Shawn Berry

Esteban Kelly: Transformative Justice, Economic Democracy, & Collective Liberation [Ep. 138]

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


Esteban Kelly is a visionary leader and compassionate strategist who inspires organizers by drawing on science fiction, social theory, and collective liberation. Uniting close friends and long-time co-organizers, Esteban was inspired to co-create AORTA culling together his creative energy and organizational skills for expanding food sovereignty, solidarity economy & cooperative business, gender justice & queer liberation, and movements for racial justice.

Esteban’s work is vast. In addition to working for AORTA, he is the Co-Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Co-ops (USFWC), and a co-founder and current board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA).

Internationally, Esteban has advocated for workplace democracy through the ICA (International Cooperative Alliance) and CICOPA (the international worker co-op federation), and for land reform and other social movements from Canada to Brazil.

After many years as a PhD student of Marxist Geographers at the CUNY Graduate Center, Esteban has left academia with a Masters in Anthropology. Most recently, Esteban worked as Development Director and then Staff Director for the New Economy Coalition. From 2009-2011, Esteban served as Vice President of the USFWC, and a board member of the Democracy At Work Institute (DAWI) and the US Solidarity Economy Network. He is also a previous Director of Education & Training and Board President of NASCO (North American Students for Cooperation) where he was inducted into their Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011. He currently serves on the boards of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA–CLUSA), and is an advisor to the network of artist-activist trainers, Beautiful Trouble.

Firmly rooted in West Philly, Esteban’s skills and analysis of transformative justice stem from his decade-plus of organizing with the Philly Stands Up collective. Similarly, Esteban worked through a major food co-op transition as a worker–owner at Mariposa Food Co-op, where he co-founded its Food Justice & Anti-Racism working group (FJAR) and labored to institutionalize the Mariposa Staff Collective. In light of these efforts, Esteban became a Mayoral appointee to the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC), and works to advance education, systemic thinking, and anti-oppression organizing into all of his food advocacy work. 

You can contact Esteban at: esteban(at)aorta(dot)coop and follow him on Twitter: @estebantitos

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Some highlights from Shawn Berry’s conversation with Esteban Kelly include:

  • Esteban’s nonlinear and emergent visionary approach to movement leadership as well as his own career trajectory

  • Unpacking terms like Economic Democracy, Transformative Justice, & Collective Liberation

  • Exploring some of the historic cultural erasure of the cooperative economic heritage of communities of color

  • Differentiating capitalism from economics and business & increasing awareness of the is in the collective consciousness

  • How Esteban maintains hope and inspiration by focusing in on the generative work of constructing a better economy while being in allyship with resistance movements

Resources:

Frantz Fanon

Transformative Justice

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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.

 

Shawn Berry, Partner at LIFT Economy, works as 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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

The Working World's Model Works: Non-extractive Finance with Tailor-made Business Support [Ep. 87]

 

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


Brendan Martin is founder and director of The Working World, a cooperative financial institution and business incubator based in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States. Brendan originally moved to Argentina in 2004 to work with a group of Argentines in support of the “recovered factory” phenomenon, and out of this was born TWW and its non-extractive financing. Despite dire predictions of investing in the recovered factory movement, TWW achieved a 98% return rate across over 715 loans, and all with repayments only from profit sharing and without guarantees. This experience demonstrated both that grassroots cooperative movements can be economically viable and that finance can be non-extractive and subservient to people. After this success, Brendan helped open a second branch in Nicaragua in 2009, and another in the United States in 2012. The same grassroots cooperative efforts and have proven effective in the context of the US, where TWW has already funded 20+ cooperatives, including New Era Windows, which emerged from the infamous Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago. Brendan is a 2009 Ashoka fellow, a two time Ashoka Globalizer, a 2016 BALLE Local Economy Fellow, a nominated Prime Mover, and a frequent speaker on the solidarity and cooperative economy.

