Janelle Orsi: Leveraging the Legal System towards an Equitable & Inclusive Next Economy [Ep. 30]

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Erin Axelrod, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Janelle Orsi, founder of The Sustainable Economies Law Center.


Janelle Orsi is an attorney living and working in Oakland, California. Her law and mediation practice is focused on helping individuals and organizations share resources and create more sustainable communities. She works with social enterprises, non-profits, cooperatives, community gardens, cohousing communities, ecovillages, and others doing innovative work to change the world. Her primary areas of legal specialty are real estate, small business, nonprofit, and estate planning law. In addition to her private practice, Janelle is Co-Founder and Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center.


Janelle is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community, a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds. Janelle also writes for Shareable.net.


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In this interview, Erin & Janelle discuss a number of topics, including:

  • What if people could divert their funeral financing into burial plot land conservation easements?

  • The radically transformative power of worker-ownership

  • What does the real sharing economy look like? Loconomics Cooperative as a model to emulate

  • What is a multi-stakeholder cooperative and why that might be important

  • Healthy workplaces and how to alleviate nonprofit burn-out

  • “Permanent real estate cooperatives” as an iteration of Community land trusts to lessen the divide and make land trusts accessible to a more diverse socioeconomic group

  • How to catalyze a consumer revolution to create a tipping point for cooperatives


Towards the end of the podcast, Janelle and Erin coin the term, “Democravore,” to indicate an idea of mobilizing groups of people to come together to prioritize food spending at worker-owned food businesses.


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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.