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Ecosystems For Change

Author: Anika Horn, Social Venturers

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Transforming communities is hard work. That may go without saying, but when your job is about helping your neighborhood, city or region thrive, talking about being underpaid, burnt out and frustrated with the slow pace of change is kind of frowned upon. As ecosystem builders, we amplify the work of local makers, doers and innovators by championing their efforts and rallying support around them. And maybe most importantly, we build a culture of trust and collaboration among all stakeholders, so that the doers and innovators among us have equal access to information, talent and resources when they need them. On Ecosystems for Change we'll explore how ecosystem building can help us unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. And I’ll be talking with my guests about the tactics and practical skills they use in their everyday work and what they do to prevent burning the candle at both ends.
63 Episodes
Changing the world is hard work. And if world-changing is in your job description, it’s easy to get burnt out. Ecosystem-building is all about gathering the support you need to make your job more sustainable and maybe even easier, too. Instead of exhausted and overworked, you’re supported and well-resourced. Ecosystems For Change is the podcast about caring for yourself as you care for others and your community. Together with Social Venturers founder Anika Horn, you’ll explore building supportive ecosystems, learn how to make your work more sustainable, and impact that world in powerful ways. Our first season is all about what ecosystem-building is and how it's used in the field.Learn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorEcosystem Building 101 Masterclass 
Over the last three years, I’ve talked to more than one hundred and fifty champions, cheerleaders and advocates for entrepreneurs in their communities.Some of them work at startup accelerators and small business incubators. Others operate coworking spaces. Yet others are economic developers, investors, community builders, policymakers, academics, mentors, advisors, and service providers to emerging small business and startup founders.While they work in different official capacities, they all have one thing in common: they want to see their communities thrive, and they believe that entrepreneurship is one viable vehicle to achieve that.In those conversations, we talked about the mindsets and professional skills we need to be effective in our efforts. With many of them, I’ve talked at length about the personal and emotional toll that this work takes.Many of them admitted that they had brushed shoulders with burnout and came close to quitting. Some of them did.What is it about this kind of work that makes it so hard and yet so rewarding?If ecosystem builders lose steam and burn out because they’re unsupported and exhausted, then who’s going to support the changemakers at the front line?Who is going to help us tilt the playing field in favor of ALL entrepreneurs and who will continue to work behind the scenes to re-envision our future, and actively work towards it?In this first episode, I want to share with you how I transformed from social enterprise enthusiast to ecosystem builder. Join me as we zoom out of your role as a lone wolf and together, take a systems view of supporting entrepreneurs of ALL backgrounds.Listen to the full episode to hear: How the nonprofit and social enterprise worlds silo information to the detriment of their stated missions How the dominant scarcity mindset pits do-good organizations against each other The trip that made me realize that scarcity thinking and lack of collaboration were a systemic issue The power we unleash when breaking silos and focusing on the needs of entrepreneurs What ecosystem building looks like in practice Fellow Ecosystem Builders: Debbie Irwin, Shenandoah Community Capital Fund Grace Belangia, Make Startups Jay Cooper, Freelance Media Producer Rob Williams, SourceLink Eric Parker, Make Startups Cecilia Wessinger Mark Lawrence, Inncuvate Tom Chapman, Chapman & Co. Michelle Parvinrouh Steven Rodriguez, 1863 Ventures & Suego Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass
