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Community Gone Viral

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Community Gone Viral July 2014

On July 5th, 2014, over a hundred community activists met in San Francisco to discuss how to create more vibrant, prosperous, and sustainable communities using the principle of Earth Sharing. The day was filled with exciting games, delicious food, stimulating conversation, and great networking opportunities for those seeking to hack San Francisco’s housing crisis.

 

We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to Robert Schalkenbach Foundation for sponsoring the event, and the many volunteers who were instrumental in making it an overwhelming success!

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Why?

Current models of real estate speculation, gentrification, and taxation aren’t working to create the prosperous, and green communities we want. An enormous opportunity for change exists when people organize to create communities from the bottom up. After the hard work of creating a community is complete, awareness of what is involved is fully internalized, and members grow comfortable, the passion to grow and spawn new communities often tempers. We’d like to discuss ways to avoid this, ways to create an ever flourishing ecosystem of communities.

How?

There are many communities in the bay that embody sustainability, housing affordability, social inclusion, etc but there is not a funding mechanism which allows new communities to quickly and easily get started, and in turn spawn daughter communities. The purpose of this unconference is to explore the community models that exist, and to seek out new creative possibilities for making community go viral.

What?

3-D printers are fascinating. Why? It’s not the printers per se, but all the cool stuff that pops out of them. Similarly, we’d like to create a community printer, a standardized and scalable funding model that allows diverse communities to quickly get started, remain successful, and then financially contribute to the creation of daughter communities.

Focus Question 

What kind of real estate finance, holding, development entities, and taxation models support the large scale creation of prosperous and sustainable communities?

Who?  

The organizing team was Jacob Shwartz-Lucas and David Giesen of Robert Schalkenbach Foundation in NYC, as well as Cohousing Coaches Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris of Cohousing California.

Affiliates included Open Door LLC/ Embassy Network, Shareable.net, SFImpact Hub, Cohousing California, and National Students of Cooperation (NASCO). Contact us if you’d like to be a named sponsor next year.

Participants included:

  • Cooperative housing and affordable housing developers
  • Social impact investors
  • Founders of cohousing, cooperatives, and ecovillages
  • Affordable housing and community land trusts
  • Public officials, planners, and policy-makers
  • Affordable housing advocates
  • Neighborhood housing preservation activists
  • Community members and seekers

 

If you’d like to attend, speak, co-sponsor, make a donation, volunteer, or somehow collaborate on the next Earth Sharing conference, please contact us!

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