The Anti-Fragile Playbook

Kent Dahlgren

The Anti-Fragile Neighborhood Wealth Production model is designed to bring forward the hidden wealth of neighborhoods, creating an accessible, inclusive story of the future for all, no exceptions. "The world outside our homes is changing faster than anyone could have imagined, and what we really need is a blueprint for a way forward, a codex for communities rooted in wisdom, and written by the people who are going to live out the story of a shared future." ~ Ruth Glendinning, Founder, FutureStory Labs read less

Bene Esse - Behind the Scenes (Corporate, Governance, Regulatory Compliance, and Activated Soft Capital)
Jul 30 2022
Bene Esse - Behind the Scenes (Corporate, Governance, Regulatory Compliance, and Activated Soft Capital)
As shared in prior podcasts; the Anti-Fragile approach begins with a virtual community as a low-cost, light-weight method for establishing a beachhead, and leverages revenues generated as well as community engagement to accelerate the acquisition of any physical amenities that the community may define as necessary to community growth. And consistent with Anti-Fragile best practices: community engagement itself is accelerated through activation of various forms of soft capital (as briefly illustrated in this short video), inclusive to time, attention, relationship, and trust capitals, which reduces the necessity to secure upfront hard capital to “buy” people’s time and engagement. The result is a low-cost entry that begins virtually, designed to reach those who are in a state of outrage, so they might transition into lasting stewardship, through step-by-step action. Kent Dahlgren (of 214 Alpha) created this brief introductory video about Bene Esse to share the story, we also discuss it on the most recent podcast and in this Medium article written by Kent. An added bonus is that both Ruth Glendinning's company (Future Story Lab) and 214 Alpha have developed a 'copy and paste' franchise model that can be customized to the land owner's existing revenue streams, as illustrated in this brief “behind the scenes” video. Existing landowners stand to gain the following benefits: Recurring revenue with minimal liabilityMobile and portable; a minimal dependency upon fixed infrastructureReduction in costs (such as tax breaks)Greater power autonomy and improved soil qualityCreating a legacy of opportunity for others In this manner, a small disciplined team of community activists might negotiate with existing landowners to address the root conditions of generational poverty and trauma by delivering upon a mutually-beneficial model designed to both elevate the value of existing land while creating the basis of growing generational wealth, which strengthens our connections to our roots.
"Bene Esse" a S.P.R.O.U.T. Product, Featuring Anti-Fragile Principles for Property Ownership (Intro)
May 20 2022
"Bene Esse" a S.P.R.O.U.T. Product, Featuring Anti-Fragile Principles for Property Ownership (Intro)
The reason for creating this very podcast is to discuss the creation of a playbook that would help people apply Anti-Fragile principles to community design, so they might realize benefits in a manner inversely proportional to declining conditions. The worse things become, the more an Anti-Fragile solution realizes benefit. The book is centered around the creation and launch of a living laboratory in the same community where Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren reside, and that community is calibrated to the local watershed, which is named Tannehill. The team has used the Community Activation and Launch Methodology on themselves, and the team have navigated the first six steps, which has brought them to "launch." And so as the Tannehill living laboratory begins socializing its vision and its plan, as well as enlisting participants, the Anti-Fragile team has been able to pivot to discussing how anti-fragile principles might be of benefit to related domains. In this podcast Ruth and Kent discuss a product Ruth designed called S.P.R.O.U.T., as well as a application of the S.P.R.O.U.T. product called "Bene Esse," which is Latin for "well being." The S.P.R.O.U.T. Anti-Fragile plan for real estate ownership aspires to deliver benefit to the property owner, relative to declining economic and ecological conditions, consistent with the principles of Anti-Fragility. Sound product design follows this same framework: Who is the target?Why does this matter to them?What is the solution?How does it work? In this podcast Ruth and Kent discuss "who" might be interested in this plan (property owners and public policymakers), and "why" it matters to them. They introduced a few key performance indicators (KPIs) which would help quantify and qualify their progress, as well as "what" elements are critical to the plan, and they follow up with a couple of high-level examples of "how" the plan works, which will be elaborated upon further in a future episode.
