economic development

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.

Michael Shuman at City Club of Cleveland

Michael Shuman, Project Director for the Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan, presents a case for considering the economic development benefits of food localization in Northeast Ohio. Shuman serves as the Director of Research for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a national organization promoting growth of small, locally owned business networks across the country. He is also author of several books, most notably The SmartMart Revolution, and Going Local.

Rhizomic Growth

Collaboration designer and author Jack Ricchiuto presents the concept of rhizomic growth, based on the growth of plants like ginger that send out underground stems or rhizomes that grow other stems. In a social setting, rhizomic growth refers to a more collaborative system, in which gardens grow other gardens or businesses grow other businesses. In this time of economic struggle, this model presents a new approch to growing organizations, communities, and economies that are more dynamic, more innovative, and more collaborative. Rather than looking at individual farms or restaurants as compeitors with each other, can they become collaborators, helping to support and grow each other and over time grow an overall local food economy?

25% Shift- Benefits of Food Localization for Northeast Ohio and How to Realize Them

Final version of the Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan. Includes case studies of innovative local food activities in Cleveland, Youngstown, Oberlin, and Wooster; an assessment of the current Northeast Ohio Local Food system; a review of the impacts of a 25% food localization scenario; recommendations for achieving the 25% shift; implementation strategies; and detailed references for the report.

NEO Food Study- NEO Food Authority

Michael Shuman, Project Director for the Northeast Ohio Local Food System Assessment and Plan, discusses the need to develop a blueprint for a NEO Food Authority as a way to raise some initial capital to finance a variety of key local food meta-businesses. Solving the capital problem, he contends, will unleash a variety of businesses and activities in local food systems and support future growth. He envisions the eventual creation of multiple food authorities to support and capitalize efforts across the NEO region, but emphasizes the need to start with one model organization. The NEO Food Authority would provide a new type of organization that supports more self-sustaining efforts that facilitate a stronger local food economies, from business to business matching to local currencies or consumer mobilization.

NEO Food Study- Local Food and Economic Development

Michael Shuman talks about the importance of appropriate government involvement in supporting local food systems. Unfortunately, many current public policies create an uneven playing field that is stacked against local food businesses. Leveling the playing field can include such public policies procurement reforms, zoning and land-use reforms, mobilizing public health services to center campaigns around local food, and looking at opportunities for public employee pension funds to be partially invested in local food-related businesses.