In today’s episode, we’re headed to Staunton, VA, to talk with Debbie Irwin about how she became an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder.With her background in digital marketing and a deep-seated passion for rural communities, Debbie became Executive Director of Shenandoah Community Capital Fund in 2019. As you’ll learn in this episode, the term “community capital” is about a lot more than investing money.In our conversation, we talked about how important it is to fully see people when building an ecosystem. We talked about how to be a convener in an ecosystem without becoming a bottleneck and who took Debbie under their wings when she first started out as an ecosystem builder.Listen to the full episode to hear: How we can amplify community capital and how we build on-ramps for other supporters, without being the ecosystem leader Why collaboration and coalition-building among organizations requires a mindset shift out of scarcity thinking Why it’s important to build WITH, not FOR our communities Why Debbie and SCCF undertook listening tours around the region and how they implemented them to make communities feel seen and heard Who you need in your corner to weather tough times Learn more about Debbie Irwin: Shenandoah Community Capital Fund Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn Facebook: @SCCFVA Twitter: @debirwineship Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: Startup Champions Network Center on Rural Innovation Tom Tom Festival
In today's episode, I’m sharing a conversation I had with Charlton Cunningham during his recent visit to Mexico City. Charlton used to be based in Atlanta, GA, but has been living a nomad life since the pandemic began.In our conversation, Charlton talks about how to build trust in an ecosystem. He also shares some insights into the role that Venture Capitalists can play in an ecosystem and why community can be so relevant within a VC firm when it’s built and nurtured the right way.Find out how Charlton builds networks in different parts of the US and beyond and how–as a traveling nomad–he manages to stay grounded.Charlton Cunningham is a failed architect who jumped into the startup space by creating an intentional community for aspiring entrepreneurs called, HiveATL. As a military brat growing up he learned to make friends quickly out of necessity and grew to appreciate how it helps in his work today, developing relationships with a variety of stakeholders. He is a community builder and connector at heart, with a strong passion for serving entrepreneurs at the earliest stages and founders growing their business. Charlton's experience includes roles across non-profit, venture capital, co-working spaces, and accelerator programs.Listen to the full episode to hear: How the iterative process of developing physical architecture informs Charlton’s community building How to build trust with organizations within your ecosystem through direct contact and volunteering resources Why Venture Capitalists have to think become connectors in order to be good actors within ecosystems How small rituals keep Charlton grounded as he travels Learn more about Charlton Cunningham: Twitter: @Charlton_87 The Keystone Podcast Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: Startup Champions Summit D:Hive Venture Atlanta QueensBridge Venture Partners Get Together: How to build a community with your people, Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, Kai Elmer Sotto The Business of Belonging: How to Make Community Your Competitive Advantage, David Spinks The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway Allie Felix, Embarc Collective People and Company
In today’s episode, we’re headed to Puerto Rico to talk with Denisse Rodríguez. Denisse left her high-flying career on Wall Street to return to her home country where she’s now dedicated to making entrepreneurship more accessible for founders all across the island.Against the background of the bustling streets of San Juan, Denisse shares which champions helped her launch an island-wide ecosystem and she talks about the opportunities that come with a population of three million, and a diaspora of 5 million Puerto Ricans around the world.Denisse has a big vision for making this US territory not just a place from which top talent graduates, but a place where top talent stays to build and work at startups that have the potential to transform the island state.Denisse Rodríguez is an ecosystem builder and social entrepreneur working at the intersection of economic and community development. As Executive Director at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, she founded and leads Colmena66, an award-winning program which makes entrepreneurship easier by connecting entrepreneurs with the vital, just-in-time, on-the-ground resources they need to accelerate their ideas and turn those into sustainable businesses that create jobs. Through entrepreneur-led economic development strategies, Denisse works to strengthen a cohesive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Puerto Rico.Listen to the full episode to hear: Why buy-in and support from individual players is key to building an ecosystem How Denisse and Colemena66 are bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and support organizations in Puerto Rico The challenges of tracking data on entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico and how that has a ripple effect on grants and lending How a strong team helps Denisse stave off burnout Learn more about Denisse Rodríguez: Colmena66 Facebook: @Colmena66 Instagram: @Colmena66 Colmena66 Impact Report Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Kiva Global Shapers Community Startup Champions Network Sofia Stolberg, Piloto 151 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook 3.0
