Podcast

David Holmgren: RetroSuburbia – The Downshifter's Guide to a Resilient Future [Ep. 178]

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


David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has developed three properties, consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects and presented lectures, workshops and courses at a wide variety of events and venues in Australia and around the world. His writings over those three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues but always illuminating another aspect of permaculture thinking.

At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. Within the international and growing permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism.

As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.  This book has been significant influences on the development of Transition Initiatives around the world. More recently his Future Scenarios work has seen him recognized as a significant thinker about the “Energy Descent future.” After a decade of significant international travel, David is no longer flying but continues to do some international presentations by Skype and pre-recorded video including receipt of the recent award by Italian environmental organisation.

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Interview Highlights:

  • From the co-originator of the permaculture concept, David shares his definition of what permaculture is and what it is not

  • Discussion of David’s new book, RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter's Guide to a Resilient Future

  • An unpacking of many economic ideas based around what David Holmgren argues is the basic economic unit of society: the household.

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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.

Porsha Beed & Aaron Johnson: Holistic Resistance [Ep. 177]

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Porsha Beed is an intimate activist and mentor who specializes in teaching young people and adults about the importance of deep human connection, holistic resistance, and the importance of self-love and resiliency. She is passionate about dismantling racism and oppression. As an earth builder and integrator of race, she strives to build a lifelong community to end racism. Her love for the Earth and for intentional community is the nest in which Porsha has chosen to fight systems of oppression.

Aaron Johnson is an earth builder, teacher of closeness, and activist. He graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He has made a lifelong commitment to use the skills he possesses to end racism. In addition to using intimacy and closeness to blackness as a primary means to that end, the tools he frequently uses are speaking, teaching, singing, photography, filmmaking, and minimalism. Aaron leads a mentoring program called Turn It Up Now that focuses on elevating the power, talent, love, and work ethic of youth. He believes that deep connection is one of the most powerful tools one can use in dismantling racism.

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Interview Highlights:

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.

Astrid Scholz: Sharing, Adapting, & Scaling Solutions as “Zebras” Unite [Ep. 176]

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


Dr. Astrid J. Scholz is Managing Partner and CEO (“Chief Everything Officer”) of Sphaera, a system design and technology firm dedicated to co-creating global, distributed, democratic infrastructure for mobilizing data, innovations, and capital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Astrid was previously President of Ecotrust, a conservation-based development organization with $150M in AUM, where Sphaera was incubated. Astrid is a founding director of the XXcelerate Fund, a revolving loan fund and mentorship program created for and by women entrepreneurs that is piloting in her home state of Oregon, USA. She is also a founding director of Zebras Unite, a growing global community of founders, investors, and allies who are creating a more ethical, inclusive, collaborative, and sustainable approach to building businesses. Astrid holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Bristol, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Photo Credit:   Adrian Hallauer

Photo Credit: Adrian Hallauer

Interview Highlights:

  • Astrid shares the progression of her various roles at Ecotrust, a pioneering bioregionally-focused organization, to incubating Sphaera, a company to help share and scale solutions and innovations across bioregions and other areas which are often trapped in silos.

  • The past, present, and possible future of Sphaera, an organization which offers a platform through which organizations can more easily find, share, and adapt existing solutions to new contexts and geographies.

  • How listeners can join a more ethical and inclusive global movement of companies to counter existing startup and venture capital culture through the Zebras Unite community (see links below for more).

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.

Isha Clarke: Youth Vs. Apocalypse [Ep. 175]

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


Isha Clarke is a high school student born, raised, and educated in Oakland, CA with a passion for intersectional activism. She knows that threats to the environment disproportionately affect people of color, low-income folks, and young people. It is essential to know this while fighting for environmental justice so we can can create a just and equitable world while maintaining a livable climate.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How Isha Clarke got involved with the climate justice movement and organizations like the Sunrise Movement and Youth vs. Apocalypse

  • A bit of background on the video with Diane Feinstein and Sunrise Movement youth activists that went viral and the impacts of that interaction

  • How listeners can contribute to the resistance movements that are holding the line for the possibility of the next economy

  • Why historically marginalized and under-resourced groups need to be at the center of the conversations around the climate crisis

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.

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.

Sean Sherman: Reweaving Sacred Relationship Through Food & Right Livelihood [Ep. 174]

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


Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and World for the last 30 years.  His main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context.  Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.

In 2014, he opened the business titled The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  In 2015 in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he also helped to design and open the Tatanka Truck food truck, which featured pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.  Chef Sean and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in numerous articles and radio shows, along with dinners at the James Beard House in Manhattan and Milan, along with teaching and sharing his knowledge to gatherings and crowds at Yale, the Culinary Institute of America, the United Nations, and many more.

Sean has been the recipient of a 2015 First Peoples Fund Fellowship, 2018 Bush Foundation Fellowship, National Center’s 2018 First American Entrepreneurship Award, 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award.

Sean’s latest endeavor, NāTIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), is dedicated to addressing the economic and health crises affecting Native communities by re-establishing Native foodways. With a vision for a new North American food system that generates wealth and improves health in Native communities through food-related enterprises, NāTIFS is establishing an Indigenous Food Lab in Minneapolis that will house an indigenous restaurant and training center covering all aspects of food service; research and development; indigenous food identification, gathering, cultivation, and preparation; and all components of starting and running a successful culinary business based around Native traditions and indigenous foods – with plans to replicate this model bioregionally throughout North America.

