force for good fund

Neelam Sharma: The Black Panther Party, Food Justice, and Self-Reliant Communities [Ep. 110]


Our guest today is Neelam Sharma, Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited (or CSU), which is a non-profit organization based in South Los Angeles, CA.

CSU was founded in the 1970’s by the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party. CSU’s mission is to foster the creation of communities actively working to address the inequalities and systemic barriers that make sustainable communities and self-reliant life-styles unattainable.

14037760_10206688887812493_1447500439_o-667x1000.jpg

In Ryan Honeyman's interview with Neelam, they discuss a variety of topics, including:

  • Neelam’s upbringing in India and in London

  • Her early involvement with activism and her work cofounding a chapter of the Black Panther Party in London in the 1980s

  • Her visit to CSU in the mid 1990s and eventual move to Southern California

  • CSU’s latest project launching the Village Market Place, a social enterprise that was designed to complement their education and training programs, and meet the growing demand for good (affordable, beyond organic, culturally appropriate, exploitation free) food in South Los Angeles.

For folks who are interested in learning more, please visit www.csuinc.org to check out the amazing work CSU is doing in South Los Angeles. You can also follow CSU on Twitter, @CSUINCLA.

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.

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.

Keba Konte: Grounds To Ramp Up Red Bay’s #BlackCoffee & Roast Racial-Bias Publicity Stunts [Ep. 107]

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

 

Help these ideas reach more eyes & ears:

  1. SHARE this post on social media!

  2. RATE Next Economy Now on I-Tunes!

  3. SUBSCRIBE to Next Economy Now: iTunes | Overcast | Stitcher | Etc.


Now rooted in Oakland, CA, Keba Armand Konte was born and raised in San Francisco. He is an artist, food entrepreneur and man of the community. His artwork has been published widely and exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. He is the co-founder of Guerilla Cafe, the founder of Chasing Lions Cafe and the Founder/Roaster for Red Bay Coffee – an investee of LIFT Economy’s Force For Good Fund. In his spare time he enjoys aquaponic gardening, judo and making vegan waffles for his family.

Keba_Konte_Red_Bay_Coffee-550x745.jpg

Some highlights from Ryan’s interview with Keba include:

  • Keba illustrates his colorful journey from the heyday of Haight-Ashbury in SF to his first career choice as a photographer – notable works from the 90’s independent hip hop scene: Boots Riley & The Coup, E-40, Master P, Too Short, 2-Pac, etc, with spreads in magazines like Rolling Stone, The Source, etc – transitioning in the early 2000’s to a career as a critically-acclaimed visual artist with unique documentary-style pieces & installation, conceptual, and interactive art (see Resources below to see Keba’s photography & art) which ultimately led Keba to co-found Guerilla Cafe as a hub for culture, art, and coffee vibes.

  • Keba shares how he’s always been very intentional about the political implications of where he spent his money, a values-driven skillset that transferred to business decisions which enabled him to support black/POC entrepreneurs & provide livelihoods to youth

  • Keba’s coffee enterprising began with Guerilla Cafe – which held the first wholesale coffee shop account for Blue Bottle Coffee.  Building from that success, Keba founded Chasing Lions Cafe and by structuring it to work so he would not work in the business so that he could work on the the business, he carved out the space he needed to cultivate the craft of roasting in his “Coffee Dojo,” finally launching Red Bay Coffee in 2014

  • How the often normalized systemic racism of Starbucks culture recently captured on video has brought attention to the merit, meaning, and unique value proposition of the Red Bay Coffee model, resulting in a rapid increase in demand for Red Bay Coffee shops nationwide at a time when Red Bay is already ramping up for expansion (stay tuned for new locations in LA & Philly)

 

Resources:

Videos/Audio:

Books:

Terminology:

People:

Organizations:


 

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.