Today, we’re going on a trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas.I want you to meet Darlisa Diltz who runs the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center.Darlisa shares what happens when the work you’ve been doing for years suddenly becomes all the rage, but powerful players don’t take the time to truly understand their communities’ needs.Darlisa also talks openly about bad actors in the ecosystem who–instead of partnering with her–outright copied her programs. And she shares with us how she unwinds after just one of those days.Hear what advice Darlisa has about nurturing community and becoming a truly inclusive ecosystem builder.Listen to the full episode to hear: Why Darlisa and NEETC focus efforts on “wannapreneurs” and early stage entrepreneurs by building connections and community How Darlisa copes with having her work replicated by other organizations Why ecosystems builders need to focus on inclusivity over influence What major players get wrong about building truly inclusive ecosystems Learn more about Darlisa Diltz: North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center Facebook: @NTEETC Instagram: @NTEETC Connect with NTEETC on LinkedIn Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway Sparkyard
In today’s episode, I’m taking you to Lincoln, Nebraska, to meet Christina Oldfather.Christina is a seasoned ecosystem builder and economic developer. We talk about the shared objectives and differences between economic development and ecosystem building as approaches to fostering entrepreneurship. And Christina spills the beans on how her ecosystem convenes and how they support founders post-acceleration. We also discuss the power of small communities and taking a mindset of giving before you get. And hey, if you’re looking for a new exercise regimen this year, we got that covered too!Christina Oldfather is the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. In her time at LPED, Christina has created and built a wide variety of entrepreneurial support programs, including the LaunchLNK program, a grant program for early- stage startups, and StartupLNK, a digital platform to help people navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lincoln.She also is the lead organizer for 1 Million Cups Lincoln and Techstars Startup Week Lincoln. Christina also serves on the NMotion Board of Directors and has helped bring the NMotion Accelerator to its current status as an investment-based studio accelerator. In addition to NMotion, Christina serves on the Board of Directors of Startup Champions Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, the Child Advocacy Center, and Rabble Mill.Listen to the full episode to hear:How economic development, ecosystem building, and legislative action have influenced Lincoln’s entrepreneurial cultureWhy Christina developed the LaunchLNK program specifically to support early-stage entrepreneursWhy building trust and listening to the community’s needs have been key for building Lincoln’s ecosystemHow Christina uses her Jazzercise classes to carve out time for herselfLearn more about Christina Oldfather:StartupLNKLaunchLNKLincoln Partnership for Economic DevelopmentFacebook: @cjoldfatherTwitter: @CBinLincolnConnect with Christina on LinkedInLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorEcosystem Building 101 MasterclassResources:Startup Champions Network SummitEcho CollectiveThe Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway
In today’s episode, we’re headed to Quito, Ecuador, to sit down with Michelle Arévalo-Carpenter.When season 1 took shape I knew I had to have Michelle on the show so it’s only suitable that she is closing out the conversation series of this pilot season!Michelle talks about how she left her career and professional identity as a human rights lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland, to return to Latin America. About 8 years ago, Michelle set out to fight loneliness for changemakers in Ecuador and ended up building Ecuador's first coworking space for Impact entrepreneurs with her co-founder Daniela Peralvo. Since then, Impaqto has become Ecuador’s first B Corp, expanded to five locations, and has grown into much more than a coworking space.Today, Impaqto works regionally in 17 countries through their consulting services; Michelle and her team also provide entrepreneurial education and are building their first impact investing fund.I’m so excited for you all to meet Michelle and learn about her holistic approach to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America.Listen to the full episode to hear: Why being an introvert is an asset to Michelle as an ecosystem builder How the loneliness among changemakers led Michelle to a systems approach and the creation of Impaqto How the business has evolved from a co-working space into a full-fledged support system for impact-entrepreneurs in Ecuador Why ecosystem builders need multilingual resources How becoming a parent has taught Michelle to say no as a founder Learn more about Michelle Arévalo-Carpenter: Impaqto Instagram: @MichelleAtImpaqto Twitter: @MichelleAC1 Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: Global Good Fund Fellowship The Overstory, Richard Powers