A Post-Holiday Review of "Living Laboratory" Volunteer Activation, and a Pre-Launch Preview
Feb 17 2022
A Post-Holiday Review of "Living Laboratory" Volunteer Activation, and a Pre-Launch Preview
This podcast discusses how the activists responsible for the Anti-Fragile “living laboratory” (the Austin-based “Tannehill Marketville Collective”) were able to make significant progress through the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas/Chanukah, and New Years, and without funding, through the daily stresses of financial challenges, COVID illness, and attrition from within the team. It’s now mid-February, and the small, unfunded activist committee responsible for delivering the Anti-Fragile “living laboratory” is on the cusp of announcing their vision and plan to the community (a formal “launch”), and through the holidays was able to define and deliver upon a professional and capable “go to market plan.” In this podcast episode, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren discuss attributes of what Kent once called the “hive mind operating system” for activating a sustained collective effort, and with creative continuity, through periods of hardship and attrition, and without formal modes of compensation. The “hive mind operating system” (later known as “org,” for “organizational competency” as it was tuned through on-the-streets activism, and now known as the 214 Community Activation and Launch Methodology, or C.A.L.M.) is a step-by-step program for guiding activists from a state of outrage to sustained stewardship, through action. It’s at this precise intersection that Ruth and Kent have merged their respective visions for, as Ruth calls it: “transacting transformation,” or as Kent elaborates (borrowing from the domain of interaction / user experience design): constructing a series of transactions / interactions to bring about transformational change, relying entirely upon soft capital (gift economy) for compensation. The following tactile deliverables were creatively defined and delivered by a small, unfunded group of committed volunteers. Through the holidays, through COVID, and through inevitable attrition: (Visual identity / Branding) A newly-created logo, icon, and style guide, ensuring consistent and professional brand presentation across all materials and online platforms. (Audience) Defined audience engagement categories of “sellers” and “members,” which mixes the benefits for "buyers" and "community"Defined “what’s in it for me?” options for "members" (Materials) Draft informational emailInformational videoDefinition for "engagement packages" (defined as Seed, Root, Grow, Sustain, and FlourishLogos for “Seed, Root, Grow, Sustain, and Flourish” are done and added to materialsBrief presentation for those who want more info (vision and step-by-step plan)New handout flier design: messaging and logos (Operations) Corporate / Co-op structureGovernance and operational decisions regarding financials
Anti-Fragile Playbook: examples of activated soft capital (Burnside and Community Renaissance Market)
Dec 20 2021
Anti-Fragile Playbook: examples of activated soft capital (Burnside and Community Renaissance Market)
Imagine a pop-up market that funds hyper-local self-governance. Imagine a self-funded, hyper-local, self-governing committee that breaks the cycles of generational trauma. Anticipating a retreat in formal government that will leave the vulnerable behind, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren have partnered to create an Anti-Fragile Playbook that will guide people through the steps necessary to launch and sustain their own renegade “pop-up” market that funds their community’s self-governance. This self-governance model delivers hyper-local “earn and learn” programs encouraging people to become producers instead of just consumers, with an explicit focus on regenerative best practices. In so doing, people become place-makers instead of just placeholders, producing their own wealth, on their terms. At the heart of the whole thing is a model for short-circuiting the cycles of generational trauma, poverty, and abuse, designed by Ruth herself, and explicitly acknowledging the value of soft capital. In Ruth’s words, this plan helps people “transact transformation.” This community activation app was designed to address the challenges faced by charities seeking to secure hard capital in pursuit of their visions. We do so by: helping the community generate hard capital themselves through a built-in business model that delivers economic rejuvenation and quantifying forms of soft capital, such as trust, wisdom, and attention. In this episode: Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren elaborate upon certain key topics regarding forms of soft and hard capital, and conclude with a brief overview of the Burnside Skatepark (an illegal skateboard park that's currently celebrating its 30th anniversary), as well as Ruth's experience with Community Renaissance Market, which landed her on ABC Nightly News for incubating several dozen local, organic businesses.
