Hour 3 - Rowan Greene ("Together We Can") on constructing a sustainable inner city America.(Please note that due to computer crash, the video for this hour of the show will not be available - our apologies)
"Together We Can" Construct a Sustainable inner-city America
Rowan Greene is the third generation of his family working to progress the city of Fort Wayne Indiana not only sustainable, but also restorative ways.
This work is manifest in many ways from reallocating foods that would have ended up in the waste stream, to low-income families with limited Mobility, to food for the local chapter of Food not Bombs. Also through standing up to the local government bullies by suing them in federal court for violating his first amendment rights, all the way to the biggest project currently being implemented: by working with farmers and a non-profit, a stimulus program is being created that will act as a local currency-backed by food and labor from Farmers through a food Hub and balanced by cryptocurrencies.
About the Stewards of Heartland Communities…
The Stewards of Heartland Communities - Growing a Sustainable Local Economy
We are a worker owned cooperative foundation committed to cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Our mission is to build communities that are economically, culturally, and environmentally sustainable, through community and economic development activities, including training and educational programs, worker collective entrepreneurship facilitation, cooperative systems, and community economics education. We the Stewards of Heartland Communities, Inc. envision a world in which communities of people share in sustainable living, culturally, economically, and environmentally. We define a sustainable culture as one in which all citizens balance responsibility and liberty, in which each member's needs are met, and each contributes to the needs of the larger good. A sustainable culture requires the guarantee of safety and celebration to persons of diverse ideas, abilities, and heritage. We believe that nonviolence is the key to safety. Economic sustainability insures that full-time workers earn enough income to provide all the basic needs. It prevents economic leakage from a region by keeping local production for local consumption. A sustainable local economy also accounts for non-monetary or 'core economy' of care giving and volunteer service that is not counted in traditional economic measures. We work to build a sustainable economy through collective action, worker-owned entrepreneurship, and alternative economic structures such as barter systems and time banks. Environmental sustainability requires that the demands on an environment do not exceed the inhabitants' ability to renew the environment's resources in pace; that technology is used with the same guarantee of safety to the diversity of nature. We envision a world in which commitment to this vision is the foundation that informs our collective life's work.
Heartland Communities, Inc. provides opportunities for many levels of commitment and involvement. We are interested in providing leadership and other resources for entrepreneurship that involves green technology or services and worker-ownership.
Worker-owners of Heartland are called Stewards. This level of commitment is encouraged. Stewards do the hands-on work of the organization and constitute the voting membership. Supporting Members, Advisors, and Sponsoring Organizations are three other levels of official membership that support the goals and purposes of the organization with funding opportunities, advice, and in-kind donations.
Local Indiana Food Slips Stimulus Program
This is a link to the tab about the biggest project on our WordPress. But the entire WordPress page is about projects that we are working on.
Local Indiana Food Slips Act as a Local Currency
…based on the value of labor and food from farmers through the Plowshares Food Hub. It guarantees that all of the capital and revenue built up by all the local commerce goes into the pocket of someone you know instead of leaking into the national economy. It ensures that the value added at every level of production builds wealth in our community.
LIFS (Pronounced leefs ) to stimulate economic activity
If the food hub is the heart of the system, the blood of the system is a local stimulus program that is going to act as a currency that is backed by food and labor from the farmers through the food hub. This is called Local Indiana Food Slips. By consenting to use Local Indiana Food Slips, all of the participants guarantee that all the capital and all the revenue from the local commerce will stay in the local system. You can't spend it at Kroger, you can't spend it at NIPSCO, so the wealth built by food and labor is not leaked out of the local economy. You might not be able to pay your electric bill with it but it guarantees that the electric company CEO gets none of the revenue from the commerce ex-changed with the local food slips. This will provide incentive for people to shop local, cut down on carbon credits, and produce affluence from the bot-tom up.
How is wealth created?
In this program, value and therefore wealth is created through the production of food. A farmer spends very little on seeds, and along with labor and other inputs, the value of the food produced is much greater. If the food is then processed through preservation or pre-pared foods, the added value increases. We aim to cap-ture this wealth and keep it circulating within the econ-omy of Northeast Indiana and nearby communities.
Although the primary wealth generation through the stimulus project is through food, many members of the arts community are excited to make are part of the lo-cal economy, and there are other business owners who are willing to exchange goods and services using the LIFS local currency. As this adoption grows, wealth will be created by commerce on every level. The economic model will also serve as a small business incubator and cultural hub for restorative commerce.
How do we get the system up and running?
There are seven ways that LIFS get circulating into the economy.
1. Farmers commit a piece of land to grow to grow food for LIFS from the food hub, business or consumer. A portion of the minimum commitment will be traded up front to provide stimulus flow.
2. Entrepreneurs commit a portion of goods and services for the year that they are willing to trade for LIFS. A portion of the minimum commitment will be traded up front to provide stimulus flow.
3. Local philanthropists assist farmers to scale up and become efficient. These stimulators either receive an amount of LIFS equal to their contribution, or one-and -one-half times the amount of the stimulation for funding crucial projects.
4. LIFS will be offered as incentive for volun-teer workers performing service at the food hub, producers or entrepreneurs.
5. Incentives to buy local and fresh food pur-chased using EBT/SNAP and WIC produce vouchers by offering LIFS with proof of purchase (Double Up).
6. Charity organizations that do gleaning on farm fields get incentive LIFS, which they can then distribute to the Hungry.
7. Linking LIFS Stimulus Program with Heartland's related alternate-economy project, the Northern Indiana Time Ex-change (NITE) time bank. Trading hours for hours, with a optional conversion for hours to LIFS.
How do I get involved?
Send an email to RowanFGreene@gmail with a statement that you consent to using L.I.F.S. and committing to substantial trade and that you will not commit fraud. Include the roles you will be likely to fulfill in the program.