Reclamation of ancestral education is a critical part of reversing the damage of colonialism and forced assimilation, and food is at the heart of this reclamation. NāTIFS will drive sustainable economic empowerment and prosperity into tribal areas through a reimagined North American food system that also addresses the health impacts of injustice.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Sean shares what’s alive in his heart and mind after this year’s celebration of Indigenous People’s Day

  • A window into Sean’s background and the genesis of The Sioux Chef, The Tatanka Truck, and NāTIFS

  • Stories from traveling across the world sharing North American Indigenous cuisine

  • The grand vision of NāTIFS as regenerating indigenous people from the impacts of genocide, and cultural erasure, and reclaiming indigenous wisdom

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.

Support Passage of The Cob Codes – NEXT ECONOMY CALL TO ACTION [Ep. 173]

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


John Fordice – a California Licensed Architect with a small practice out of his home in Berkeley, CA –is the originating force behind the Cob Code effort.

Learning to build with cob in 1995 at a Cob Cottage Company workshop, he saw the need for cob to become recognized by the building codes in North America. He then wrote the initial Cob Code Proposal to encourage the cause of bringing cob into the Building Code.

 John has been involved in various cob projects including: the design and construction of several small cob buildings; developing a method of seismic stability components for use in cob buildings; was the architect of record for the first permitted cob building in California; written a cob design & construction guide for use in N. California locations; and demonstrated and taught various introduction to cob classes.

In 2010 John proposed the development of the nonprofit Cob Research Institute and has since served as Board President and Executive Director of CRI.  He is devoted to the ongoing effort to make a cob building code available for all who build. 

John's passions include cob, surfing, daily walks, and making things.

Martin Hammer is an architect in the San Francisco Bay Area and co-director of Builders Without Borders. Throughout his 35-year career, Martin has emphasized sustainable design, including use of passive solar, salvaged and repurposed materials, rammed earth, straw-clay, and with particular focus on the design, testing, and construction of straw bale buildings. 

Martin is a contributing author of the book Design of Straw Bale Buildings and has written and lectured widely on the subject. Since 2001, he has worked to include sustainable building systems in building codes. He is lead author of Appendices on Straw Bale ConstructionLight Straw-Clay Construction, and Tiny Houses in the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC). He is lead author with the Cob Research Institute (CRI) of the currently proposed IRC Appendix on Cob Construction (Monolithic Adobe).

In 2006-2007 Martin helped found Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (PAKSBAB), introducing engineered straw bale construction to earthquake-affected Pakistan. From 2010-2013 he was extensively involved in reconnaissance, historic preservation, and sustainable rebuilding projects in post-earthquake Haiti, with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the World Monuments Fund, and Builders Without Borders. Since 2015 Martin has worked on sustainable rebuilding in post-earthquake Nepal.

Anthony Dente, PE – Principal, and Owner at Verdant Structural Engineers & Board Member/Lead Structural Engineer at the Cob Research Institute – is a licensed Civil Engineer. Anthony is deeply passionate about effective material use for all building systems. He strives to assist the natural and green building community by providing leadership regarding developing design procedures for natural and green materials, increasing the safe and effective options available to future engineers.
Following his graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and engineering from Pennsylvania State University, Anthony moved westward to practice structural design and in particular straw bale structural design under Kevin Donahue, SE.

Anthony also serves as a board member for the Cob Research Institute (CRI). CRI is an organization in pursuit of making the permitting process for cob and other similar earthen matrices more accessible, with an end goal of an adopted earthen building code for North America. Anthony has advised, designed, and collaborated in numerous university based small scale and full scale testing programs on the structural behavior of natural materials. He has presented on these topics at various conferences including the West Coast Natural Building Conference and Earth USA

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Interview Highlights:

  • John’s, Martin’s, and Anthony’s unique pathways into the field of architecture, engineering, and natural building

  • The many benefits of building with cob and other natural materials

  • The testing and development that went into the production of the Cob Codes and possible next steps for research and innovation

  • CALL TO ACTION: How you can support the passage of the Cob Building Codes!!!

  • Implications for workforce development and many other sectors of the economy should our efforts to pass the Cob Codes be successful

Resources:

Cob Research Institute: https://www.cobcode.org/

LIFT blog: Natural Building/Cob Enthusiasts: Help Get The Cob Building Codes Approved (Oct 26) !!!

Next Economy Now Podcast: Massey Burke: Natural Building, Carbon Sequestration, and Resilience in Climate Chaos [Ep. 115]

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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.

Autumn Brown: The Solidarity Economy [Ep. 172]

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


Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, artist, and facilitator. She is a Worker-Owner with AORTA, the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance, and cohosts the podcast How to Survive the End of the World with her sister, adrienne maree brown. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Common Fire Foundation and Voices for Racial Justice. In addition to her work as a facilitator, political educator, and consultant, Autumn is a speculative and creative non-fiction writer. Her work has been published in the Procyon Science Fiction Anthology, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. She lives in Minnesota.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How Autumn first got into the type of work she is doing today

  • Worker cooperatives and why Americans are so resistant to cooperation

  • How to practice inclusive decision-making with internal teams

  • Autumn’s work at the Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)

  • The podcast “How to Survive the End of the World,” which Autumn co-hosts with her sister, adrienne marie 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.

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.


Edgar Villanueva: Wealth, Healing, and Dismantling White Supremacy [Ep. 171]

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


Edgar Villanueva is a nationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy. Edgar currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a Board Member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.

Edgar is an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and currently serves as Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education where he oversees grant investment and capacity building supports for education justice campaigns across the United States.

Edgar previously held leadership roles at Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina and at the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle.

Edgar is the author of Decolonizing Wealth, which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors.

Edgar holds two degrees from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Edgar is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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Interview Highlights:

  • How Edgar’s work is moving money into communities of color

  • What has surprised Edgar the most since his book was released in 2018

  • The dysfunctions and realities of philanthropy

  • How we can move the needle towards dismantling white supremacy

  • Edgar’s plans for the future (including creating a Decolonizing Wealth fund)

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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.

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.