An Investment in Anti-Fragile Operations Pays Dividends
Nov 23 2021
An Investment in Anti-Fragile Operations Pays Dividends
Satisfied that the administrative team for the local "Anti-Fragile living laboratory" was up and running, one of core members did something healthy by saying: "I need to press pause and take a break." Again, this is healthy; activists cannot be expected to run non-stop for an extended period, because overwork leads to burnout, and this team member in particular had been running non-stop for years in support of a large network of "buy nothing" communities. She took the time to document her current status, went above and beyond by sharing key insights, giving the rest of the team more than enough of a hand-off as she took her well-deserved break. And so in this manner the admin team for the local "Anti-Fragile living laboratory" managed the unexpected (temporary) absence of a key core member, while concurrently processing feedback which flowed real-time from Kent's approximately 50 in-person conversations within the community. Central to the Anti-Fragile Playbook, the Community Activation and Launch Methodology (or C.A.L.M. model) walks activists from outrage to stewardship through action, and an important part of the Anti-Fragile model is Ruth Glendinning's framework for constantly refreshing the screen, inviting us to ask the following four questions: Is it true?Has it ever been true?Could it be true?Should it be true? It's in this manner the team was able to quickly and nimbly move through the events of the past week, while deepening (and complexifying) its engagement with its community. Many benefits flow from an investment in a small, but properly-diversified and empowered core team, and one is: execution continuity in the context of growth and periodic attrition (even if temporary). In summary: the team didn't skip a beat, even while a critical teammate took a well-deserved break.
Our Shared River of Story: How the Network Effect Informs Disruptive Innovation
Aug 19 2021
Our Shared River of Story: How the Network Effect Informs Disruptive Innovation
Think about a well, used to provide water. Did you know that the word "well" was once used to quantify the beneficial "halo effect" provided by access to safe drinking water? The size of a community was limited to the number of those the community's well could serve - a great example of a "commons." Additionally, the well (west Saxon: wielle) is the root of the word "welcome," which sounds very cozy when one thinks about the word printed on a welcome mat, but in fact: water will find its own way, with little regard for levees, dams, rail, freeways, and sometimes homes. Indeed, recent research has demonstrated that ancient migratory routes mirrored subterranean waterways. As Ruth says: "waterways formed the first paths to market," and so it's not impossible to imagine how an embrace of these ancient waterways might form the basis of introducing a disruptive model for technological innovation. Let's define this. Disruptive technology is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, or businesses operate. A disruptive technology sweeps away the systems or habits it replaces because it has attributes that are recognizably superior. In this episode, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren discuss the status of two local "living laboratory" pilot communities which have chosen to join forces so they can better focus upon calibrating a local economic footprint to their local watershed. In this manner, the community can launch a hyper-local marketplace to self-fund social programs, while setting aside resources for improving the ecological quality of the watershed within which they live. A focus upon watershed transcends freeway and arbitrary neighborhood boundaries, and weaves together people from across the social and economic spectrum. Also discussed is how this same "network effect" extends beyond Austin: because communities in other geographies (such as in Canada and North Carolina) aren't competitive, there's every reason for them to share innovations with one another, thus delivering upon the philosophy that the "rising tide lifts all boats." This technology innovation thus introduces a model for what Ruth calls a "peace economy" which may serve to augment and potentially rival the existing war-based economy in a manner which may someday be acknowledged as "disruptive."
Refining the Vision and Engaging New Activists Through Rapid, Low-Fidelity Prototyping
Jun 4 2021
Refining the Vision and Engaging New Activists Through Rapid, Low-Fidelity Prototyping
Imagine a product in a store named "Seed," which will: Preserve communityCreate economic opportunityand leverage technology to define the future What's in the box? 150 hours of hands-on community activation24/7 virtual community marketplace, where creating a job is as easy as creating a listingAdditional household revenue, and access to assistance to launch and sustain a home-based business. But "Seed" is not an actual product. "Seed" is the product of a single day's collaboration, using less than $3 in materials (cardboard box, printouts from the Internet, no more than 50 words, and ordinary Scotch tape). In this podcast, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren discuss the use of low-fidelity prototyping tools (such as hypothetical retail products like the imagined "Seed") to secure and retain the attention of new team members, enlisting their assistance to bring about the desired outcome, while refining the project's aspired vision. As discussed in the prior podcast, the three core team members (Ruth, Trudy, and Kent) have been joined by two additional contributors, but it’s important for the new team members to hit the ground running, and from a place of ownership and an authentic spirit of shared attribution. This podcast introduces the methodology for rapid and streamlined onboarding of management-level collaboration, because the team might have not the luxury to invest months or even years for new team members to acquire all of the requisite background and context. Low-fidelity prototyping: using an empty cardboard box, printouts from the Internet, no more than about 50 words, and scotch tape, Ruth, Kent, and Trudy created a physical prototype, representing what they would hoped to deliver to their pilot community in the first three months. This crude, “low fidelity“ prototype stimulated within the team significant and high context discussions around how the concept and the plan might be further streamlined, the overall message further refined. For this is vital and important: these core team members will be “training the trainer“ of those who will join at a later date, and those “third generation“ participants will be on the front line for community members seeking a safe refuge where they can vent their sense of justified anguish and outrage. For the local Anti-Fragile pilot, things are coming together in a very real way. This podcast discusses a variety of practical, battle-tested, and accessible tools for navigating a community activation process worthy the investment. Further, Ruth and Kent discuss pragmatic reasons why activists might want to actually recruit "the broken" to participate as peers, so the collective effort is able to deftly navigate the community engagement process as it evolves. Therefore, it's discussed why the core activist team may care to invest in a spirit of forgiveness and redemption, in reference to the Japanese art of Kintsugi (金継ぎ), where a broken dish is repaired with gold, creating something new, and of transcendent value. Ultimately, this plan delivers a structured series of transactions and interactions to bring about a transformational experience.
