Barn's burnt down
I can see the Moon.
~ Mizuta Masahide

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#CommunityWealth Generation and #Socent News Beyond the V/Alley Highlights

While the Silicon Valley in California and the Silicon Alley in NYC are well regarded as hot spots for innovation, including in social enterprise, I have begun tracking developments in social enterprise and community wealth generation beyond those two focal communities. To that end, I created a, Beyond the V/Alley.

While there are many notable articles and videos in this week's edition, I'd like to particularly draw attention to:

I do not generally think of "Goldman Sachs" and "positive social impact" as complimentary realities. However, the summary process map of how their social impact bonds function in public/private partnerships strikes me as particularly useful. Too often would-be high impact social programs can be sidelined by program mismanagement and/or mission creep. This process map succinctly lays out the importance of division of labor (e.g. the project manager, service provider, and evaluator are different entities) can help a project proceed smoothly and insure that the vital outcomes for the key community, institutional and investor stakeholders are met.
Granted, I think care should be taken to insure that the investors have not been complicit in creating the social ills that the bonds seek to redress (e.g. banks that shamelessly red-lined neighborhoods should not then be able to structure social impact bonds for blight-busting in such a way as to maximize their payouts). But that is a conversation for a much bigger process map.

Written by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Director of Research Chris Walker, this report highlights early-stage results from LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities initiative. The report demonstrates how a comprehensive community development approach that targets investments in affordable housing, economic development, edu­cation, health, and safety can significantly raise incomes and decrease unemployment in low-income neighborhoods. Also included are case studies in Providence, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Chicago.

This is a short news article and video profiling the successful transition of a local market into a worker cooperative. It does not discuss legal strategy (for that, a good start would be the SELC's Think Outside the Boss handbook - bearing in mind the need to adapt the information for your actual jurisdiction).

This profile of the Community Purchase Alliance is one of my favorite stories out of last week. It speaks to the power of leveraging the purchasing power of anchor institutions to not just save money but to also invest in just and sustainable businesses that prioritize the three Ps: people, planet & profit.

I am a gardener in withdrawal, and as I carefully pour over my Baker Heirloom Seed Catalog, I have looked forward to the day when I could help keep heirloom seed varieties alive through seed sharing with seed libraries. Unfortunately, that activity has irritated some state legislators. This campaign aims to keep seed sharing legal. 
There MANY other articles and videos on the that are worth exploring. These are just a handful that struck me as particularly timely. Take a look and comment below on what you think I should have highlighted instead.

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