The Farming Artists

This weekend CDL participants are all interested in living in the Farming Artists intentional community in Blue Hill. They will harvest deeper connections, shared vision, develop working policy documents for a shared land-ownership cooperative, define the shape of their board, practice consensus decision making process, with real proposals, and an set a strategic action plan.

The Farming Artists are the case study in:

  • Navigating complex legal structures (LLC/Affordable Housing Cooperative/Community Land Trust/ResidentOwnedCommunity) and the equity relationships within them

  • Forming a guild structure using social permaculture incorporating land-ownership & habitat design, farming, forestry, hospitality, and festival

  • Nesting worker-owner cooperative businesses as cottage industries within an intentional community with innovative lease and membership agreements

  • Mix use site planning integrating participatory permaculture design with conventional services in real estate development

We look forward to working with this group and seeing where they take it!

Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Economy Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Economy

Based on the work of Ethan Roland and Gregory Laguna, this workshop will explore the 8 forms of capital framework as explained in their book Regenerative Enterprise: Optimization for Multi-capital Abundance. Participants will use the framework as a lens through which to view the food system. This workshop is a piece of the Cooperative Design Lab and donations received will benefit the current participants Cooperative Design Lab.

A social permaculture workshop focusing on a multitude of diverse capital flows, and the interconnections we can weave for designing our local economy. This interactive session will be good for anyone who is interested in:

• examining the food system with a financial permaculture eye

• the intersection of social systems and land systems

• the business of producing, distributing, procuring, preparing or serving food 

• multistakeholder design process for networks

In this three hour workshop, participants will engage in a variety of topics in, and around, the topic of optimizing the capital flows between various entities to move away from extractive economics to regenerative economics. We will consider farms, food hubs, urban agriculture, agroforestry, and various services in between. 

Some activities that participants will engage in will include: 

• developing an understanding of the 8 forms of capital

• recognizing the flows of these forms of capital in the community

• input/output analysis for distinct elements of the food system

• mapping the food system

• talking about the role of local food in the local economy

• designing enterprise ecologies together to grow and restore  

This workshop has evolved from the social permaculture unit in the Resilience Hub Permaculture Design Course and the Cooperative Design Lab. Regenerative Enteprise Design can be applied to supply chains, leadership, strategic relationships and reconnects us to living systems. 

Please RSVP at The Resilience Hub Meetup:

More about Rachel Lyn

Rachel Lyn believes that building networks and social ecosystems that work together and learn together is the most worthwhile thing to do on the planet. In her work to build community resilience and learning networks, she draws on systems thinking and permaculture design. She is an educator and a facilitator with The Resilience Hub, where she teaches permaculture courses and ecology classes, designs learning events, and provides consulting to organizations. She especially interested in where ecosystems and the social systems intersect. 

Rachel Lyn has more than fifteen years experience practicing facilitation and process consulting and seven years experience as a professional trainer and educator before joining the Resilience Hub in 2012. She earned her masters degree in 2009 in Applied Behavioral Science with The Leadership Institute of Seattle. All here live she has been a serial entrepreneur, having had a hand in  array of startups including a cleaning company; a woman-owned construction LLC, a systems engineering company, and a locally owned fitness studio she coached the owner to plan and launch.  She has served on the board of the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network,as Program Director; participated in the Community Consulting Partnership; and co-founded Community Conversation Project. She spend four years teaching Sociology, Psychology and Leadership courses, and various computer systems, before earning her Permaculture Design Certificate from Lisa Fernandes in 2012. She also serves on the Education Committee with MOFGA. 

Rachel Lyn and her family grow much of their own food and helps with local food initiatives by designing and implementing community garden projects, food forests, and agroforestry systems. 

About the Book

In  a world of damaged ecological and social systems, with a fragile global economy and a rapidly changing climate, business as we know it must evolve or perish. Welcome to 8 Forms of Capital and Regenerative Enterprise. Regenerative Enterprise defines the difference between degenerative, sustainable, and regenerative systems. It articulates the four factors of a regenerative enterprise, and the principles for designing regenerative enterprise ecologies.

Books are available through here.

Keepers of the Flame

What I really want to tell you about the Cooperative Design Lab is that it is for trailblazers. Trailblazers are willing to step out of the existing, or dominate systems, such as the global food system, concentrated property ownership and extractive energy systems to create a new ways of getting things done.

People who take the Cooperative Design Lab think locally about pooling resources, sharing workloads and sharing ownership. They are aware of their limitations as an individual, aware of needs in their community and believe in the power of a small group of people to change the world. These pioneering people take risks and they are seeking community to realize their vision.

Cooperative Design Lab participants want to create a Co-op Plan and the participatory skills to succeed. They  are a vigorously opportunistic species and have an interest in sustainability and are actively looking for the way forward. Do you know anyone like this? If so, please send them to Cooperative Design Lab. 

Cooperative Design Lab Co-facilitators are lighting the way to the new economy future, one cooperative at a time.

Vision and Mission Work

As part of the 2015 Cooperative Design Lab with The Resilience Hub, Cooperative Development Institute, and Cooperative Fermentation, we led a workshop on Vision and Mission work for cooperative enterprise tonight. This core values stuff is at the heart of my consulting practice so it was fun to do with cooperatives. I had an opportunity to review some of the organizational development (OD) literature prior to the mini workshop and I noticed an interesting range of styles and assumptions about leadership in the context of visioning. This post will share some. At the end, I will share my prezi from the workshop.

In Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, Bryan Smith has a chapter titled "Building a Shared Vision". In it, he explains the developmental stages of an organization facing change and presents the stages in a frame of levels of participation. Within his range of participatory engagement, he suggests that we be objective about where an organization is at, then work up from there toward greater participation. One of the things I loved about this review was seeing that cooperatives are already at the highest developmental stage! According to Smith and Senge, that stage is labeled "co-creating".

Starhawk has a different style than the authors in the Fieldbook in general. She is also more grounded in permaculture. In her book Empowerment Manual, she offers more cultural variability than the "business-as-usual" approach of mainstream organizational development. Sengi in comparison is also holistic, however Starhawk's style invites a broader audience than than multinational corporations. Empowerment Manual reflects on a different range of experiences in groups. 

Personally, I enjoy her permaculture influence on the OD topics. She even pulled in Alan Savory's idea of "Holistigoals"! Savory being a world class livestock management expert, and having a passion for regenerative land-use systems, has a holistic management model that includes three parts of a goal.  These are the following: a.) The quality of life that you want, b.) future resource base, and c.) what you need to produce. You can read about that here and see something about it in my prezi posted below. This is worth looking into for cooperatives and for so many other structures as well.

For the 2015 Co-op Design Lab Vision and Mission workshop, I also reviewed both Looby Macnamara's book People and Permaculture and Peter Block's work Community: The Structure of Belonging for what they had to say about vision and mission process. All worth your time if you are interested in facilitating a great process for vision and mission. There are other resources on the shelf as well but I wanted to share a few here. 

For the workshop, posted below, I shared the tremendously accessible Vision and Mission Worksheet resource from the Creative Commons (cc) made available by Craig Von Korlaar for participants. Feel free to share with your organization if you are considering the need for a visioning workshop as a way to establish common understanding in your group.