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

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week in Review: #CommunityWealth Generation & #Socent News Beyond the V/Alley via @OuiShare @nytdavidbrooks @DemocracyCollab

Reviewing the articles collected in this week's edition of Beyond the V/Alley, I have decided 1) that my future practice must include significant attention to administrative law, and 2) I still want to dual qualify as a solicitor in the UK because I am impressed by many organizations in the community wealth development and impact investing circles.

The articles and video that stood out to me in this edition of Beyond the V/Alley, include:
  • Michael Shuman's GritTV interview on "Moving Your Money" followed by a short profile of the Cero cooperative in Boston, MA:

  • David Brooks' editorial, "How to Leave a Mark" not only appears in this edition, it was also was frequently shared on Facebook and Twitter, and for good reason. He distinguishes socially responsible investing (largely a strategy of avoiding the bad) from impact investing (a strategy of building the good through targeted community investments). It's a good, balanced and succinct read.
  • The Stanford Social Innovation Review article, "US Economic Mobility and Investing for Impact" links to the recent Aspen Institute & Georgetown University report, The Bottom Line: Investing for Impact on Economic Mobility in the US. This is a pretty substantive report "with a focus on deal flow and returns. [They] did not set out to complete a comprehensive state of the field survey, but instead to understand how the investments of active investors could help build economic security for families." The report zeroes in on impact investing for outcomes in education, community economic assets (e.g. reducing the costs of recidivism and affordable housing), and health and well-being. As a law student, I find it curious that "law" is rarely expressly referenced in the full report (except with respect to tax laws), though federal, state and local "policy" is ubiquitous and appears to function as a euphemism for administrative law (See pp 127-128 of the report, which is a chart of the most important federal statutes related to community-based impact investing). At any rate, I look forward to reading the full report...soonish (ahhh, law greedy with my time).
  • The business headlines this week are a bit ... odd, but Assets & Opportunity Scorecard (via the Democracy Collaborative) is an interesting resource for "for data on household financial security and policy solutions." From the About page: "The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans’ financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 135 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states can do to help them build and protect assets."
  • Anyone who is interested in the nexus between local impact investing, community development, and transparency in governance needs to follow the progress of the new Office of Community Wealth Building in Richmond, VA. It was established last year to coordinate poverty reduction and wealth building initiatives. Richmond, VA and Jackson, MS are piloting potentially transformative and scalable models of prudent public-private partnerships and other community-based initiatives. They are definitely communities to watch.
  • There are two very awesome conferences soliciting proposals, and I am very put out that I cannot attend either of them. 
    • A call for proposals for the 2nd Annual #FLOSS4P2P conference in London is accepting proposals through February 28th. So, if you have a project that is "building software for peer production and organization, with a focus on distributed ones," then you might want to get your proposal in soon. It sounds like a very interesting conference particularly if the projects leverage P2P technology to support effective and efficient cooperative enterprise. Plus it's in London, and as I plan to dual qualify as a solicitor in the not too distant future, my inner Anglophile really wants to attend.
    • The third OuiShare Fest in Paris will explore the theme "Lost in Transition" during "a three-day festival about the collaborative society" from May 20-22, 2015, and it seeks proposals for sessions and content that will further discussions and actions in collaborative social development (e.g. "collaborative consumption, open source, makers and fablabs, coworking, crowdfunding, alternative currencies and horizontal governance." It sounds a lot like the SHARE conference I was invited to attend last May, but OuiShare appears more focused on collaborative society and not as focused on the collaborative workforce as Peers seems to be. Sadly, I won't be able to confirm this in person this year, but perhaps you will. If you make it to OuiShare, having learned about it from me, please note: I really love Cybèle, an eau de toilette by Galimard. In case you were wondering. 

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