63 episodes

Transforming communities is hard work. That may go without saying, but when your job is about helping your neighborhood, city or region thrive, talking about being underpaid, burnt out and frustrated with the slow pace of change is kind of frowned upon. As ecosystem builders, we amplify the work of local makers, doers and innovators by championing their efforts and rallying support around them. And maybe most importantly, we build a culture of trust and collaboration among all stakeholders, so that the doers and innovators among us have equal access to information, talent and resources when they need them. On Ecosystems for Change we'll explore how ecosystem building can help us unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. And I’ll be talking with my guests about the tactics and practical skills they use in their everyday work and what they do to prevent burning the candle at both ends.

Ecosystems For Change Anika Horn, Social Venturers

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Transforming communities is hard work. That may go without saying, but when your job is about helping your neighborhood, city or region thrive, talking about being underpaid, burnt out and frustrated with the slow pace of change is kind of frowned upon. As ecosystem builders, we amplify the work of local makers, doers and innovators by championing their efforts and rallying support around them. And maybe most importantly, we build a culture of trust and collaboration among all stakeholders, so that the doers and innovators among us have equal access to information, talent and resources when they need them. On Ecosystems for Change we'll explore how ecosystem building can help us unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. And I’ll be talking with my guests about the tactics and practical skills they use in their everyday work and what they do to prevent burning the candle at both ends.

    E 6.1 - The Power of Storytelling in Ecosystem Building

    E 6.1 - The Power of Storytelling in Ecosystem Building

    In season 6 of Ecosystems for Change, we are going to explore the art, craft, and science of telling meaningful stories that have the power to affect change in our communities.

    I’ve always enjoyed hearing other people’s stories, reading about them, and eventually telling these stories. As I started out helping to develop the ecosystem in Richmond, VA, I also began to understand that storytelling is a powerful tool in any ecosystem builder’s toolbox.

    But once I picked up Peter Block’s book, “Community: The Structure of Belonging,” I understood that storytelling could be much more and that it’s actually a tool that helps a community create a vision for itself, to dream of a future that might be possible. 

    To me, this following quote sums up his work beautifully:

    “Stories can give us a narrative to guide and instruct us. They are crucial to our knowing who we are; they provide a sense of identity. […] We need to distinguish between the stories that give meaning to our lives and help us find our voice, and those that limit our possibility.”

    This season, I’m speaking with other storytellers to learn their tips and tricks of the trade. I hope to uncover how others go about finding and telling meaningful stories that give hope and propel their communities forward. 

    I want to find out exactly what intentions these storytellers have, how they approach storytelling, what their process looks like from beginning to end, and how they make the finances work.

    As always on this show, my hope is that we can learn from each other, avoid the obvious pitfalls, and as a result become better at what we do: Transform our communities by supporting the changemakers within them.

    Listen to the full episode to hear:
    Two examples of the impact of storytelling from my own lifeWhy we need to focus on telling stories of possibility instead of railing against problemsHow negative narratives keep us stuckThe power of positive storytelling to propel change in our communitiesLearn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter BlockThe Space Beyond Scarce:  Collaboration and Ecosystem Building for Entrepreneurs and Change Makers with Anika HornManifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World, Jacqueline NovogratzShenandoah Community Capital Fund BlogEcoMap TechnologiesSummer Skill Sessions: Ecosystem Mapping

    • 25 min
    E 6.2 - A Global Storyteller: Solutions-Based Journalism with Eva-Maria Verfürth

    E 6.2 - A Global Storyteller: Solutions-Based Journalism with Eva-Maria Verfürth

    Welcome to my first interview of season 6.

    I sat down with none other than Eva-Maria Verfürth, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Tea After Twelve.

    While based in Frankfurt, Germany, Eva’s storytelling spans around the globe to talk about new solutions to old problems to create a better world.

    As you’ll see in this conversation, Eva is driven by a deep desire to transform journalism in a way that moves beyond mere disaster reporting and emphasizes inspiration and progress, which is why I’m so excited to kick off season 6 with her.

    Let’s go to Frankfurt!

    Eva-Maria Verfürth is a journalist and entrepreneur with a keen interest in international perspectives and social change. Her career has been driven by the wish to transform journalism in a way that moves beyond mere disaster reporting and emphasizes inspiration and progress. In 2014, Eva and her teammate Sarah Klein founded Tea After Twelve, an international online magazine on impact innovation, technological inventions, and social change. The idea in a nutshell: reporting about what is working instead of only telling what’s going wrong. Tea after Twelve wants to connect creative minds around the world, the entrepreneurs, inventors, thinkers, and makers who have convincing ideas for social change and ecological transformation. It features projects and actions that have had an impact in their communities and have the potential to make a difference elsewhere as well.

    Eva is also co-founder and managing director of Bunny Island, a German communications agency offering content production and design services, and a coach and trainer for (solutions) storytelling and communications strategy. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she worked as an editor and writer for several magazines with international audiences and in public relations for German development cooperation organizations.

    Listen to the full episode to hear:
    Why Eva and her co-founder developed Tea After Twelve to be an solutions-based antidote to negative news coverage of social and environmental impact issuesHow Tea After Twelve translates impactful stories from around the world for a global audienceHow Tea After Twelve has developed a global network of storytellers outside the journalistic mainstreamWhy Eva says it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of the solution in a storyLearn More About Eva-Maria Verfürth:
    Tea After TwelveBunny IslandConnect on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    Solutions Journalism NetworkAn Introduction to Hans RoslingHans Rosling’s TED TalkEcoMap Technologies

    • 40 min
    E 6.3 - Changing the Narrative of Rural Entrepreneurship with Natalie Hodge

    E 6.3 - Changing the Narrative of Rural Entrepreneurship with Natalie Hodge

    I’ve been in awe of today’s guest, Natalie Hodge, since I first learned about her show Hometown Hustle.