This Little Light of Ours, We're Gonna Let it Shine
May 27 2021
This Little Light of Ours, We're Gonna Let it Shine
With a respectful tip of the hat in honor of activist Zilphia Horton, the title of this episode speaks to how one might harness an ember's kinetic potential, use its heat to rekindle the hearth, and its light to serve as a beacon, so others might find a way home, within a spirit of forgiveness and redemption. While the original hymn proclaimed "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!," within this anti-fragile model, the "me" is transformed into "we." Ruth and Kent are creating an Anti-Fragile Playbook; a step-by-step guide for those seeking to deliver a self-funded economic revival that addresses the root causes of generational poverty and trauma. An anti-fragile system benefits from hardship and stress, which means the model improves even as things become worse, and in this podcast series it's been discussed how a step-by-step plan has been defined (following the Community Activation and Launch Methodology as a baseline framework) for igniting a rooted community activation that thrives in the context of difficulty. Examples include: - intentionally source and activate existing local leadership (rather than rely upon "experts" from outside the community) - educate community members as "kitchen table capitalists" or "household entrepreneurs," optimizing productive capacity to tapping into existing fonts of great creative potential - identify and activate soft capitals like time, attention, relationship, trust and wisdom for stronger communities - the foundation of any thriving gift economy) - promote a philosophy of inclusivity for all, such as the economically disadvantaged, explicitly the houseless, single parents and the racially diverse, through a philosophy of otherhood to brotherhood - promoting locally-sourced food and nutritional educational opportunities for expanding health as wealth Because the authors of the AntiFragile Playbook are using themselves as test subjects, (igniting and launching a pilot community), the Anti-Fragile Playbook is continuing its continued evolution and improvement, and consistent with the Anti-Fragile Playbook: one activist became two, and soon afterwards were joined by a third to create a sustained grass-roots advocacy. As the three (Ruth, Trudy, and Kent) continued to synthesize the model, they found that they've irresistibly attracted two additional persons (as well as a growing number of client communities), and so the "administrative committee" now numbers five, all serving as peers. In this discussion, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren share their direct experience with this "point of inflection" (from three to five), referencing various pertinent examples from adjacent domains, such as activism, parenting, management, and mentorship. Ruth and Kent discuss how to curate an authentic sense of ownership, shared attribution, and stewardship, through a nuanced and subtle application of wisdom, and provide examples of why Ruth, Trudy, and Kent invest so deeply in broadening and deepening an investment among those typically described as the elderly: the value of wisdom capital is transcendent to that of ordinary money.
