Community Investment Portfolio Applied to Local Food Systems

Filmed at the Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, Steve Bosserman talks about how a Community Investment Portfoliio (CIP) can be utilized to develop the local food economy in Obelrin and Lorain County. A CIP can enable a community like Oberlin to utilize its assets (financial, time, buildings etc.) to grow opportunities along the entire food value chain, from production to consumption and everything in between (processing, aggregation, distribution, preparation). The CIP creates a more collaborative environment that allows a community to more effectively utilize its existing asset base and identify strategic assets to develop to capture more local food dollars and create community wealth.

Community Investment Portfolio

Filmed at the Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, Steve Bosserman describes the basic concept of a Community Investment Portfolio (CIP). A CIP provides a tool that enables a community to identify, connect, and grow assets to support a stronger and more resilient local economy. Steve draws a distinction between the global economy, in which many basic needs are supplied in areas far distant from us, and outlines the opportunity space that localization of food, energy, and other basic needs provides. A CIP can be utilized as a tool for individuals, businesses, institutions, or agencies to collectively invest assets in support of local economies. Assets include not just financial assets, but time, physical resources, and political and social capital.

Konwledge Commons

Filmed at the Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, Tiberius Brastaviceanu with SENSORICA open enterprise discusses a new paradigm for connecting universities and colleges with "knowledge commons". This presents a change from the more traditional approach of protecting knowledge and places knowledge into a commons that can more effectively spur innovation and economic development that can have positive effects on local communities around universities. What could the universities and colleges of Northeast Ohio contribute to a knowledge commons around growth of the regional food economy?

What Is a Value Network?

Filmed at the Environemntal Studies Center at Oberlin College, Steve Bosserman and Tiberius Brastaviceanu discuss the use of value-networks in creating a more open and collaborative environment for growing economies. Value networks can also provide an effective tool for facilitating collaboration among businesses, individuals, institutions, and agencies that are working to grow more sustainable local food systems.

The Open Enterprise Concept

We catch up with at Oberlin College's Environmental Studies Center with Tiberius Brastavicenau, with SENSORICA in Montreal, Canada. In this clip, Tiberius describes the open-enterprise concept as it is applied to the development of sensor technology. SENSORICA is an open, collaborative enterprise that includes companies across the world collaborating on the advancement of sensing technology. A similar framework could help to spur innovation and devlepoment of local food systems. For more information, see

Affinity Groups: Economic Development
Lorain County Community College- Sustainable Agriculture Certification Program

This short video provides an overview of a new certificate program offered by the Lorain County Community College (LCCC) to provide background in sustainable agriculture. The program presents a unique collaboration between LCCC, Ohio State University, and the New Agrarian Center. To learn more about the program and how to get involved, go to

25% Shift- How Realistic?

Interview with Gary Paul Nabhan at the George Jones Farm in Oberlin on April 17, 2011.Nabhan is one of the nation's leading voices on local food systems development,  recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, and author of numerous books on ethno-botany and local food culture. Here he reflects on the recently completed 25% Shift study for the Northeast Ohio regional food system. Nabhan notes that the shift seems large, but very attainable given the shifts we are seeing already in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere in the country.

25% Shift- Opporunities in the NEO Local Food Economy

Leslie Schaller with the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACENet) in Athens, Ohio reflects on what she sees as the opportunities and challenges for a 25% Shift in food localization for Northeast Ohio. She notes in particular the rich base of assets between the diverse cities and rural enterprises in the region. The challenge remains how to create proactive and collaborative networks to best capitalize on these regional assets.

25% Shift- Regional Food Authorities

 Michael Shuman, principle director of the 25% Shift- regional food study for the Northeast Ohio local food system, talks about the benefits of organizing Local Food Authorities as a mechanism to make capital available to a variety of local food businesses.

Climate Change, Food Security, and Food Diversity

Full lecture of Gary Paul Nabhan on April 19, 2011 during his visit to Northeast Ohio. He talks about the need for preserving and restoring food diversity to build more resilient local food systems. The lecture includes the perspectives of pepper farmers as they adapt to increasingly challenging climate events, as featured in his recently released book: Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail. Learn more about Gary and his work at: