local economy

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.

Kanyon CoyoteWoman Sayers-Roods: Decolonizing & Reindigenizing Our Relationships [Ep 160]

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


Kanyon Sayers-Roods is Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash; she also goes by her given Native name, “Coyote Woman”. She is proud of her heritage and her native name (though it comes with its own back story), and is very active in the Native Community. She is an Artist, Poet, Published Author, Activist, Student and Teacher. The daughter of Ann-Marie Sayers, she was raised in Indian Canyon, trust land of her family, which currently is one of the few spaces in Central California available for the Indigenous community for ceremony. Kanyon’s art has been featured at the De Young Museum, The Somarts Gallery, Gathering Tribes, Snag Magazine, and numerous Powwows and Indigenous Gatherings. She is a recent graduate of the Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale, obtaining her Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in Web Design and Interactive Media. She is motivated to learn, teach, start conversations around decolonization and reinidgenization, permaculture and to continue doing what she loves, Art.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Kanyon CoyoteWoman speaks to her experience as an ancestor in training and as an indigenous entrepreneur

  • The importance of establishing authentic relationship through asking, listening, respecting, humility, & permission

  • Why we should be shifting policy to authentically understand & respect local indigenous cultures

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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.

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.

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

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


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

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

  • How Aaron got into the work he is doing today

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Brock Dolman: Thirsty for a Balanced Water Budget [Ep. 141]

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


Brock Dolman co-directs the WATER InstitutePermaculture Design Program and Wildlands Program. He has taught Permaculture and consulted on regenerative project design and implementation internationally in Costa Rica, Ecuador, U.S. Virgin Islands, Spain, Brazil, China, Canada, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba and widely in the U.S. He has been the keynote presenter at numerous conferences and was featured in the award-winning films The 11th Hour by Leonardo DiCaprio, The Call of Life by Species Alliance, and Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution by Vanessa Shultz. In October of 2012, he gave a City 2.0 TEDx talk. Brock completed his BA in the Biology and Environmental Studies departments at the University of California Santa Cruz in 1992, graduating with honors. For over a decade, he has served as an appointed commissioner on the Sonoma County Fish & Wildlife Commission

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Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Brock Dolman include:

  • Unpacking aspects of the ecological, biological, & economic importance of water

  • Adaptation to global warming by maximizing/stretching our water budgets at various scales

  • Suggestions for transitioning ecologically from viscous cycles to virtuous cycles & personal resilience strategies

  • An overview of some of Brock’s exciting projects at The WATER Institute at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and beyond

Resources:

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

 

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

 

Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.

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.

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.

Diana Leafe Christian: Finding Community & Creating a Life Together [Ep. 136]

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


Diana's mission is to help intentional communities get started successfully, function effectively, and achieve their goals. She has learned what works well from founders and long-time members of more than 170 communities worldwide — ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, housing co-ops, shared group households, income-sharing communes, and more. She is author of Creating a Life Together, (2006), (now translated into six languages) and Finding Community (2007) See this 1-minute video highly recommending her work.

Diana teaches  workshopsoffers consultations, and presents keynote addresses and breakout workshops for conferences internationally. In 2017 she received the Fellowship for Intentional Community's Kozeny Communitarian Award, a lifetime acheivement award for her contributions to the US communities movement.

She teaches workshops on Starting a Successful Ecovillage or Intentional Community, and on Sociocracy (also called Dynamic Governance), to intentional communities and member-led groups. She is an Associate Member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group (TSCG) and was formerly a Sociocracy trainer for the board of GEN International.  Her third book will be about how groups can use Sociocracy for better meetings, to get more done, and to feel more connected. She also teaches the N St. Consensus Method for groups that would like to use consensus.

Diana is a certified as a trainer for Gaia Education's Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course, and a Board Member of GEN-US (Global Ecovillage Network-US) and GENNA (GEN-North America). She wrote chapters for the Gaia Education/EDE books Beyond You and Me and Gaian Economics, and the GEN book Ecovillage: 1001 Ways to Heal the Planet. She has written articles for Communities magazine, GEN Newsletter, the Communities Directory, GEN NewsletterPermaculture Activist, and Permaculture magazines. She was editor of Communities magazine (1994-2007) and publisher of Ecovillages newsletter (2010-2012). She is a member of Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

Email Diana at diana~at~ic.org


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Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Diana Leafe Christian include:

  • An overview of the various common forms of intentional communities

  • An introduction to Sociocracy and other governance & decision-making systems

  • How to integrate critically important feedback loops for group processes

  • Diana’s 8 crucial structures that groups, whether intentional communities or businesses, should put in place immediately to prevent structural conflict

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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.

 

Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.

Jack Dangermond: Unlocking ArcGIS & The Science of Where [Ep. 129]

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


Jack Dangermond, President of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), is recognized as a pioneer in spatial analysis methods and one of the founding fathers of GIS technology. Considered to be one of the most influential people in GIS, Jack combined an early interest in computers with studies in environmental science at California Polytechnic College, urban planning at the University of Minnesota and landscape architecture at Harvard University. In 1969, he and his wife founded ESRI in his hometown of Redlands, California. Jack is an outspoken proponent of GIS as one of our most promising decision-making tools for urban, regional, environmental, and global problems.

ESRI has the largest GIS software install base in the world with more than one million users in more than 130,000 organizations representing business, government, NGOs, and academia. Jack fostered the growth of ESRI from a small research group to an organization of 2,700 employees, known internationally for GIS software development, training and services. 

Beyond his commercial success, Jack’s passion for GIS and for its application to solving problems – particularly for the causes of the environment and the less empowered in society, and his generosity concerning those issues – is well known throughout the industry.

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Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Jack Dangermond include:

  • The evolution of ESRI from serving a handful of users to serving millions across sectors

  • The degree to which ESRI reinvests into research & development driven directly by user feedback

  • Emerging open source and civic applications of ESRI’s arcGIS technology

  • Jack’s relationship with conservation and an example of ESRI’s work with The Nature Conservancy

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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.

 

Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.