The Community Ecosystem is about redesigning systems. It’s about taking pieces that are problems or waste products in another context, and arranging them in such a way that the impacts are universally positive.
Problem: Our food is produced, processed and distributed by big corporations. Massive inputs of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and non-renewable resources are needed to maintain production rates. Top soil and biodiversity are being lost at astounding rates. Small, organic farmers cannot compete against the corporations due to labor costs and economies of scale.
Problem: Young people are caught in systems established in an age that no longer exists. We are pushed to obtain education designed to create workers, not thinkers. We work long hours to pay for that education – when we can find jobs at all. When we have ideas for new businesses, new ways to approach new (and old) problems, we have to figure out how to start those businesses around our full time jobs and our debts, or we choose to walk away from them and deal with the consequences while racing the clock to get our visions off the ground. Is it any wonder that so many businesses fail?
Solution: What if young aspiring entrepreneurs could work 20 hours a week in an environment that taught them the essential skills of running a business? What if those 20 hours earned them a place to live and food on the table, a network of mentors and advisors to consult, and a community of peers working on their own businesses? And what if the work that those entrepreneurs did also provided affordable, organic produce to the surrounding community.
This is the concept for the Community Ecosystem. We hope to build a five acre urban farm with living space for up to ten entrepreneurs. By creating a win-win partnership between the farm and the entrepreneurs, we reduce the cost of growing local, organic produce and we support local business growth and job creation.
We are currently looking for our first location!