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Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Brendan include:

  • The birth of The Working World and it’s deep roots in Brendan’s family experiences

  • Driven by community instead of profit extraction, The Working World’s lending practices revolve around serving investees first

  • Staying true to their model for the long haul, The Working World has achieved a 98% repayment rate, the funds for which are derived exclusively from the financial success of the companies

  • Brendan’s plans to expand The Working World’s impact and the broader impact network’s cooperative structure for a financial commons

 

Resources:

Videos:

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Farhad Ebrahimi: Widening Our Circles for a Just Transition Toward a Regenerative Economy [Ep. 82]

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


Farhad Ebrahimi is the founder and chair of the Chorus Foundation, which works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the United States. The Chorus Foundation supports communities on the front lines of the old, extractive economy to build new bases of political, economic, and cultural power for systemic change.

Farhad’s family history has been defined by multiple cultures, nationalities, political revolutions, and refugee experiences. To say that his parents talked politics at home when he was growing up would be an understatement, and the experience of being a first­-generation Iranian American throughout the 1980s had a profound impact on Farhad in ways that he’s still unpacking. These early experiences – combined with a lifelong love of punk and subversive art in general – have defined a political trajectory that’s informed both his personal and professional outlook.

Through his work with Chorus, Farhad is most interested in the question of how philanthropy might play a role in putting itself out of business. Which is to say, how can the redistribution of consolidated wealth support the transition to a world in which such wealth is no longer extracted and consolidated in the first place? It is in this context that Chorus will be spending down its entire endowment by 2023.

Farhad serves on the boards of the Democracy Alliance and the Wildfire Project. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics with Computer Science, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Farhad include:

  • How Farhad’s unique mixed-race family and background in punk music and art informs his work with the Chorus Foundation

  • Spending time with and funding communities directly impacted by climate change and resource extraction resulting in support for the Just Transition framework and 3 key learnings: 1) social change requires social movements 2) systemic problems require systems systemic solutions 3) local place-based engagement is where it all comes together

  • How and why philanthropy should be putting itself out of business in order to realize a regenerative and just economy

  • A closer look at the communities and enterprises the Chorus Foundation supports

 

Resources:

Videos:

Terminology:

People:

Organizations

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

 

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Shareable Turns the Page with "Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons" [Ep. 80]

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


Neal Gorenflo is the Executive Director and co­founder of Shareable, a nonprofit solutions news outlet that covers the latest social innovations in resource sharing, new economy, and cities. He is a speaker, consultant, and writer on sharing cities, the sharing economy, and the future of work. He is the co­editor of the new book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons.” As a leader in the sharing movement, he advises mayors, communities, and organizations around the world how to meet their goals through sharing. Not surprisingly, Neal is an avid sharer whose year of living shareably life experiment was covered by FastCompany, Sunset Magazine, and 7x7. As a social entrepreneur, Neal's timely call to action is simple: share.

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Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Neal include:

  • How Neal discovered the 10x effect of a social network based on purpose called the Abundance League in San Francisco between 2005 and 2010

  • The bastardization of the perception of the “sharing economy” and the signs of hope that can redeem what the sharing economy really means (ie: platform cooperatives)

  • The need for enterprise ecosystems to actualize sharing cities to create more virtuous cycles

  • We don’t have to wait for solutions to come to us; we have them now; and can act on them today (*This names explicitly is what this Next Economy Now podcast is all about!)

 

Resources:

Videos:

Terminology:

People:

Organizations

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

 

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Ed Whitfield: Racial Justice Meets Non-Extractive Financing [Ep. 77]

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


Ed Whitfield is Co-­founder and Co­-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities. He is a long time social justice, anti ­ war and community activist. After graduating as a Presidential Scholar from Little Rock Central High School in the late 60s, he went on to Cornell University where he became the leader of the Black student organization during the period of struggle for Black Studies.

Ed is deeply involved in theorizing and promoting the development of cooperative enterprises in marginalized communities in the south. He helped to create the Southern Reparations Loan Fund to finance sustainable, democratically owned and democratically controlled businesses in communities that do not attract capital due to racist and extractive banking and investment practices.