Execution: Solving the Gordian Knot with Subtlety, and Without a Blade
May 5 2021
Execution: Solving the Gordian Knot with Subtlety, and Without a Blade
The Gordian Knot is a legend associated with Alexander the Great, and is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem solved by finding an approach to the problem that renders moot the problem's perceived constraints. Legend holds that Alexander the Great "solved" the knot by simply using his sword to cut it, and for generations and as it pertains to execution, the use of kinetic violence has passed for wisdom, typically the bigger the better. But what if there were such a thing as a knot made of a material that resists cutting? And what if the knot itself were contrived in such a manner that attempts to sever its cords through violent means only made it stronger? Finally, how do we solve this "knot" while juggling all the other things in our already busy lives? Kids, families, work, personal life, etc?  Discussed: how does one fix a truck while it continues driving, so to speak? In this discussion, Ruth Glendinning (Founder, Future Story Lab) and Kent Dahlgren (CEO, 214 Alpha) describe a third way, rooted in real-world examples, and deliver an easy-to-remember recipe for high-functioning "holons" (small, autonomous teams), using language widely understood across industries, domains, and cultures, summarized as: Create a core "holon" of three complementary personality typesDeclare and maintain a singleness of purposeInvest in the regular, ongoing creation and maintenance of a shared work product through brief "sprints" or releasesPhilosophies and beliefs (various)
Quantifying Anti-Fragile: the Return on Investment (ROI)
Apr 1 2021
Quantifying Anti-Fragile: the Return on Investment (ROI)
Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren have defined a novel, anti-fragile solution for community impact organizations (such as non-profits, churches, mutual aid organizations) to secure a lucrative stream of recurring revenue that deepens and roots these institutions within community. Community impact organizations deliver a "buy and produce local" marketplace that enables "household entrepreneurs" to launch a home-based microbusiness as easily as creating a listing, and enables "kitchen table capitalists" to utilize the services of a self-funded "community impact co-op" that helps their endeavors launch, sustain, and thrive. More to the point: the emphasis upon "anti-fragility" means the community's solution thrives in the context of increased stress. How? In this podcast episode, Ruth and Kent discuss how they've quantified the following attributes of community anti-fragility within their own community pilot, as well as how these same attributes are being embraced within other communities: The solution sources and activates existing local leadershipIt educates community members as kitchen table capitalists or household entrepreneurs, optimizing household productive capacityIt identifies and activates forms of soft capital such as: (investing) time, (paying) attention, (building) relationships, (earning) trust and (tapping into) wisdom for stronger and more rooted communitiesThe solution explicitly declares an inclusivity for all, such as the economically disadvantaged, the houseless, single parents and the racially diverse, through a philosophy of otherhood to brotherhoodAnd the anti-fragile methodology promotes locally-sourced food and nutritional educational opportunities for expanding health as wealth In one noteworthy example, Kent and Ruth discuss Cloud Room Botanicals, which serves as an excellent example of creative, household-based entrepreneurship. Finally, they discuss the Community Activation and Launch Methodology, which steps local activists from outrage to stewardship, through action.
The Maturity Model: an Introduction to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Executive Reporting
Mar 11 2021
The Maturity Model: an Introduction to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Executive Reporting
A basket cannot be woven but from the bottom-up. So it is with our communities, rooted inside the home, for if we lose the home, we lose the community. Thus begins a discussion opening with a reference to 'Braiding Sweetgrass' by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and seamlessly merges with guidance on how to define and maintain a management-friendly report card that quantifies progress, through the following three lenses: Economic justice (create opportunities for every person to have a dignified, productive and creative life that extends beyond simple economics)Social justice (the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society)Restorative justice (a system of criminal justice that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and their community) Imagine that as an activist you are called upon to define a "neighborhood revival plan," and are expected to provide quantitative reporting regarding current state, projected priorities, and project status to an executive-level governing body. In our model for anti-fragility, the neighborhoods of a city or town would be split into discrete communities numbering no more than 1,000-1,200 citizens, inclusive to those who are houseless. Over the course of 12 months, they progress through three phases: Buy local firstStimulate local producersSource inventory from within the community Leveraging best practices from private industry, inclusive to the manufacturing and security industries, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren introduce the use of a maturity model for triaging a community's evolving state, through the lens of aspired anti-fragility, and describe how the maturity model could serve as a lens for connecting high-level to "in the streets" project management reporting. A maturity model is a tool that aids in the assessment of a community’s current state of effectiveness and the determination of which capabilities they need to improve, and in their design, this three-lens maturity model helps community activists rapidly evaluate, report upon, and prioritize services. Visual aid: this illustration is referenced during this podcast episode.
