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From David Schaller, US, formerly of Most Precious Blood parish in Colorado, now in Arizonaemail us at hello@spiritunbounded.org for forwarding to Marie

“The concept of efficiency — how much one can accomplish per unit of time (or per dollar, etc.) — requires a quantitative numerator as well as a denominator. It requires a metric. Therefore, it tells us nothing aboutresults we cannot quantify or measure. When we gear our society around efficiency, we produce more and more of the measurable, while the immeasurable, the qualitative, and the things we don’t think to measure drain away. Bedazzled by quantitative abundance, we might not be able to see what is lost, but we can definitely feel its absence.” 

Charles Eisenstein

Nature Positive Initiative Advances Measurable Biodiversity Outcomes. Nature Positive is a global societal goal defined as ‘Halt and Reverse Nature Loss by 2030 on a 2020 baseline and achieve full recovery by 2050’. The Nature Positive Initiative has been launched with an initial diverse group of founding organizations (CEOs from Environmental Organizations, Sustainable Business Platforms and Research Institutions) who aim to drive alignment around the definition, integrity and use of the term ‘nature positive’, to develop the necessary guidance, and to catalyze a broader and more diverse community committed to the longer-term effort of delivering a nature-positive future. Delivering the Nature Positive goal requires measurable net-positive biodiversity outcomes through the improvement in the abundance, diversity, integrity and resilience of species, ecosystems and natural processes. Three key categories of metrics have been developed by which to measure nature-positive contributions and outcomes. They are retaining and restoring 1) species, 2) ecosystems, and 3) natural processes at all scales (global, national and landscape level). Examples of these metrics include richness, distribution, abundance and extinction risk of species, extent and ecological integrity of habitat, hydrological integrity, migration patterns, and carbon sequestration and storage. Nature Positive Initiative, 2024, https://www.naturepositive.org/app/uploads/2024/02/The-Definition-of-Nature-Positive.pdf 

Without progress toward widespread social housing for people across the income spectrum, like in Vienna or Singapore, land trusts and public land assembly and ownership is a good step. It shouldn’t have to be crowdfunded, but such leadership can help and is certainly inspiring…

Community-Owned Cooperative Real Estate Give Locals A Place to Live and Work. Across the country, neighborhood groups are uniting to fund mixed-use developments that meet housing and business demands, giving locals a place to live, work and learn new skills. In Traverse City, Mich., a crowdfunding campaign helped finance construction of a 47,000-square-foot mixed-use building. The owner of the coffee retailer Higher Grounds Trading Company, Chris Treter, and others in this small Lake Michigan community came up with a solution: a 47,000 square-foot building that offered spaces for residences, businesses and community activities that had been in short supply as gentrification in the city pushed prices up and local residents out. They created a crowdfunding campaign that recruited nearly 500 residents to invest $1.3 million as a down payment to help finance the project’s construction and earn up to 7 percent annually in dividend payments. Roughly 500 more residents contributed $50 each to join the project as co-op members. The $20 million development, called Commongrounds, opened late last year. It is at full occupancy and consists of 18 income-based apartments, five hotel-like rooms for short-term rentals, a restaurant, three commercial kitchens (for the restaurant and to be used for events and classes), a food market, a coffee training center (for new hires and developing new drinks), a 150-seat performing arts center, a co-working space, offices and a Montessori preschool. Commongrounds is the latest and largest example of what developers of similar projects across the United States call “community-owned cooperative real estate.” The strategy was developed a decade ago by a nonprofit legal group and a nonprofit neighborhood group in Oakland, Calif., and has been refined since in Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and other cities. The strategy enables neighborhood groups to finance unconventional projects that banks and institutional lenders, which prefer strong cash-flow operations, won’t touch. New York Times, May 13, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/13/business/gentrifyiing-neighborhoods-community-coops.html?searchResultPosition=2

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