If there is one takeaway running through each episode of season one it’s this: Ecosystem building is a mindset.Almost all of the six ecosystem builders I spoke with this season professed to be introverts or having been shy as children, yet they are out there every day building relationships and communities.But, as Charlton Cunningham noted in Episode 3, the introvert-extrovert continuum is really about where you get your energy and how you recharge, and many ecosystem builders I know are excellent at building and nurturing genuine, meaningful relationships, regardless of whether they get energy from working a room full of people or prefer to converse one on one.All six interviews showcased what it means to put the needs of entrepreneurs at the forefront of their work and what we’re up against when building for the greater good.But there were three main themes that really stood out to me and today, I’m revisiting my conversations from season one to illustrate those essential points.Listen to the full episode to hear: Why customer discovery is as essential for ecosystem builders as it is for business owners How an abundance mindset opens the door to building with and not for your community but has its drawbacks and heartbreaks Why building trust in your community is the best place to start How to define entrepreneurial ecosystems Learn More About Anika Horn: Website: Instagram: SocialVenturers Newsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator Ecosystem Building 101 Masterclass Resources: The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway Startup Junkie The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Strategy as a New Paradigm for Economic Policy: Principles for Cultivating Entrepreneurship, Daniel Isenberg (2011)
I have been writing monthly Logbooks ever since I started Social Venturers.It’s been my way of keeping myself accountable and sharing with other people what I’ve been working on the month before, what I was planning, and how people could get involved.So I’m continuing that tradition here on the podcast.Listen to the full episode to hear:Three big projects that are wrapping upProfessional shifts and my role at the Shenandoah Community Capital FundWhat’s coming up in Season Two of Ecosystems for ChangeAn invitation for a community conversation and to be co-creators of the podcastLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorResources:My last written logbook The Keystone ProgramShenandoah Community Capital FundEcosystems for Change S01E02: How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem with Debbie IrwinZebras Unite and my storytelling campaign Zebras in the WildZebras in the Wild: Anika HornApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!
In season two of Ecosystems for Change, we’re talking about the slow and complex nature of our work.For the longest time, I didn’t understand this concept. I just knew I was banging my head against the wall. It felt like nothing ever changed and like I was constantly running uphill, trying support entrepreneurs in my community and nobody would see it the way I saw it.Today, I know that’s because I had no idea how complex adaptive systems really work.I know “complex adaptive systems” sounds highly conceptual, theoretical or hard to access. That’s probably why I didn’t dive into it until years into being an ecosystem builder.But that’s exactly why I’m dedicating season two to this topic.My goal is to break open “complex adaptive systems,” and to talk to practitioners who can help us all understand how we can think and act more in these systems in order to support entrepreneurs and build thriving ecosystems in our communities.Listen to the full episode to hear:Defining complex adaptive systemsThe 4 early lessons about thinking and acting in systemsWhy entrepreneurial ecosystems resist orderly hierarchiesThe elements of culture, temperament, and personality that impact how systems interconnectLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!Resources:The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian HathawayNational Center for Economic GardeningDancing with Systems, Donella MeadowsThinking in Systems. A Primer. Donella Meadows.My conversation with Sharon Chang, Guild of Future ArchitectsCenter for Social InnovationMars Discovery District