Nikishka Iyengar: Bolstering Entrepreneurial Ecosystems with Equitable Real Estate Development [Ep. 106]

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

 

Help these ideas reach more eyes & ears:

  1. SHARE this post on social media!

  2. RATE Next Economy Now on I-Tunes!

  3. SUBSCRIBE to Next Economy Now: iTunes | Overcast | Stitcher | Etc.


Nikishka Iyengar is a entrepreneur and strategist building the next economy. Using a whole systems approach to address social and environmental challenges, Nikishka is Founder and CEO of The Guild – a social enterprise developing co-living spaces to empower changemakers and build resilient communities. An investee of LIFT Economy’s Force For Good Fund, The Guild explores what community-led real estate development could look like, and has raised impact investment dollars to grow its model.  Nikishka is also the owner of Whole Systems Collective, an impact consulting collective helping companies innovate towards systems change. Previously, while earning her dual degree in Finance & Economics  at University of Texas at Austin, Nikishka conducted research on the socioeconomic impact of the e-waste trade in China and India, and on the social impact of microfinance with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.  Originally from Mumbai, India before moving to Singapore and eventually to the US, Nikishka has been recognized by GreenBiz as a "30 under 30" emerging leader in sustainability.

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 2.52.26 PM.png

Some highlights from Ryan’s interview with Nikishka include:

  • How witnessing stark economic disparity in India, Singapore, & the United States has informed Nikishka’s journey in economics, finance, and social impact

  • As Nikishka helped start the sustainability & social impact consulting initiative at Deloitte, she often observed “predatory delay” (see terminology section below) and a spectrum of sincerity in the field with some being lulled into complacency thinking that addressing the issue at all was enough, while others demonstrated steadfast commitment to pushing for real systems change in the world of impact

  • How the shifting immigration landscape has shaped Nikishka’s experience and identity

  • How Nikishka’s introduction to cooperative living & decision making in college inspired her ideas to create spaces to support the local social entrepreneur ecosystem through The Guild

  • A reframe on the degree to which communities front tremendous risk with new real estate developments and how developments might be approached more equitably

 

Resources:

Videos/Audio:

Terminology:

People:

Organizations:


 

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.

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

DTXaPV2X0AEoCO9.jpg

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

 

Help these ideas reach more eyes & ears:

  1. SHARE this post on social media!

  2. RATE Next Economy Now on I-Tunes!

  3. SUBSCRIBE to Next Economy Now: iTunes | Overcast | Stitcher | Etc.


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.

10Power_2017_04_24EG6961_crop2.jpg

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!)

Resources:

Videos/Audio:

 

Terminology:

People:

Organizations:

 

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.

Kevin Bayuk: Our Journey to an Economy that Works for the Benefit of All Life [Ep. 99]

(*oops, we got excited and thought it was Ep. 100 :D )

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

 

Help these ideas reach more eyes & ears:

  1. SHARE this post on social media!

  2. RATE Next Economy Now on I-Tunes!

  3. SUBSCRIBE to Next Economy Now: iTunes | Overcast | Stitcher | Etc.


Our dearly beloved co-founding member of the LIFT Team, Kevin Bayuk's has his roots in entrepreneurship, having spent nearly a decade starting and growing technology companies, and activating projects and organizations that regenerate healthy ecosystems and socially just and joyful environments. After immersing himself in all aspects of starting and growing companies, Kevin focused his attention on learning about and teaching eco-systemic design. Nowadays Kevin merges his experience in business with his experience in permaculture to help businesses care for people while enhancing the earth.  

Kevin also serves as the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown developing the business case to address climate change through existing practices and technologies. He frequently teaches classes, workshops, does public speaking, facilitates meetings, plans events and provides one on one mentoring as a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute San Francisco. Kevin has helped design and start food security gardens and public learning experiences intent on reminding people that we, too, are nature.

