Ejido Verde is a Neighborhood Economics project
To keep things straight in my head as I create a place on Medium, I am placing Ejido Verde, the project investing in many indigenous communities of the Purapecha people in Michoacan, Mexico, into the Neighborhood Economics taxonomy, as another place NE works. It is just what we do with partners in Cincinnati, Seattle and Oakland and San Francisco to bring capital to under represented communities who through racism, class or structural systemic forces do not have access to capital. In Ejido Verde, in Michoacan Mexico, we are working with them to turn a regenerative resource into community wealth through reforestation that sequesters 12 million tons of carbon while it improves the groundwater and brings back the coyote, deer and birds. Ejido Verde is a perfect Neighborhood Economic project, and Shaun Paul who is leading the project, is wise enough to know its a good thing to become an example of what works within some model (Blue Economy, Circular Economy, Transition Towns, etc.) is happy for me to do it. It’s creating community wealth through business.
In the United States, Neighborhood Economics is part of or is replicating a friend and family funding platform for entrepreneurs who don’t have a rich uncle in four cities, with Seattle and Cincinnati where we are focusing most of our efforts right now. Derrick Braziel of Mortar has joined our team (he is not leaving Mortar) but we are together convening (inviting and planning) a summit on a model we think we’ve hit on for funding the system entrepreneur.
We will also be helping Mortar with its national expansion plans, hoping to enter markets together. They do the hands on work of applying culturally competent technical assistance, along with pop up shop opportunities to prove the model, to help the neighborhood scale entrepreneurs become investable and ready for F&F. We will also be helping to replicate our Chief Evangelist role in Cincinnati with someone or someones local. Rosa Lee Harden, of the NE team, is interested in creating a Neighborhood Economics faith based curriculum and Cincinnati is a great place to work on that.
Calling Ejido Verde a NE project may be just how I keep up with the two projects in my head; there are brand issues and partners at NE to consult before we designate something an NE project. Up till now it’s meant Tim and I are engaged, at least, and hopefully Rosa Lee,
Also, Bancor has contacted us a couple of times, as have people working in next generation alternative local currencies in Ithaca, NY. Bancor folks think that a token to track the value exchanged in the NE network might make sense since Bancor is a community tool, ideally. That need to keep up with things is important as a distributed network of NE cities, starting maybe in Sweden, arise who want to try parts of the model, or in one case progress over a couple of years to where they could create a local version of the Friends & Family Funding platform in a couple of years. These are places that want to join and learn but where we won’t be working on a regular basis. We think we have a model that is globally replicable in local situations with a lot of adaptation. How to manage that mostly, at this point, volunteer process is not something we have figured out, and would love some help there.
So, blockchain people think it sounds like they could help. Not sure how we would justify the cost of implementation, but willing to listen. I agree it makes sense. But we work in marginalized neighborhoods and are just at the point of imagining we have discovered viable model, if things go right. Not much to spare for something that doesn’t provide near term value to the people we work with. Just today’s report. New mental framework, maybe no organizational linkage between Ejido Verde and NE but my mental housekeeping on keeping projects running without colliding is improved by the framing.