Spotlight: M. Renée Orth - Vision and Execution in Support of a Vision
Mar 3 2021
Spotlight: M. Renée Orth - Vision and Execution in Support of a Vision
About a decade ago "attorney, alchemist, and activist" M. Renée Orth was seized with the conviction of rightness as she received a vision: how to optimize capitalism such that it can be leveraged as a tool (rather than a weapon) to transform the present exploitive and extractive system to one rooted in the sacredness of life. With substantially applicable legal experience under her belt, Renée first set out to deliver her vision by authoring a book - Conspiracy of Dreamers: Capitalism at the Service of Humanity. Kent will tell you it's a worthy investment and an engaging read. In the decade hence, Renée has been busy putting her words into action, which reveals her vision as nearly prescient, considering the current economic and cultural conditions. Renée has helped launch the Stone Soup Collective, whose mission is to “align the efforts of the Lowcountry to nourish our community through a buy one, give one plant-based soup collective.” Additionally, she is in the midst of launching Chrysalis Forest - an eco-monastery which aspires to "emphasize a gifting economy rather than a transactional, commodified one, contributing our unique gifts to the creation of a more just, sustainable and vital world and supporting others to do the same, and achieving a higher understanding of others through conscious empathy, humanism, and rejection of simplistic attributions." Clearly, Renée is all about execution in alignment of her vision, and in this episode, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren listen as she describes her journey, her values, her inspirations, and her intended path forward.
Snow Storm Update: the Neighborhood Collective Demonstrates the Benefits of Anti-Fragility
Feb 19 2021
Snow Storm Update: the Neighborhood Collective Demonstrates the Benefits of Anti-Fragility
Ruth Glendinning, Kent Dahlgren, and Trudy Martinez are bringing forth an Anti-Fragile Playbook; a step-by-step guide for those seeking to deliver a self-funded economic revival that addresses the root causes of generational poverty and trauma, and are concurrently launching a "living laboratory" launched within their own neighborhood. And this week, a "once a generation snowstorm" demonstrated the merit of the anti-fragile model, accelerating the project dramatically, thanks to an explicit embrace and investment in various forms of soft capital. Let's elaborate upon this just a little, because it's important. The Anti-Fragile Wealth Production Model delivers a self-funded economic stimulus, using money that normally remains "under the table," and activating locally-sourced leadership to eventually deliver social services ordinarily expected from centralized governments, inclusive to: Childcare (co-op)Health care (co-op)Basic income (co-op)Earn and learn vocational education Assistance launching and sustaining home-based business But close to the ground, where it's of greatest value and addressing the greatest need, utilizing a model that dramatically offsets operating expenses, using an innovative micro-economy that rewards the community for buying and producing locally. There's a reason we've chosen to invest in a foundation of anti-fragility, vs mere resiliency: resilient systems maintain current state, but an anti-fragile system is one that profits from external and internal stresses that would bring an insufficiently resilient system to its knees. It's for this reason Ruth and Kent have invested so deeply in an explicit embrace of various forms of soft capital, which boasts a value transcendent of forms of hard capital (normally known as money). Therefore, when the system came to a standstill, and a deterioration of top-down services resulted in a humanitarian disaster, the anti-fragile "living laboratory" evolved quickly. Is this communism? No, as discussed in a prior podcast, and detailed in an accompanying article.
Lighting the Lantern: Using Outrage to Light the Way
Jan 28 2021
Lighting the Lantern: Using Outrage to Light the Way
There’s plenty of reasons to be upset, but remaining in a state of outrage isn’t going to change a thing, and while it's important to eventually move out of outrage towards a solution, don't forget your roots!  Because remember: the deeper you root, the higher you rise! Ruth Glendinning, Kent Dahlgren, and Trudy Martinez are creating an Anti-Fragile Wealth Production pilot within their own neighborhood, and this week expanded their small circle to a fourth: a receptive neighbor.  As discussed in this episode; the results were impressive, electrifying, and infectious, laying the foundation towards the second step of the Community Activation and Launch Methodology (C.A.L.M.): Vision. As you move out of planning and begin to socialize your vision with others, it's important to use your outrage to light the way to root the solution in why your vision is important, which unlocks the "keystone capitals" of: Attention capital Relationship capitalTime capitalTrust capitalWisdom capital These five keystone capitals were discussed in a prior podcast episode, and unlocking these forms of soft capital will bring forward unexpected complexity that enriches your investment in neighborhood economics. What are "keystone capitals?"  Well, think about keystone species within an ecosystem: "a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically."  For example, squirrels spend the entire summer and fall burying nuts and seeds in preparation for the winter months, but they don't actually keep track or remember precisely where they've buried the food; their survival strategy is contingent upon how much food is buried. There are obviously a broad variety of inadvertent beneficiaries: the squirrels not only feed a large number of other species, they also plant seeds necessary to ensure new tree growth, as alluded to in a recent article by Ruth. So too it is within our communities, our neighborhoods, and our own households.
