Since becoming an independent consultant (writer, website designer, project instigator, pot stirrer, trouble maker, etc) in 2012, I’ve been accumulating projects. Most, though not all, are funded through grants, social enterprise revenues, or donations. Others are labors of love. Many are embedded inside of sponsoring organizations, in which I have joined them a contractor or even part-time employee. Others have grown into community-based initiatives, in which alternative currencies, gifts, and horizontal networks inform our organizing and staffing structures.
Organized around theme, these are some of those projects:
Mutual Aid & Alternative Economies
We are more than our checkbooks, and our value as members of a community isn’t limited by the job title we hold. hOUR Economy, a local currency based on time rather than dollars, explores what happens when residents chose to celebrate equality and participation over the traditional monetary economy.
What if, rather than funding climate change, corporate conglomerates, and commodification with our savings and retirement dollars, we chose to fund the world we want to live in. These two divesting and reinvesting projects explore how.
A community conversation and microgrant program to launch an entrepreneurial culture and business network in Waynesboro, VA. Conducted during the winter and spring of 2016.
A 3-day festive convergence of local innovators, visionaries, and entrepreneurs to discuss and share better models for placed-based and sustainable development, held in April 2015 in downtown Staunton.
Developing a business plan and building statewide stakeholder support for a network of community development practitioners and service providers, launched as Virginia Community Economic Network in 2013.
What if communities chose to grow into abandoned spaces rather than out onto urban sprawl? This redevelopment of the long neglected downtown historic theatrer into the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center tells that story.
Energy, Food, and Sustainable Design
Permaculture is a design science of sustainable and regenerative systems, both agriculturally and culturally. It begins with the most basic of questions: How do we build a permanent culture, one that does not destroy and degrade its home for future generations?
The Farm at Willow Run
Growing and sharing food is one of the fundamental necessities for any closed-loop community food system. In 2016 I joined Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community’s effort to build just that.
Sigora Solar is one of the east cost’s fastest growing solar energy companies. I provided them with strategic planning, organizational development and marketing services throughout 2014.