Today, we are headed to a small village in the south of France to talk to Madelynn Martiniere about her work in designing, activating, and scaling open innovation ecosystems for a more equitable and sustainable future.In our conversation Madelynn and I talk about the importance of finding community and belonging, what role technology can play in driving systemic change and what it means to design an ideal world.Madelynn Martiniere is a global strategist and facilitator working with innovators, entrepreneurs and executives to design, activate, and scale open innovation ecosystems for a more equitable and sustainable future. She is currently Managing Partner at Armillaria, an ecosystems design lab working to co-create critical digital infrastructure for a more thriving world. An avid permaculturist, when not working on systems change, she can be found working in the garden.Listen to the full episode to hear:How technology’s desire to simplify concepts impacts our ability to see interconnection and complexityWhy we can’t enter a community looking to validate a hypothesisThe tension in recognizing our locus of control The challenges in wanting it done and wanting to be the one to do itLearn More About ​​Madelynn Martiniere:ArmillariaTwitter: @mmartiniereConnect with Madelynn on LinkedInDesign Principles for Systems Change: CooperativeDesign Principles for Systems Change: Humanity-CenteredLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!Resources:Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter BlockThe Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya ParkerSphaeraRoxann StaffordDesigns for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds, Arturo Escobar
In today’s episode, we’re headed to Kansas City, Missouri, to talk to Lauren Higgins.Lauren has been working with systems thinking for more than half her life and today she shares her journey to becoming a systems thinker and talks about how she remains anchored and sane in the wild dance with systems. Lauren Higgins, co-director of Democracy Together, is active in civic conflict resolution and restorative justice efforts in her current home of Kansas City, Missouri. For 10+ years she has facilitated multi-stakeholder projects and produced large scale events focused on social innovation, public imagination, and the new economy. As senior staff at the Impact Hub Network, she developed democratic governance convenings to help 100 communities align their collective impact. Currently, at the Kauffman Foundation, she designs innovation and capacity building programs to advance systemic approaches to inclusive prosperity.Listen to the full episode to hear:The relationship between linear thinking, urgency, and reactivityWhy systems change requires a foundation of genuine relationships based on curiosity, mutual, respect and trustHow the concept of emergence helps us think about complex adaptive systems and nurtures changeHow systems thinking can get tangled with mechanistic models, and why it won’t actually help you predict and control outcomes How de-centering herself helps Lauren balance awareness of pressing global issues with what she is capable of contributingLearn More About ​​Lauren Higgins:Democracy TogetherTwitter: @LoHiggsConnect with Lauren on LinkedInLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!Resources:Margaret Wheatley, A Simpler WayEmergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, adrienne maree brownOctavia ButlerColectivo 1050°Dave SnowdenDonella Meadows - Dancing with Systems
In today's episode, we make our way to Sacramento, California to hear from Jeff Bennett.Jeff talks about servant leadership, the importance of co-writing a new narrative with our communities and the frustrations that come with shifting a system.I don't know many people who have worked so tirelessly to move our field of ecosystem building forward and Jeff talks openly about the toll that this work has taken on him. Jeff Bennett has been working to build ecosystems at both the local level and the field level. He is the co-founder and president of StartupSac, a small, scrappy nonprofit in Sacramento, California that informs, educates, and connects founders and innovators. He also works to connect and inform ecosystem builders and advance the field across the nation as the co-founder of Ecosystem Builder Hub, an online resource for ecosystem building news and stories. He has written extensively on the topic of ecosystem building and has worked with the Kauffman Foundation, helping to advance the work of ecosystem builders.Listen to the full episode to hear:Why short-term solutions are like playing Whack-A-Mole with the news cycle and why we need education and awareness of systems thinkingThe kind of leadership required in a systems-focused worldThe power of storytelling and narrative to help catalyze systemic change in our communities How we got stuck in a reductionist paradigm and how we can begin to think in complex adaptive systemsWhy cultivating patience, equanimity, and realistic expectations is necessary for ecosystem buildersLearn More About ​​Jeff Bennett:Ecosystem Builder HubStartupSacTwitter: @DigitalSplashMediumLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!Resources:The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Brad Feld and Ian HathawayThe Dawn of System LeadershipFrederick TaylorHow the Ecosystem Metaphor Influences Entrepreneurship, ESHIP talk by David McConville, 2017Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results, David Peter StrohThe Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge
