A Different Way Forward

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Week 4 #sequoia “Mutual Enrollment at the Speed of Trust”

“Enrollment means that the person you’re with wants to get on the bus that you’re on, with full knowledge of where you intend to go.” This week want to express my gratitude for our last month together. Thank you Jennifer, Felipe, Elizabeth, Todd and Phil and members of our Shared Ownership Compadres (SOC)! I wouldContinue reading “Week 4 #sequoia “Mutual Enrollment at the Speed of Trust””

Empathy Warriors

In Octavia Butler’s “The Parable of the Sower,” the protagonist Lauren Olamina has what is called “hyperempathy syndrome.” In this dystopian future society, many people have this condition caused by their mothers being addicted to a certain drug when they were in utero. The symptoms are that Lauren can literally, physically feel what other peopleContinue reading “Empathy Warriors”

3 Reasons Why Our Employee Ownership Center Will Fail

Several years ago I read about Jack Dorsey’s strategy for pitching his new startup Square. Although he had already founded Twitter, a unicorn social media app, Square was a fintech company and Dorsey had no background in finance. It was an issue that potential funders raised repeatedly. In response to this opposition, Dorsey explained “WeContinue reading “3 Reasons Why Our Employee Ownership Center Will Fail”

Why is There a White Man in the Break Room? (And Why is He Eyeballing My Oreos?)

By the time I landed in Charlotte, rented a car, and made my way to Opportunity Threads, I was bleary-eyed and famished. Not only that, I was early. So I rolled my suitcase (in that awkward way where your bag is actually at your side because of the swivel wheels, not behind you like aContinue reading “Why is There a White Man in the Break Room? (And Why is He Eyeballing My Oreos?)”

The University Cooperative: A 4th Industrial Revolution Solution

The projected skills gap resulting from the unique demands of the 4th Industrial Revolution, distinctive characteristics of Gen Z students, and complications related to the global COVID-19 crisis represent major factors putting universities in a battle for relevancy and survival. Employers are struggling to find employees with the requisite skills and competencies they need. GenContinue reading “The University Cooperative: A 4th Industrial Revolution Solution”

A Path Forward

When I think about who might serve as a point of resistance to the shared ownership work that I am trying to achieve, I first think of my colleagues.  There are 11 of us total at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.  Of those 11, four are part of our senior leadership team and hold the mostContinue reading “A Path Forward”

Co-ops Are In My DNA

This photo is taken from my hometown in NW Pennsylvania. My great-grandparents owned land across the road from where this historic marker is located. I grew up on the dairy farm they created with my grandparents. The lights that REA poles powered helped me read at night as a young girl. Today, this photo remindsContinue reading “Co-ops Are In My DNA”

Rinse and Repeat

It’s 8:00 a.m. August 18th 2030 and I’m checking my email.  Yet another offer in my inbox to sell us their food company and convert it into a co-op.  Of course they want to sell to us.  We can pay well for their business and it’s in the seller’s interest to get a good exit. Continue reading “Rinse and Repeat”


Starting a business isn’t considered impossible. You think of an idea, you build a simple website, you go to town. Success certainly involves a lot more; assessing your market competition, testing your pricing, having a good pitch, having a lot of luck along the way. But we take it as a given that anyone shouldContinue reading “Wildfire”

Week 3: “An Open Letter to our Rosedale Denver, CO and Planetary Neighbors: Sixty-One Years Blessing for All that Is”

Glory be to God for dappled things –    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;       For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;    Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;       And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.   “Pied Beauty” by GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS DearContinue reading “Week 3: “An Open Letter to our Rosedale Denver, CO and Planetary Neighbors: Sixty-One Years Blessing for All that Is””

To JMK: Regarding The Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren

“Grandpa!!! Look at me, I can fly!!!” My granddaughter, Zara, jumped from the roof and gave her new wings a try, a little bit unsteady for the first few feet, then she stabilized for a smooth, 20-second glide across the park, landing in a pile of leaves. A new human flight record for her. MyContinue reading “To JMK: Regarding The Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren”

Wine with Friends

He couldn’t sleep last night – too much excitement about the direction of the world right now. All the networking and hard work finally took off – like the Fly Wheel in Good to Great.   Everywhere he looks he now sees the influence of the Shared Ownership Green New Deal (SOGND) passed by President Harris and Speaker Ocasio-Cortez. He woke up to the earthyContinue reading “Wine with Friends”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sworn In As 48th President of the United States

January 20 2033Washington, DC Twelve years ago today, on January 20th, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden shocked the world by making two announcements. First, he announced that his first term would be his only term. And second, he proclaimed that he would be the last white male president for the next 100 years. True toContinue reading “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sworn In As 48th President of the United States”

Who Cares?

A story of now You make lots of money.  But who cares? You hold lots of power.  But who cares? You have an influential network.  But who cares? You have a big house.  But who cares? The investment banker who makes money off mine. The district attorney who dishes out fines. The big box CEOContinue reading “Who Cares?”

How it happened

September 20, 2028: Doug O’Brien recently testified before the U.S. House Small Business Committee and the Senate Small Business committee on the role that cooperatives played in saving tens of thousands of small Main Street businesses in the wake of the economic downturn in the early 2020’s. He explained how a robust set of financial,Continue reading “How it happened”


Here’s my story about power: Over 16 years, I have developed a position in which I understand the needs of the Oakland cultural community and have both a wide network and deep relationships with important influencers in that sphere. In six years of running a shared venue, I have interfaced with hundreds of artists andContinue reading “Conduit”

We escaped the trap! how we took back our power with mutual aid and I feel alot better now

Now I get to wake up each morning without gnawing anxiety about the next act of humans driving ourselves towards extinction or enacting brutal violence and genocide on each other.  My friends and I have children and families and live out the joy of life with a sense that we are in a beautiful unfoldingContinue reading “We escaped the trap! how we took back our power with mutual aid and I feel alot better now”


Summer of 2020 will be remembered as the Great Decoupling – the point in time when Financial Capitalism decoupled from the Capitalist economy. Yanis Varoufakis explains in 22 minutes what I have been trying to write about this month as part of this workshop. Something I find humbling and exhilarating at the same time! IContinue reading “Decoupling”

Status Quo Warriors

The 2020 Uprising has challenged all of us to inspect the ways our complicity has reinforced systems of oppression. By diagramming the public sector resource exchange within the familiar framework of market forces, we can see how the public sector design reinforces and enables systemic exploitation. I identify potential leverage points within this framework whereContinue reading “Status Quo Warriors”

When creating something new – can we actually imagine new rules?

I shared last week about my family’s ways of being around money – giving circles and communal economics. What I didn’t share about is their relationship to power. I would describe my parents as having a “keep your head down” attitude; the image that has always stayed in my head is a high school footballContinue reading “When creating something new – can we actually imagine new rules?”

Can someone gain power without someone else giving it up?

Being in a small rural town I feel that power remains with two groups – individuals and institutions. If you are an individual you derive your power from money. If you are an institution you derive your power from control of decision making – around resources, assets, rules, etc. For example, our downtown is changing,Continue reading “Can someone gain power without someone else giving it up?”

The Sacred Cows of Capitalism

I am starting to see that racism and capitalism are bedfellows. The accrued wealth and power of white individuals, businesses, neighborhoods, communities, institutions, and even nation-states, cannot be separated from capitalism’s mechanisms of accruing wealth and power that developed in tandem with racism and inequity. I’m mostly speaking about the United States, with its uniqueContinue reading “The Sacred Cows of Capitalism”

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