Bob's blog

Reviewing Foundation Concepts of Resilience

Bob Russell is in with Dave this week reviewing foundation concepts that are critical to resilience thinking: adaptability, diversity, redundancy, and feedback loops. The discussion seeks to detail the connections between each concept and the idea of building resilience into our Northwest Michigan communities. Towards the end of the discussion Bob and Dave make an announcement which includes a name change. From now on these weekly discussions will be known as ICR: Investigating Community Resilience.

A Shining Example

In this week's program Jan Shireman and Gerard Grabowski join us to tell their story of a business that is a shining example of the all-local, farm to business to consumer economic model so important to building local food resilience. These two created Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery nearly two decades ago in search of a locally made, healthy bread and in the process became national leaders in the artisan bread movement. Pleasanton Bakery today employs nearly a dozen people in direct bakery jobs. Learn what makes their bread so different. Jan and Gerard share their dream of local sustainable agriculture and of ag-to-consumer businesses to support locally grown food. Only one of the grains they currently use comes from outside of Michigan, but the rest is grown on downstate farms. Gerard argues that northern Michigan needs to grow much more grain for local use, and develop its own milling facilities to turn the grains into flour.

Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay Updates

Andy Knott, Executive Director of the Watershed Center, joins Dave for an update on Watershed activities which include major storm water mitigation projects around the Bay and long term work managing sediment behind three dams scheduled for removal from the Boardman River. Brown Bridge Pond will see dam removal and restoration of the river bed over the next year.  Dave and Andy also discuss a presentation at the recent Fresh Water Summit in Traverse City.  We share a portion of  Dr. Gary Fahnensteil's talk on developments in the water-column food web in Lake Michigan where the Quagga mussel is changing everything at an historic rate. Fahnensteil works at the Great Lakes Research Lab in Ann Arbor and his findings are sobering.

More With Tom Greco

Our second conversation with noted writer, economist, and historian Tom Greco continues with his major thesis: that our money system is built on a debt and interest structure that is corrosive and unsustainable. In this conversation Tom develops his view that the current money system mis-applies the three roles of money: to an instrument to transfer value, to be a measure of value, and to be an instrument holding value itself.  The transfer value of money must separated from the other two, argues Greco, by the development of credit clearing associations built carefully on a regional basis among mutual needs of the participants.

Author Tom Greco talk about the history of money and debt

Tom Greco author of THE END OF MONEY AND THE FUTURE OF CIVILIZATION joins us for two half hour discussions on the history of money and the debt building pyramid- scheme modern money is based on. In this first discussion Greco puts modern money in its historic context and traces its growth to contemporary times where money is controlled by political elites through a interconnected array of national central banks. New money is created by creating debt, and interest is charged on the debt. The debt imperative of money creates a growth imperative in the economy which is destructive of our social fabric and our environment. Greco argues for creation of credit exchange associations, free corrosive effects of interest charged on debt, the topic we pick up in part two.

Investment Clubs, Credit Unions and Developing Local Economies

This discussion comes in two parts. Zach Liggett of Goldeneye Asset Management returns to update the concept of local investment clubs. Zach and Dave both participated in a webinar sponsored by BALLE focusing on one successful model of a local investment club making micro loans to small agricultural businesses: The No Small Potatoes Club of Maine.   The discussion outlines the rather straightforward process for establishing a club and micro loan model this club follows. Zach also outlines the opening discussion in the Local As Possible organization about following a  different model, one of matching small local investors with local entrepreneurs in need of capital through an educational outreach program.  Karen Browne, CEO of the TBA Credit Union comes in for the second half discussion about the role of credit unions, in keeping money local.

Great Lakes Bioneers Conference Jay Walljasper's keynote

Outside In concludes it's replay of the plenary presentation at this year's Bioneers' Conference with the keynote address by Jay Walljasper. The theme of this year's Bioneers Conference was "Reclaiming The Commons". Walljasper is contributing editor to the web site and author of ALL THAT WE SHARE. Walljasper sets the tone for the conference challenging everyone attending to look around and "see" the commons that are around them all and work for their preservation.

Great Lakes Bioneers Conference Laurie Cirivello's keynote

The 10th Great Lakes Bioneers Conference was held the weekend of October 14-16, 2011 in Traverse City, Michigan. Laurie Cirivello gave the local keynote on Saturday morning on the "Media Commons".

Great Lakes Bioneers Conference - Bob Russell's Keynote

Outside In begins three programs sharing the plenary addresses from this year's Great Lakes Bioneers Conference.  This week we here our own Bob Russell giving an address outlining the fundamental principles of resilience thinking: adaptability, modularity and redundancy, numerous feedback loops, and diversity. Bob reflects on the meaning of all four and then reviews local developments demonstrating these principles; developments that have all occurred in the past ten years, matching the length of time the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference has been held in Traverse City.  Bob then has fun looking ahead another ten years and speculating on further developments that could occur over the next ten years.


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