The Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network (RAIN) supports life science start-ups through the ideation, research and development, prototyping, business development, and launch phases. Founded as a collaboration between the University of Washington Tacoma, MultiCare Health System, and Madigan Army Medical Center, the nonprofit aims to foster sustainable, high paying jobs in Tacoma; technologies that improve the quality of life for citizens and military personnel; experiential learning and skill development opportunities for area students; and personal and environmental health.
The Permaculture Lifestyle Institute provides communities with information and education about permaculture systems so that they can develop climate resilient, ecologically sensitive, culturally relevant, and sustainable infrastructure systems. The nonprofit’s services include climate resilient community infrastructure planning, design, and engineering; demonstration site development; community engagement and participatory research; and permaculture design certification. One innovative project is the Swan Creek Food Forest, a permaculture planting designed and developed with local residents, and one that local residents will continue to care for and eventually harvest.
Aiming to nurture a future in which both communities and nature will thrive, Earth Economics is a nonprofit that helps organizations identify and quantify the impact of their investments and policies on nature. Through its Finance and Investment Strategies program, the nonprofit also develops innovative approaches and financing strategies to preserve, enhance, or restore natural assets such as conservation lands, green infrastructure, working forests and farms, and green buildings.
Urban Green Lab aims to improve Nashville’s health and well-being by inspiring residents to incorporate sustainability in their daily lives, including their homes, neighborhoods, and businesses. To do so, the nonprofit offers a range of workshops focused on sustainability practices that save money, improve health, and conserve resources. It also has a Mobile Lab that enables the nonprofit to bring its programs to local schools and diverse, underserved populations. In 2014, Urban Green Lab conducted 60 workshops involving 1,858 people.
Founded in 2010, Turnip Green Creative Reuse is a nonprofit reuse store that aims to foster creativity and sustainability. The store accepts a wide range of donations, including paper, craft items, natural materials, art supplies, office supplies, fabrics, plastics, and metals, diverting over 125 tons of materials from the landfill. To ensure items are accessible to all area residents, shoppers are asked to pay what they can. The nonprofit also includes a “green gallery,” where artists can share works that reuse industrial and household materials, and open studio space.
Launched in 2012, Cooperative Energy Recycling and Organics (CERO) is a worker-owned commercial composting cooperative aiming to keep food waste out of landfills, help its customers save money, and provide good, green jobs to Boston residents. To date, CERO has diverted more than 3.3 million pounds of food waste from area landfills.
Green Money reposts the Democracy Collaborative press release on Impact Investing:
A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership.
Gar Alperovitz is an historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. In addition to a distinguished career in academia, he is also the a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth. His latest project is called the “Pluralist Commonwealth,” which is an economic model that is neither traditional corporate capitalism nor traditional state socialism.