Today I’m catching up with April Rinne in Portland, OR.I wanted to have a conversation with April because her book, Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change is exactly the kind of thinking that changemakers and systems thinkers need to not only keep their heads above water, but to actually thrive in our constantly changing circumstances.A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and ranked one of the “50 Leading Female Futurists” in the world by Forbes, April Rinne is a change navigator: she helps individuals and organizations rethink and reshape their relationship with change, uncertainty, and a world in flux. She is a trusted advisor to well-known startups, companies, financial institutions, nonprofits, and think tanks worldwide, including Airbnb, Nike, Intuit, theWorld Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, NESTA, Trōv, AnyRoad, and Unsettled, as well as governments ranging from Singapore to South Africa, Canada to Colombia, Italy to India. April is the author of Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change.Listen to the full episode to hear:The challenges and opportunities of having outdated scripts why our new scripts have to account for a world in fluxHow technology can actually make us less adaptable to change How scripts for a world in flux layer up from the individual to the systemicTwo different aspects of trust and why they are critical for navigating change Learn More About ​​April Rinne:AprilRinne.comFlux MindsetInstagram: @AprilRinneConnect with April on LinkedInFlux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant ChangeLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorApril 14: Burn both ends, register here and tell your friends!Resources:The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, Alan WattsDesign from TrustMindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck
Today’s conversation takes place in a small town north of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I sat down with Lana Jelenjev, community alchemist, hospice worker for dying systems and midwife for new emerging systems. Lana introduces the two-loop model that explains her work and shares how she sets and upholds boundaries when helping others cross over from old to new. Lana is an avid fire starter, systems thinker and lifelong learner. She is an advocate of “self-full centric living” - a set of practices that you can use to help you live a legacy of connection, presence and fullness. Listen to the full episode to hear:Why systems stay stagnant and mechanistic How the two loops model illustrates compassionate, sustainable systems changeHow to help people move from old to new systemsHow Lana’s practice of checking in with herself helps her set and maintain boundariesLearn More About ​​Lana Jelenjev:LanaJelenjev.comConnect with Lana on LinkedInCommunity RitualsLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorResources:Community Builder: Designing Communities for ChangeZebras UniteTwo loops model from Berkana InstituteMichelle Holliday, The Age of ThrivabilityCrowdcast with Michelle Holliday: THRIVABILITY: A framework for regenerative leadershipMorning Pages, Julia Cameron6 Lenses Strategy
Today, we’re taking a trip to Berkeley, California, to talk to my favorite kind of trouble: Kate Sassoon, or as we call her: Sassy. Sassy has spent most of her life living in or working with co-ops. We talked about the role of stakeholder capitalism and global cooperativism and how both models help us rethink the current system. Sassy also shares what she learned from going undercover in Silicon Valley and what’s going on under the hood of cooperatives.Kate “Sassy" Sassoon has spent over 20 years turning her passion for efficiency, effectiveness, and equity into a thriving consultancy offering facilitation, training, and organizational design to social enterprise organizations. She develops inclusive collaboration frameworks, energetic dialogue spaces, and authentic connections. Her work is known for being joyous, empowering, and deeply caring. She brings all that energy and a lifetime of experience with co-ops to the role of Director of Cooperative Membership at Zebras Unite Co-op. She holds 2 degrees from UC Berkeley - one in art and one in science, and approaches the world (and the work) with one foot firmly in each. She delights in deep questions, unexpected connections, and doing well by doing good. Listen to the full episode to hear:Why our capitalist norms of extraction and power concentration hinder our ability to imagine new mutualistic systemsHow stakeholder capitalism helps us bring more people to the table and recenter those who are most impactedWhat Silicon Valley can teach us about the power of narrativeHow the challenges in building cooperative companies that can make them more sustainable in the long-termSteps to take to actively engage with cooperatives in your sphereLearn More About Kate "Sassy" Sassoon:Sassy FacilitationFacebook: @KSassoonLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorResources:"Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break"Rochdale PioneersMondragon corporationInternational Cooperative AllianceCalifornia center for cooperative developmentZebras UniteN.K. JemisinThe Sharing SolutionThe Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, Erin MeyerFor All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, John Curl and Ishmael Reed
