our economy with love, respect, and dignity while boycotting the economy that is killing people and planet

  • How Change Finance has made accessible tools for deep impact investing for climate solutions in public markets for the price of a pizza, while also partnering with social justice community partners to co-design domestic-focused bond products and a globally-focused fund to benefit indigenous peoples

  • Donna’s unapologetic embrace of rendering love and care and empathy in business and finance at a system-wide level

Resources:

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners Ep.1 (see clip 1)

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners Ep.2 (see clips 1, 2)

Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

Sirolli Institute

Ellevest

World Indigenous Business Forum

Jed Emerson

Joel Solomon

Rosa Walker

Jodi Neuman

Opportunity Collaboration

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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.

Gretchen Grani: Guayaki's Authentic Invitation to Come to Life [Ep. 120]

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

 

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Regeneration & Sustainability Cebadora at Guayaki, Gretchen Grani has directed corporate sustainability and philanthropy for 2 natural products companies. Prior experience includes managing an environmental conservation nonprofit and serving on numerous nonprofit boards, environmental consulting, writing about ecopsychology, and volunteering at a St. Helena winery for 15 years. Gretchen is an advocate for personal regeneration and regenerative business as a solution to reversing climate change and solving the world’s biggest social and environmental problems.

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Resources:

https://www.climatecollaborative.com/

https://mamuse.bandcamp.com/track/we-shall-be-known-featuring-thrive-choir

 

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 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.

Lisa Curtis: Nutrition, Livelihoods, and Environmental Restoration through Moringa [Ep. 111]

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

 

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Lisa Curtis began working on Kuli Kuli while in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. As a volunteer in her village’s health center, she gained a first-hand understanding of the common nutritional challenges faced in West African villages and how moringa can play a role in helping to address those challenges. Prior to Kuli Kuli, Lisa served as the Communications Director at Mosaic where she managed a team of six to grow the company from zero to over $5M invested in solar through Mosaic’s online marketplace. Previously, Lisa wrote political briefings for President Obama in the White House, served as a United Nations Environment Programme Youth Advisor and worked at an impact investment firm in India. Lisa’s writing has been featured in a variety of outlet, including Forbes, The Huffington Post and Grist. Lisa has been recognized as a StartingBloc Fellow, a Wild Gift Better World Entrepreneur, an Ashoka Emerging Innovator and a Udall Scholar.

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Kuli Kuli's Website

Growing Women’s Empowerment Through the Moringa Tree (video)

Related Episodes:

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.

 

Sandra Kwak: #WeStandWithHaiti & #4thWorld as U.S. Solar Energy Policy Erodes [Ep. 100]

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

 

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Executive strategist and systems thinker, Sandra Kwak is applying disruptive innovation to create a regenerative future. Before launching 10Power, she scaled AutoGrid from prototype to a global brand, creating automated intelligence out of big data from the smart grid. Prior, as Co-Founder / President / COO of energy efficiency company Powerzoa, she brought building management hardware and software tools to market. Sandra has also served as CEO of a software company producing the world’s first mathematically lossless video codec. She worked at Pacific Gas & Electric implementing the ClimateSmart program and has consulted with clients including Mitsubishi, the Transamerica Holding Company, and The San Francisco Foundation. Sandra has an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Political Science and Visual Art from Emory University.  10 Power is an investee of LIFT Economy’s Force for Good Fund.

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Some highlights from Andrew’s interview with Sandra include:

  • Sandra describes how part of her inspiration for creating 10Power grew from her observation that concerted efforts to elevate social equity was missing from CleanTech sector as thousands lack access to electricity and all that affordable electrical infrastructure affords

  • With Haiti importing most of its energy, Sandra enumerates emerging opportunities for solar in Haiti including building virgin, state of the art infrastructure and innovative financing to increase affordability

  • Sandra laments Trump’s imposition of tariffs on solar panels, counterproductively backsliding U.S. energy policy as Haitian President Jovenel Moïse boldly removes tariffs entirely from solar panel imports with promises of rapidly electrifying Haiti with renewable energy

  • Deriving much of her hope and inspiration from youth, Sandra offers advice to anyone wanting to make a difference in CleanTech or in general, advising us to treat every experience as a learning experience, to find or create the conditions that enable us to thrive, and to elevate positive solutions

  • As they continue recognizing, investing in, and scaling solutions, 10Power will be raising a fund later this year (subscribe to LIFT Economy’s monthly newsletter to stay tuned for opportunities to support!)

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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.

Jeff Ward: Indigenous-owned B Corp with Thunderbird's Eye View on Indigenous Innovators & Technology [Ep. 96]

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

 

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Jeff Ward is a web designer, software developer, author, & speaker.  Born in Manitoba & living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia on Coast Salish territory, Jeff is a father, serial entrepreneur, and CEO & Founder of Animikii, a web-service company empowering Indigenous organizations to leverage technology for social, economic and cultural initiatives – and the first indigenous-owned certified B Corp in Canada.  

A father of two cool little men and a husband to his amazing wife Robyn,  Jeff is of mixed ancestry.  His father is Ojibwe (Sandy Bay) and Métis.  His settler heritage is English and Ukrainian on his mother's side.  He identifies as a proud Indigenous man and his background informs not only his creative work but his business philosophies as well.

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Some highlights from Andrew’s interview with Jeff include:

  • Animikii Indigenous Technology’s creation story

  • Framing “social enterprise” in the context of indigenous vales

  • Jeff’s participation in Canada’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commision & its influence on his approach to business

  • Ways in which Jeff and Animikii has been impacted by systemic, institutionalized racism

  • Jeff’s bridging of cultural identities and worldviews

  • How values-aligned social enterprise is a potent tool for Indigenous self determination

 

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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.