Kevin has raised millions of dollars to capitalize business operations, led teams of more than 30 employees, and can speak well to the benefits and pitfalls of raising capital and the many paths of growing a business. He loves spreadsheets and loves to dig into operating models. One investor of Kevin’s last technology company said, “Kevin oozes strategy.”

kevin_bayuk1.jpg

Some highlights from Ryan’s interview with Kevin include:

  • Kevin recounts his process of shifting away from a worldview overwhelmed by proliferation of problems/suffering to one where he recognized countless opportunities to solve problems and inspire a movement of solutions

  • How the genesis of Kevin’s interest in business & economy as powerful lever for social change grew from observations that much suffering is rooted in our system of economy that informs our cultural norms and identities

  • A leisurely stroll through LIFT’s long term vision, from LIFT 1.0 to LIFT 5.0 and how the LIFT Team balances cynicism and optimism on the path to realizing our vision

  • Some resources from which the LIFT Team derives inspiration

Resources:

Videos:

Books

Terminology:

People:

Organizations

 

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.

Lynn Johnson: Spotlighting Girls For Social Change [Ep. 58]

Lynn Johnson, social entrepreneur and girl advocate, is dedicated to igniting a compassion revolution by putting girls center stage. Lynn is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spotlight:Girls, the producer of Go Girls! Camp.  Based in Oakland, CA, Spotlight:Girls celebrates and activates girls and women through multi-media learning experiences, products, and events.

Spotlight:Girls is the first investee for LIFT Economy’s very Force for Good Fund. The Force For Good Fund is the world’s first “Best for the World” B Corp Accelerator Fund dedicated to investing in women and people of color owned enterprises!

In this interview we discuss:

  • The power of “Dad”vocates - the community support network of fathers and how the dads are often some of the biggest champions of this work

  • The importance of compassion-forward leadership (especially from men) and actions and leadership styles we all need to take to create space for female voices to shine

  • The free resources from Spotlight Girls that listeners can use to empower the young women in their life to shine their voices, including a webinar about Raising Black Girls, A Free media guide called #GirlsMakeMedia highlighting how girls can be creative and safe while expressing their voices online, and an upcoming webinar for parents who are curious about sending their girls to GoGirls camps!

Lynn also shares the 5 core traits of a “Go Girl!” (the affectionately-bestowed moniker for the girls and women of the Spotlight:Girls community) describing how Go Girls!...

#1 Say “yes”!  - and how even saying “no” sometimes is a way of saying yes

#2 Give and Take - and how Lynn’s work is rooted in neuroscience research from the Greater Good Science Center and how powerful it is to incorporate altruism, reciprocity by giving and taking in drama, theater and in our daily lives.

#3 Make mistakes - and acknowledge and learn from their mistakes through fun games like “The Tower of Oops”

#4 Feel our Feelings - learn self-awareness and compassionate non-judgement about the feelings we all feel

#5 Take center stage - incorporate boldness, bravery, and creativity to grow their internal resilience, strength and the power of their voice

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.

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. 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 Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Sandra Kwak: Solar as the Backbone for a New Economy - in Haiti and Beyond [Ep. 34]

“Solar is the backbone of an economy.” - Sandra Kwak

 

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Erin Axelrod, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Sandra Kwak, Founder and CEO of 10 Power, a woman-owned company that finances renewable energy in developing communities.

 

Sandra and Erin discuss the opportunities of bringing solar to countries like Haiti - where the most recent Hurricane Matthews has caused an extraordinary amount of devastation and destruction and yet where there is so much potential to build a regenerative economy leveraging cutting edge renewable energy technology.

 

As you’ll hear, Sandra is enthusiastic about the promise of solar, especially for the potential it offers to communities who are currently lacking access to electricity. For these countries, it offers a way to modernize in a more efficient, cost effective, and sustainable manner than what fossil fuels have offered since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

 

In this interview, Erin and Sandra discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How “third-party financing” spurred the adoption of solar in the US, and how 10 Power is leveraging that to springboard adoption of solar in Haiti.

  • Why solar is the backbone of a local, living economy

  • The importance of building ownership. The 10 Power model fosters local ownership of the companies and all installations are done via a pay-to-own model.

  • Why fossil fuels are “not a good investment anymore.”

  • The importance of the divestment movement - the largest movement to divest from fossil fuels in financial history.

  • Gender equality as a key element that is driving 10 power’s business model

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

 

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.

 

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 a shepherdess, indigo farmer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. 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 Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.