Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News
Help The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program, decide which Local Living Economy building blocks to focus on in 2019. We will focus on recruiting projects working on innovations in these building blocks and will also provide these projects with extra support to run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Help us decide which Local Living Economy building blocks by taking this short online poll.
Take Our Poll!
What is a Local Living Economy?
In November 2009, a group of 70 local entrepreneurs, community leaders, students, and engaged citizens gathered at Keene State College’s Seventh Biennial Symposium “From Local to Global” to answer this question. The consensus: A Local Living Economy is a resilient system that improves our quality of life, meets everyone’s basic needs and creates an engaged citizenry.
What are the building blocks?
With that definition agreed upon, we moved on to the next question: How do we cultivate a stronger Local Living Economy? Judy Wicks, co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and key participant in the November 2009 discussion, shared, “In order to build a Local Living Economy, we must first determine what one looks like -- what are the components, or building blocks -- what’s our vision for a Local Living Economy that we can work toward achieving?”
We identified a number of those building blocks including: Affordable Housing, Arts & Culture, Climate Adaptation & Resilience, Community Health, Community Capital, Cooperatives & Community Ownership, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Conservation & Stewardship, Farms & Food, Green Manufacturing, Green Building & Design, Living Wage Jobs & Equity, Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Transportation.
We then compiled examples of regional businesses and organizations currently contributing to these building blocks. We wanted to understand how we’re already building a stronger Local Living Economy and where the gaps in the system are.
Building Block Builders
Keene State College’s Architecture Program serves as one prime example of a Building Block Builder in our region. Their work focuses on multiple building blocks such as Affordable Housing, Climate Resilience, and Green Building. Students designed tiny houses as part of their senior capstone project. Three of their models were displayed at the Tiny House Fest Vermont in Brattleboro last year.
The Architecture Program is also working with the Resilient Design Institute
(RDI) to design a tiny house village suited for our climate. In addition to providing housing for the homeless, they want to design a village that will offer emergency housing following natural disasters. Typically, tiny house villages include small private living structures clustered around shared buildings with bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry facilities. One of their biggest challenges with this model is finding a way to keep the private structures livable during the winter and during power outages. This group will meet again this spring to tackle this and other design challenges.
Building on TLC Monadnock’s Success
In 2018, TLC Monadnock attracted ten teams to develop and launch diverse crowdfunding campaigns on our platform. These campaigns collectively raised $58,256 from 500 supporters -- up from $35,146 from 227 supporters in 2017. Seventy percent of TLC Monadnock campaigns met or surpassed their crowdfunding goals -- while Kickstarter has a 31% success rate. We also successfully raised funds to cover a portion of this year’s platform fees. These funds also empowered us to expand our platform to serve the entire region.
We’d love for TLC Monadnock to drive positive change in our Local Living Economy one building block at a time. Help us focus on what part of the system we’ll tackle this year and take our short poll
TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.
The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.