Comment by David Braden
This is probably a different take on collaboration - but I am interested in following your work - and wanted to share these thoughts about it.
This is my comment to a blog by a friend who is working with me here in Denver.
Even with an active group earnestly working together to address a specific issue, burn out is a common end result. That is because we cannot change the system piece meal.
For example, I am working with the Mile High Business Alliance - and they are promoting support for locally owned businesses. One of the programs they are promoting is a Food Lab as an incubator of new food based businesses. The problem faced by a new business is the competition from existing businesses that are already adapted to the business environment - which favors highly capitalized economies of scale - that creates the incentives to seek supplies from the cheapest supplier - and market to established retailers. That makes a new food based business using locally sourced produce and selling through local outlets only a marginal benefit to the local economy.
If we think in terms of corporate action, as Forrest suggests, we can begin to think in terms of fundamental shifts in the way food is produced and delivered. In this case we would change the question from 'how can we help build new food based businesses' to 'how can we deliver nutrition to neighborhoods using locally grown foods and neighborhood resources'.
Many of us got into this movement because we are interested in fundamental change in the system. Unfortunately, when we have a project on the ground, we face the limitations of what is possible in the environment in which we find ourselves. I suggest we heed Forrest's insights and reserve a portion of the energy we are devoting to individual projects to explore how our individual projects can benefit from and assist other projects.
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