education/training

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

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


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.

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.

Modou Sowe: No-Till Farming in California & The Gambia [Ep. 168]

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


Modou Sowe is born to a farming community called Wellingara Village in The Gambia. He was among the lucky children of farmers with the opportunity to be educated.

Upon completion of his High School education in 2004, he realized that the ever increasing livestock theft has affected farmers and even forced them to sell the herds.

With the determination for a change, he organized his fellow youths to combat against this problem by forming a small community based organization called the shepherd and livestock owners association which expands to be a national association called The National Livestock Owners Association in which he is the Secretary General.

Modou is also the national youth coordinator of the national coordinating organization for farmers association The Gambia (NACOFAG). Which is the national networking organization for all farmers associations in The Gambia.

In 2018, he was selected to participate in a yearlong leadership training program by the McCain Institute for International Leadership in the USA and specialized in farming.

Modou hopes to increase youth participation in the agricultural value chain of The Gambia for youth empowerment opportunities, economic development and national food security by establishing the first ever no till organic farm academy that will train, support and motivate youth farmers in no-till farming.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Modou shares his background, giving some background on his agricultural work in The Gambia

  • Modou discusses his experience with Singing Frogs Farm, no till farming, and it’s implications for climate change and the conditions for farming in The Gambia

  • Modou shares his insights for what he believes is most needed for the people and the land in The Gambia

https://www.gofundme.com/support-next-generation-farmers-in-the-gambia/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/next-generation-leaders/modou-sowe/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/podcast/in-the-arena-episode-29-modou-sowe/

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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.

Oren Jay Sofer: Awareness of Deeper Needs & Meeting Them Mindfully [Ep. 153]

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


Oren Jay Sofer teaches meditation and communication retreats and workshops nationally. A member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, he is a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, a Course Trainer at Mindful Schools, and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for the healing of trauma. Oren also holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University and is the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Unpacking definitions of non-violent communication, mindfulness, & meditation

  • How understanding one’s own needs, the needs of others, and the various options for potentially meeting those needs puts one a a tremendous advantage in all relationships, including the relationship with oneself

  • The wide-ranging and beneficially transformative application of non-violent communication

  • Some of the key principles of Oren’s book and how it’s accessible approach allows readers to fully integrate these tools

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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.

 

Phoenix Soleil, Partner at LIFT Economy, is a teacher of Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness and has a passion for developing people, teams, and organizations. She has led trainings in communication, racial justice, personal development, theater improvisation, and play for individuals, groups, and organizations such as Google, the Kellogg Foundation, Mind Body Awareness Project, and Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.  Phoenix is also an Affiliate Trainer for Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, where she offers organizational development trainings focused on increasing inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Email Phoenix at phoenix@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.

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.

Rinku Sen: Racial Justice, Feminism, and Economic Empowerment [Ep. 140]

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


Rinku Sen is a writer and a political strategist. She is currently Senior Strategist at Race Forward, having formerly served as Executive Director and as Publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines. She is also a James O. Gibson Innovation Fellow at PolicyLink. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward has generated some of the most impactful racial justice successes of recent years, including Drop the I-Word, a campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, and many more outlets changing their practice. Her books Stir it Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other systems. She writes and curates the news at rinkusen.com.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Rinku Sen include:

How Rinku initially got into racial justice organizing at Brown University

  • Rinku’s professional path through Race Forward and the Center for Third World Organizing

  • How she thinks about centering race, without losing sight of other historically marginalized communities

  • How the Restaurant Opportunities Center (which she covered in her second book, The Accidental American) has created a model for successful organizing of low-wage workers that has actually changed the restaurant industry

  • Rinku’s thoughts on identity politics and her new book that is in the works

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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.

Tiffany Jana: Erasing Institutional Bias [Ep. 139]

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


Dr. Jana is the founder and CEO of TMI Portfolio, a collection of socially responsible and interconnected companies working to advance more culturally inclusive and equitable workforces. An award-winning diversity practitioner and international public speaker, Dr. Jana has been featured in publications including Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, Fast Company, MarketWatch, and Forbes. They were also named an Inc.com Top 100 Leadership Speaker in 2018.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Tiffany Jana include:

  • How Dr. Jana got into the work she is doing today

  • Why the first step to erasing institutional bias is understanding the problem

  • The different types of biases Dr. Jana explains in her book, including occupational, racial, gender, hiring, customer, and retribution bias

  • Dr. Jana’s new tech product, Loom, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help companies identify and address bias in their workplaces

  • Whether Dr. Jana is optimistic or pessimistic about racial justice in a time of Trump

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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.

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.