In today’s episode, join me on a trip to the unceded territory of the Sandia Pueblos in New Mexico. I’m sitting down with Vanessa Roanhorse to talk about the Indigenous worldview, how it might inform our approach to thinking in systems, and what exhausts her about being asked to show up as an Indigenous female entrepreneur and educator.Vanessa Roanhorse (Diné) is the CEO of Roanhorse Consulting, an Indigenous woman-owned company that co-designs wealth and power-building efforts that invests in thoughtful community-led efforts that put people back in the center.Vanessa is a co-founder of Native Women Lead, a national organization that lifts Indigenous women in business. She sits on the boards of Groundworks NM, Delta Institute, Zebras Unite and is an advisor to Angels of Impact Fund. She is a 2021 Paypal Maggie Lena Walker’s Emerging Leader Awardee and a 2020 Conscious Company Media’s World Changing Women in Sustainable Business Awardee. She is a 2021 Purpose Fund Building Fellow and a 2020 Boston Impact Initiative Fund-Building fellow. Listen to the full episode to hear:Why systems work needs to reimagine capitalism and resource management entirelyHow a worldview that includes a plurality of truths and experiences informs Vanessa’s approach to systems changeWhy individuals need to decenter themselves and work towards community impactThe basic groundwork and education non-Indigenous people in America need to doWhat morning practice keeps Vanessa groundedLearn More About Vanessa Roanhorse:Roanhorse ConsultingTwitter: @VRRoanhorse Connect with Vanessa on LinkedInInstagram: @RoanhorseConsultingLLCLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorResources:Leanne SimpsonIndigenomics, Carol Anne HiltonUN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous PeoplesNative Women LeadCommon FutureBraiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
When we set out on this season, it was all about the great unknown of complex, adaptive systems. Scary, right?I’ll admit, I was a little unsure myself whether we would be able to make systems thinking a little less intimidating and ultimately helpful to how we foster, build, and nourish ecosystems for change in our communities.After hearing from our seven guests, I hope that things are a little less unknown. Let’s break it down and see what we can take away from this season. Listen to the full episode to hear:How thinking and acting in complex, adaptive systems actually come naturally to humans, if we let itWhy we need to let go of the illusion of control and linear thinking in order to take on the challenges we faceHow interconnectivity and mutualism are essential to social changeWhy we need to slow down in order to build meaningful solutions in communityWhat kind of mindset shifts are required for leaders in complex, adaptive systemsLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorResources:Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, April RinneCommunity: The Structure of Belonging, Peter BlockThe Dawn of System Leadership, Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton, and John Kania
Welcome to my second logbook, an in-between-seasons update on what’s been going on behind the scenes of this show and in my work in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, paired with a few observations from the field of ecosystem building here in the US.In between seasons, I love giving you a little sneak peek into what I have planned over the coming weeks and how YOU can get involved! Let’s do it!Thank you to my special guests Dr. Amy Beaird, TJ Wright and Lauren MathenaListen to the full episode to hear:What I’ve been working on at the Shenandoah Community Capital Fund (SCCF)Conversations from the 2022 Startup Champions Network SummitWhat I’m working on for the fall at SCCFWhat’s coming in Season 3 of Ecosystems for Change and a way for you to get involvedLearn More About Anika Horn:Website: Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact CuratorLeave a voice message!Resources:Ecosystem Evolution: What's next for the doers, dreamers and makers in the Valley? - Shenandoah Community Capital FundStartup Champions NetworkEcosystems for Change S02E05: Thriving In a World of Ambiguity, Uncertainty, and Constant Change with April RinneEcosystems for Change S01E05: How to Manage Copycats and Grow Ecosystems Together with Darlisa Diltz