entrepreneur

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.

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.

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.

Scott Moore y Medina: Story-Informed Design at Indigenous-Owned Architectural B Corp [Ep. 164]

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


Scott Moore y Medina, AIA NCARB AICAE PID, is an architect, community builder and co-founder of Blue Star Integrative Studio, an Indigenous American creative business enterprise headquartered in Tulsa, OK with satellite offices in California and South Dakota. Blue Star Integrative Studio is dedicated to quality design, environmental excellence, and smart community building. In his work, Scott creates place-based, common sense solutions centered around community involvement and local empowerment for clients and communities facing unique challenges. He has coordinated several sustainable planning projects and designed healthy, energy efficient projects in North America. He is actively bringing efficient, affordable, replicable, and culturally relevant designs to life, while leading game-changing projects that improve lives and support resilient economies.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How being a multicultural person lends strengths in bridging cultural divides

  • Scott shares his experience being mentored by Bob Berkabile at BNIM, 1 of 15 to study under the architect Buckminster Fuller

  • Deep dive into the details of a highly innovative project in partnership with Thunder Valley CDC on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

  • The fundamental importance of rooting into story, history, identity

  • Power in investigating your identity, acknowledging trauma, and moving on by being proactive

Blue Star Integrative Studio website

Blue Star Firm Profile

Blue Star Capabilities Statement

BSIS Facebook Page

BSIS in Instagram   

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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.

Amelia Swan Baxter: Building The Next Economy With WholeTrees [Ep. 151]

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


Amelia Baxter believes that the 21st century built environment is filled with opportunities for trees. Baxter co-founded WholeTrees in 2007 to develop and sell products and technologies that would scale the use of waste-trees in commercial construction, increasing forest revenues, and offering green construction markets a new material for the 21st century. Amelia has led project teams in over $2M in USDA research grants working toward the commercialization of the tree's natural engineering. By raising equity investment for her company, attracting national executive talent, and pinpointing nascent urban markets for trees as structure, Baxter has participated in the growth of a truly conscious and regenerative company.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How WholeTrees provides an ecological, economic, social, and aesthetic benefit

  • Coming from a place of heart as well as a place of necessity to attract great staff and business culture

  • How the character and inner work of company leaders ripples throughout the entire organization

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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.

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.