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 earthy fragrance of Just Haiti, Inc. Fair Trade Cooperative Coffee changing the lives of grower communities. The co-housing community he helped build on a public land trust with CDFI funding in Omaha has become a model for the nation. As he passes the common house, he sees the bountiful food ready to be prepared for dinner – all sourced from their community garden and local, organic, cooperative farms and grocery store and financed by the public Regenerative Loan Fund. He considers driving to work in one of the community electric cars but decides to take an e-bike built by the new employee-owned, regenerative manufacturing plant that has transformed the neglected part of the city.  

The history of Public Power and Farming Cooperatives in this region provided the imagination necessary to build support for the SOGND. Through organizing campaigns and creating successful alternative businesses, they (it was never just one person) leveraged the success and reputation of public power and farming co-ops to extend into green energy, public financing, reliable and sustainable public transportation, cooperative housing, regenerative manufacturing, health care, and more – transforming every corner of the economy and society. 

Re-SKU transformed not only textiles but manufacturing itself to heal the planet. Publicly owned community health centers healed the people. Downtown was a thriving community of artists living and creating in their cooperatively owned buildings that healed souls. None of this was possible without the work of the cooperative incubator that provided the expertise to bring it all to fruition thereby healing society.

The University where he has worked for 30 years began to shift a decade ago when it embraced a new mental model, Doughnut Economics, as its goal and curriculum. They kindly moved Stan into retirement and built a global partnership with Ethix to source from cooperatively owned, ethically made, regenerative products. “Strategic Sourcing” no longer meant lowest price but highest values and mission. “Homo economicus” was finally dead. The hard work and creativity of millions of people ushered in the SOGND, creating an economy where everyone has what they need and we live within our planetary boundaries, thriving instead of constantly growing. 

He’ll sleep better tonight. First he is heading to the co-housing common house for a glass of locally grown, cooperatively owned wine with friends. He’s enjoying the fruits of the society and economy he and so many others worked so hard to build.  

3 thoughts on “Wine with Friends

  1. Thank you for this envisioning and for this excitement, Ken. Also thank you for plugging re-SKU!

    I was struck by this is particular for you: “The co-housing community he helped build on a public land trust with CDFI funding in Omaha has become a model for the nation.” That sounds very specific and very close to home for you– how might you explore manifesting that? What would the first step be?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Eli. We got close 15 years ago but couldn’t quite make it happen. I’d still love it someday and will have to consider your invitation!


  2. Marco – What a legacy! The flywheel analogy is terrifically apt. The wheel is rotating; what is yours to do in making it go faster?

    I was struck by the reference to the University as one of the institutions that can be transformed – and accelerate the change sought. What are some other key institutions?

    How’s that local wine?


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