Deborah Frieze: How to Create Healthy, Resilient, and Inclusive Communities [Ep. 64]

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

Deborah Frieze is co-founder and managing partner of the Boston Impact Initiative, an impact investing fund that partners with businesses and organizations throughout Eastern Massachusetts to create systemic shifts in opportunities for urban communities.

Deborah is co-author with Margaret Wheatley of “Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,” an award-winning book profiling pioneering leaders who have walked out of organizations and systems that were failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities.

Deborah is also founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain, MA, where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities

We discuss two of the main areas that she spends her time: the Boston Impact Initiative and the Old Oak Dojo.

Some of the highlights from our conversation include:

  • Her description of the Boston Ujima Project and democratizing capital in underserved communities

  • Whether the Next Economy needs to be defined, in detail, in order for us to reach our collective goals

  • Why she believes worker ownership is right for some businesses, but not others

  • How the author Margaret Wheatley and the Belgian Economist Bernard Lietaer affected her thinking on a whole-systems approach to redefining the economy

  • Her advice to those who are seeking to learn more about the future of business



Aaron Tanaka

The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible by Charles Eisenstein


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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). 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 Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him