Ed is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Southern Reparations Loan Fund, on the Advisory Board of the Florida Dream Defenders and serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition (NEC) and The Working World (TWW). In his free time he build and plays flutes and bass guitars and plays guitar and sings the blues.

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Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Ed include:

  • Ed's circuitous 50 year path as an activist from witnessing lynch mobs in the streets where he grew up to impact investing

  • Examining the idea of “productive justice” – who owns the capacity to produce and how can we create more opportunities for people to be fully productive

  • How most of the social justice issues have economic issues at their root

  • How philanthropy is an afterthought of extraction

  • The notion of “commons thinking” and creating a “financial commons” and how the Southern Reparations Loans Fund attempts to build momentum toward this end

  • How the Renaissance Community Cooperative arose from the cracks and what the Southern Reparations Loan Fund & The Working World are offering non-extractive lending and other support in the face of systemic and structural racism

 

Resources:

Videos:

Books:

Terminology:

Organizations

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.  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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Rebecca Adamson: Indigenous Self Determination & Principles Benefiting Both People & Business [Ep. 74]

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


Rebecca Adamson, an Indigenous economist, is Founder and President of First Peoples Worldwide, the first US based global Indigenous Peoples NGO, which makes grants and provides technical assistance and advocacy directly to Indigenous-led development projects. Rebecca has worked directly with grassroots tribal communities, both domestically and internationally, as an advocate of local tribal issues since 1970. She established the premiere US development institute, First Nations Development Institute, in 1980 and in 1997 she founded First Peoples Worldwide.

Rebecca's work established the first microenterprise loan fund in the United States; the first tribal investment model; and, a national movement for reservation land reform. Her work established a new field of culturally appropriate, values-driven development, which led to legislation that established new standards of accountability regarding federal trust responsibility for Native Americans. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay and Paul Foundations and the Calvert Social Investment Fund.

As a trustee of Calvert, Rebecca partnered with the Fund to create the first Indigenous Peoples' rights investment screen in 1999, and led the creation of the Indigenous Rights Risk Report, the first quantitative assessment of corporate risk exposure to Indigenous Peoples' rights, in 2014. In 2015 she has established three Shareholder Advocacy Leadership Training Centers located in Guatemala, Mexico and Canada as a new strategy for Indigenous leaders in addressing extractive industry on Indigenous territories. She was appointed as an advisor to the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group, serving from 2014 to the present. She holds a Masters in Science in Economic Development.
 

Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Rebecca include:

  • Rebecca’s role with Indian-controlled schools leading up to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 and how this shaped her strategy of focusing on culture, development, and financial self-sufficiency

  • The history of the Lakota fund which birthed the microfinance movement in the U.S.

  • A comparison of the key underlying paradigm informing traditional Indigenous economic principles and values with the current dominant principles and values of capitalism

  • Nuanced history and details of DAPL and the larger pattern in which it fits

  • How using Indigenous economic principles have demonstrated superior economic performance in terms of both financial metrics as well as holistically

 

Resources:

Videos:

Terminology:

People:

Organizations:

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Tyler Gage: Fully Alive – Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life [Ep. 73]

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


Tyler Gage is an entrepreneur, author and speaker who uses wisdom from the Amazon and start­up success to bring innovation and inspiration to growing organizations.

Tyler has spent the last 12 years studying with indigenous elders in the Amazon rainforest, venturing far from his suburban roots at the age of 20. After graduating from Brown University, Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant to start RUNA, a social enterprise that makes energizing beverages with guayusa (pronounced gwhy-you-suh), a rare Amazonian leaf, and improves livelihoods for 3,000 indigenous farming families in Ecuador. With over 70 employees and 15,000 stores selling RUNA beverages in the US and Canada, RUNA has grown to be one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the US according to Inc Magazine.

