So, I’m writing from Hayes and Divisidero in the NOPA district of San Fran. Ready to plunge into SOCAP, THE MARKET AT THE INTERSECTION OF MONEY AND MEANING, THE SPACE BETWEEN GIVING AND INVESTING, WHERE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER TO PUT THEIR RESOURCES TO WORK TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”. Am in the esteemed role of Living Bridge/connector/socent leader/den mother for 100 scholarship entrepreneurs coming in from around the world. Connecting them, making sure their experience is meaningful, and learning more about their extraordinary work . Am so excited, like, can’t sleep excited! Thanks to mentors/advisors Kevin Jones and Rosa Lee Hardin for setting me up with this cool gig :) I just hope there is enough of me for all 100 of them!! The “living in the hostel with 100 extreme do-gooders from around the world”, am calling #SOCENTREALWORLD!! I need a video camera. Here till October 6th…..then back to sweet and gritty Appalachia to continue advancing GrittyWorks, our accelerator for good innovations for land-based economies.
So I relived my “Michelle Shocked” moment at the Global Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley this past July – well, sort of. The folks at Michelle Shocked were super fun and noisy – Silicon valley, thoughtful, and a little more restrained ;) “My Michelle Shocked moment” was at a show in Newport, Kentucky, when she asked if anyone in the audience of about 450, would like to come up and play. I had no plans to, but suddenly found myself onstage. And what was so cool is that SHE was truly shocked that not only could I play her songs, but I knew the lyrics and backed her up. And the audience loved it, during and afterward, many folks came asking who I was, where was I from, what was I doing. My Silicon Valley moment so similar: no plans to make a pitch, but found myself making a you tube pitch, along with 59 others, and was selected as one of 5 to come onstage and make a longer pitch to the crowd of about 450 and a panel of investors. And some of the naysayers that were sitting at my table before I made the pitch, insisting that small agriculture was dead (folks who seemed very detached and worked mostly for big government and big corporations – could there be a connection?), were also truly “shocked”. I was a little surprised myself! And sooooo many good folks came up after, wanting to know who I was, where I was from and what I was doing :)
Great research on accelerators, and looking forward to working and collaborating with Village Capital and Unreasonable Institute – both founders offering to collaborate and partner. VilCap seems to be very good model for regional, has a nice chunk of capital at the end, and runs on a bare bones budget. Looks like we have our grant funding, awaiting on contract to ensure it doesn’t get gobbled up into some governmental programmatic staffing nightmare. Still need to raise about $250k in philanthropy and investment.
Off to North Beach for a macchiato in the Italian neighborhood, pick up my daughter, Amelia, and to say “hey” to my crazy lovely sweatermaker friend, Marianna, whose little shop in the neighborhood bursts with amazing creations of sweaterhood. Then to THE HUB, for the deluge of good! Follow the fun @esaraday!