Well designed real estate revitalization projects have shown they are capable of regenerating a neighborhood or a small town; bringing it back to life and making sure people in marginalized communities get not just jobs, but ownership of thriving businesses. A job helps you get by, but an asset like owning a part of a business helps you get ahead. We’ve got two great examples coming to Transform.
My long time friends at Cooperation Jackson, a collection of cooperatives that are creating jobs and collective ownership in what had been the poorest neighborhoods in Jackson, Mississippi, are coming with a project ready for investment. They will be showing off their 3d printed aquaponics coop that is already providing home grown food security in the food desert of West Jackson. Even better, it’s ready to be replicated in the scores of other food deserts across the nation’s poorest state. Coop Jxn has already successfully raised close to $500,000 for a yard waste to organic compost cooperative that’s ready for growth.
Besides telling their story at Transform, they will get to strut their stuff in front of the impact investors coming to SEED, our sister conference the day before Transform, along with startups focusing on “bath tub coral” a tech innovation that can thrive in the acidic waters that have killed other coral and other solutions linking capital, climate and community that are ready to scale.
Another exciting community revitalization project coming to Transform using revitalized real estate that business has deserted and capital has neglected is Nick Smoot’s Innovation Collective. Launched in Couer d’Alene Idaho, it’s already expanded to rust belt cities like Utica NY and to Thailand. Innovation Collective’s system of high tech manufacturing that’s not going to be automated away not only brings back jobs to economies that saw jobs leads decades ago. It also brings in big corporates, from Wal Mart to Google to use these hubs of community led economic development as long term, low risk research and development partners
We are in conversation with similar projects in Fresno, Kansas City and Oakland; the picture of a new economy, not dependent on the extractive Wall Street economy where investors win and people in communities pay the price will be become clear at Transform. Please join us.