Tag Archive: local food

Interested in helping a social entrepreneurship start up? This week we’re thinking about how we could create our project through social entrepreneurship. There was an article about what some people are doing in the NYT: Getting Started As A Social Entrepreneur

Our social entrepreneurship job creation strategy is targeted towards the Tucson region’s low skilled, marginally employed community that faces immediate concerns regarding food security, access to food, diet related health crises, and community sustainability. Areas of Tucson are some of the worst afflicted places in the nation with regards to child food insecurity and significant levels of poverty. The limited capacity of the poor to purchase enough healthy foods and gain access to employment is clearly affecting their food security and vulnerability to outright hunger.

This strategy focuses on food and jobs with the rationale that significant increases in local food production will result in economic activity that results in job creation and entrepreneurship. One goal is the creation of a social enterprise that aligns the efforts of a partnership of community-based organizations.

This community based job creation enterprise will initially conduct research, create asset maps and participate in community vision meetings to identify resource requirements and conduct economic analysis to provide intelligence and data to the partnership. For example, the Tucson Community Food Bank has a pressing need to understand the elements of a food economy in specific locations in the region. Imagine Greater Tucson seeks community input regarding the types of economic activity and jobs that could potentially be created or targeted to enhance community sustainability. The Community Foundation For Southern Arizona is currently funding urban agriculture and food projects that seek knowledge and methodology for scaling up current efforts to meet the growing needs of the community and create economic opportunities resulting in job creation, entrepreneurship and community development.

Bill Clinton wrote this job creation idea about funding in Newsweek:


“If you start a business tomorrow, I can give you all the tax credits in the world, but since you haven’t made a nickel yet, they’re of no use to you. President Obama came in with a really good energy policy, including an idea to provide both a tax credit for new green jobs and for startup companies, to allow the conversion of the tax credit into its cash equivalent for every employee hired. Then last December, in the tax-cut compromise, the Republicans in Congress wouldn’t agree to extend this benefit because they said, “This is a spending program, not a tax cut. We’re only for tax cuts.” It was a mistake. The cash incentive worked. On the day President Obama took office, the U.S. had less than 2 percent of the world market in manufacturing the high-powered batteries for hybrid or all-electric cars. On the day of the congressional elections in 2010, thanks in large part to the cash-incentive policy, we had 20 percent of global capacity, with 30 new battery plants built or under construction, 16 of them in Michigan, which had America’s second-highest unemployment rate. We have to convince the Republican Congress that this is a good thing. If this incentive structure can be maintained, it’s estimated that by 2015 we’ll have 40 percent of the world’s capacity for these batteries. We could get lots of manufacturing jobs in the same way. I could write about this until the cows come home.”

So could I Mr. President.


Here is a link to an important new article in the Atlantic about the importance of agriculture by local author Gary Paul Nabhan. He’s Co-Founder of Sabores Sin Fronteras and a research scientist with the Southwest Center.

Farming in the time of climate catastrophe.

At the end of our TEDxTucson event, absolutely everyone in the theatre stood and stated “I am a green entrepreneur!” It was an inspiring moment. Many people approached me and asked what they could do next, which illustrates how powerful the whole concept of TEDx can be. Our theme was sustainability and “Innovating Our Green Economy”. So as we turned our attention to 2011 and what to do next, I was looking for a way to create a project between events to capture the enthusiasm and interest TEDxTucson had generated and make a real difference in our community. Why not take the concept of the local foods movement and all of the changes in behavior and awareness that has created and apply it to creating jobs?

“The Local Jobs Movement” is a project to grow the local food movement in Tucson and create entrepreneurial opportunities for people interested in urban agriculture. Our first TEDxTucsonSalon event on April 19 is all about local food issues, and the talks presented will increase awareness of some of the amazing work local innovators are doing to change our community’s access to healthy locally produced food. We’ll also be showing Jamie Oliver’s TED talk, and Carolyn Steel’s talk “How Food Shapes Our Cities”. Our intention is to inspire people to help us grow the local food movement and increase interest in supporting urban agriculture projects. This in turn will increase opportunities for entrepreneurship. Since I posted the announcement on the TED site a week ago I have had many people contact me offering to help grow our activities.

In addition to a host of TEDx volunteers, The Local Jobs Movement now includes our partners: the International Sonoran Desert Alliance; The Pimavera Foundation; The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona; and the Tucson Community Food Bank all of whom are very excited to be part of TEDxTucson. We will soon be applying for grant funding to increase urban agricultural activity and create jobs in South Tucson, which has the highest poverty rates in the nation and is in serious need of inspiration and transformation. Many of the social and health issues for the people living here are related to diet and the lack of availability of fresh local foods. Our intention is to leverage the excitement and inspiration TEDx generates to create real, measurable and meaningful community transformation by growing food and growing jobs.

To learn more please visit our TED.com event page and click attend if you want to join us.