Tyler was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” and winner of both the Big Apple Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Specialty Food Association's Citizen Leader of the Year Award. ABC Nightline, National Geographic and Richard Branson's book Screw Business as Usual have all featured Tyler for his unique and powerful approach to building businesses and creating social good.

Tyler also serves on the Board of Directors of DavidsTea (NASDAQ: DTEA) and on the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Brown University. In addition to advising and investing in other start­ups, Tyler is a co­founding partner and strategic advisor to NAKU, a pioneering indigenous healing center in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Tyler lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife Michelle and enjoys boxing, yoga, riding his unicycle and studying ethnobotany.
 

Some highlights from Shawn’s interview with Tyler include:

  • Tyler’s liberal arts approach to business and use of the culture around guayusa to inform RUNA’s business model

  • The strategic reasons behind the tandem for-profit and nonprofit approach that enables RUNA to not perpetuate harmful dynamics of past business (ie: United Fruit Company)

  • Tyler discusses his new book – Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life

  • The power and  importance of embedding the organization's beneficial impact in the structural DNA and core operations of the business rather than tacking programs onto the business

  • How inspired Tyler feels about organizations like Tanka Bar and Kara Solar (see Resources section below)

Resources:

ORGANIZATIONS:

BOOKS:

 

In addition to listening on B the Change, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Help these ideas reach more ears by clicking HERE to rate Next Economy Now on I-Tunes & by sharing on social media.

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.  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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

John Abrams: Behind the Scenes at the World’s Top Scoring B Corp [Ep. 47]

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews John Abrams, founder and CEO of the South Mountain Co, a Design Build construction firm operating for over 4 decades on Martha’s vineyard. They are a worker owned cooperative and boast the highest B Corp certification score in the world! His book Companies We Keep, is a seminal work for the growing movement of worker coop buyouts.

 

In this interview we discuss:

  • John’s background coming from the back to the land movement in the 60’s

  • The political climate following the recent election

  • Climate change and the need for solutions

  • Triple bottom line peer business support network

  • Their strong family centric culture

  • ROI on the best employee benefits package in the world including home ownership and renewable energy

  • Their limits on building big

  • Commitment to affordable housing & place

  • How they survived the great recession and their plan for the next one

  • Building a company culture that makes it safe to fail

  • Trust in people is paramount

  • What the company looks like after he is gone

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article. If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview

 

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Omar Freilla: Worker Cooperative Development as a Comprehensive Solution for Our Time [Ep. 42]

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Omar Freilla. Omar is the founder and coordinator for Green Worker Cooperatives in the South Bronx, where they run the Coop Academy to empower a new generation of small local businesses that are cooperatively owned and operated.  Shawn first met Omar in 2004 after the founding of the USFWC when he came to visit Shawn at his woodworking co-op in SF.  It’s been a pleasure for Shawn to see Omar’s work grow and develop over the years.

 

In this interview we discuss:

  • Why coops are such powerful and deep solutions, socially, environmentally and economically.

  • Omar’s experience visiting the Mondragon Coops in Spain

  • Common misconceptions about coops

  • How the current political and economic climate make this work more important than ever

  • New York City’s groundbreaking funding & coalition for coop development

  • Successes and best practices from the Coop Academy

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article. If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview

 

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

 

Jessica Bonanno + Adam Trott: Cooperative models for community based economic development [Ep. 40]

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Jessica Bonanno from the Democracy Collaborative and Adam Trott from the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives. The Democracy Collaborative has been doing important work around community wealth building, one of their most notable projects being the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, OH.  The Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives (VAWC) is a cooperative  of 8 worker-coops in Western Massachusetts created to serve their members and promote the development of the cooperative economy.

 

In this interview we discuss:

  • Their personal stories bringing them into this work

  • Trends in cooperative development

  • Ownership as a pathway to community development

  • VAWC’s inter-coop development fund

  • Evergreen Coops network of companies

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article. If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview

 

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as 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.

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. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.