"Say Cheese!" An interview with Sandy Burky
Jan 24 2021
"Say Cheese!" An interview with Sandy Burky
In our latest Podcast – “Just Say Cheese" - Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren have a special guest: Sandy Burky of Helvetia West Virginia.  This small community is located in the verdant mountains of West Virginia, where it was established by Sandy’s ancestors in 1869. In the midst of the huge extractive coal and timber industries, Helvetia has kept its cultural identity alive through the Helvetia Thriving organization and Mountain Roots Markets, developed to provide local markets offering local produce, foods, arts, and crafts. Sandy’s mission is to re-establish Helvetia as the home for Helvetia cheese for present and future generations. The know-how and local original recipes are still available. The existing, emerging and returning generations want to locate in Helvetia, but need an economic pathway as to how to make that happen. There is already a consumer market desiring local Helvetia cheese and distribution channels ready to receive. This is where 214 Alpha and Future Story Lab enter the picture as we work with Sandy to put a new container around the expansive potential that’s been activated by Sandy and her neighbors. In our last podcast we discussed 5 keystone capitals:  AttentionRelationshipsTimeTrustWisdom All of these are in play in the Helvetia story and in this conversation among friends. Ruth has been developing the story supporting Sandy's vision since 2018, and we love that the 'E-Cow-Nomy' is emerging. For us this is a great way to demonstrate S.L.O.W. Tech, in which technology is used to activate & amplify the human scale story. In this case, 214 Alpha is the tech and will be used to create a local marketplace bringing forward both monetary & non-monetary capital to root & grow the Helvetia community, improving fiscal & physical health. It's what we call the Anti-Fragile Wealth Production model & Helvetia will be a prominent example in the Anti-Fragile Playbook we're developing.
Placeholder to Place-maker: Alternative & Complementary Currencies 201
Jan 16 2021
Placeholder to Place-maker: Alternative & Complementary Currencies 201
Money isn't always the answer - at least not as it's normally recognized (hard capital). However, full-spectrum capital plays a central role in the Anti-Fragile Wealth Production Engine, which acknowledges and quantifies other forms of capital necessary for community revival. The discussion opens with a story about how Ed Daniel's investment in attention capital helped a locally-focused advocacy effort rapidly blossom. Eddie Daniels, a bus operator for a West Virginia school district, proposed the county implement a “Farm to School” program that help to ensure no children go hungry. says Ed: “As I drive the school bus, one of the things I’m seeing at the stops is grandparents,” Daniels said. “They are on a fixed income and may not have the money to feed these kids, so I am trying to implement a program with the Food and Farm Coalition called ‘Farm to School.’ We are going to invite farmers in the area, and the (agriculture) programs in the schools, to grow some food for your students here in Randolph County.” In this example and others, Ruth Glendinning and Kent Dahlgren discuss how an investment of attention capital inspires the creation of relationships which magnifies the value of the time invested, building trust, and unlocking normally-overlooked pockets of wisdom, which flowers as a benefit that cannot be purchased with cash. In this episode, building upon that which was discussed in the prior "Placeholder to Place-maker" podcast episode on alternative and complementary currencies, Ruth and Kent talk about how an investment in five forms of soft capital accelerate a community advocate's return on investment: Attention capitalRelationship capitalTime capitalTrust capital ("hard to earn, easy to lose, and impossible to buy")Wisdom capital These discussions lay the foundation for upcoming topics on how the Anti-Fragile Wealth Production Engine, built upon the Community Activation App by 214 Alpha, encourage those who are naturally-generous to help bootstrap a hyper-local economy. This same hyper-local economy, in turn, soon delivers a self-funded economic revival, using money which normally remains "under the table," and leaves in its wake a self-governing community, using leadership which was sourced and activated from within the community itself.