    As of summer 2023, the show is in its second season telling the stories of entrepreneurs building their big business ideas in the small towns of rural America and changing the narrative about rural entrepreneurship.

    Today, Natalie shares why she believes it’s so vital to share the stories of rural entrepreneurs, the joys and challenges of producing a web series from scratch on a tight budget, and how we can build buy-in on these stories from community and corporate partners.

    Natalie Hodge is the founder and owner of Rudy’s Girl Media, a Martinsville, Virginia-based multimedia content creation company specializing in developing a diverse array of engaging projects ranging from film to literary works. Natalie is a writer, producer, and transformation coach with a background in higher education and workforce development with degrees from Guilford College and Cornell University. She is an authentic and inspiring speaker who focuses her messaging on fearlessness and the power of positive being.

    Listen to the full episode to hear:

    How Natalie went about building her slate of entrepreneur storiesWhy it’s so important for her to share the positive impact of rural entrepreneurship on local economiesHow Natalie builds buy-in with partners from community economic development teams to corporate sponsorsHow telling stories of rural entrepreneurs has the ability to impact local economies
    Learn More About Natalie Hodge:
    Rudy's Girl MediaNatalieHodge.comHometown HustleInstagram: @NatalieKHodge,  @RudysGirlMediaLearn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast, RISE CollaborativeBrowntown FarmsThe Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph, Ryan HolidayEcoMap Technologies

    • 36 min
    E 6.4 - Entrepreneurship Indiana: A State-Wide Storytelling Campaign with Julie Heath, Polina Osherov and Morgan Allen Part 1

    E 6.4 - Entrepreneurship Indiana: A State-Wide Storytelling Campaign with Julie Heath, Polina Osherov and Morgan Allen Part 1

    In today’s episode, I get to introduce you to a storytelling powerhouse trio.

    At every stage of the process, from vision to execution to the final product, I have rarely seen such a well-produced, coherent, and meaningful storytelling campaign as Yearbook Indiana.

    The Indiana Economic Development Corporation–IEDC–collaborated with Indiana-based magazine Pattern, to produce a yearbook highlighting the stories of entrepreneurs throughout the state and to highlight the positive impacts of young companies on the state’s economy.

    To steer this ambitious undertaking, IEDC and Pattern brought together the three women you’ll hear from today: Polina Osherov, co-founder and executive director of Pattern, Morgan Allen, entrepreneurial ecosystem manager at IEDC, and Julie Heath, who has since moved on from IEDC.

    Because there is just so much to absorb in this rich conversation, we’re splitting it into two parts. 
    In part one, you’ll hear about how this kind of storytelling became a priority, how the project got underway between IEDC and Pattern, and what makes a physical storytelling product like a yearbook so special and powerful.

    Listen to the full episode to hear:
    Five key milestones to putting the project togetherHow they crafted the narrative arc for the yearbookHow they’re fine-tuning the process for the 2023 yearbookLearn More About Polina Osherov:
    PatternInstagram: @posherovConnect with Polina on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Morgan Allen:
    Indiana Economic Development CorporationConnect with Morgan on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Julie Heath:
    Connect with Julie on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    S04E07: The Know-How via Know-Who of Social Capital with Julie HeathDell GinesEntrepreneurship IndianaConnect INDEcoMap Technologies

    • 26 min
    E 6.5 - Entrepreneurship Indiana: A State-Wide Storytelling Campaign with Julie Heath, Polina Osherov and Morgan Allen Part 2

    E 6.5 - Entrepreneurship Indiana: A State-Wide Storytelling Campaign with Julie Heath, Polina Osherov and Morgan Allen Part 2

    In this episode, I’m continuing my conversation about Yearbook Indiana with Polina Osherov of Pattern, Morgan Allen of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and Julie Heath, formerly of IEDC.

    We’re jumping right back in from the break, so if you haven’t listened to part one, go do that! 
    In part two, we’re digging into the nitty-gritty of getting the yearbook into the right hands, how they made the budget work for the project and the state’s strategic goals, and getting community buy-in.

    Listen to the full episode to hear:
    How thoughtful graphic design choices made it easy for founders to participate in sharing the yearbook on socialHow the team distributed over 3000 copies of the yearbook in just four monthsCalculating the ROI on getting entrepreneurship stories out into the worldThe impact of positive storytelling for ecosystem builders
    Learn More About Polina Osherov:
    PatternInstagram: @posherovConnect with Polina on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Morgan Allen:
    Indiana Economic Development CorporationConnect with Morgan on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Julie Heath:
    Connect with Julie on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    S04E07: The Know-How via Know-Who of Social Capital with Julie HeathLogbook #6: Nida AnsariHardtech IndianaAgBioscience PodcastDenisha Ferguson, Indiana Fashion Week (PATTERN article)People I (Mostly) Admire, Steven Levitt (podcast)Dear Data, Georgia Lupi & Stefanie PosavecEntrepreneurial Ecosystem Building with Dell Gines (free online course with Project DEEP)How To Take Over the World by Ben WilsonEntrepreneurship IndianaConnect INDEcoMap Technologies

    • 26 min
    E 6.6 - Stories of Tech and Innovation in Rural America with Austin Danforth

    E 6.6 - Stories of Tech and Innovation in Rural America with Austin Danforth

    Today, we’re headed to Vermont to hear stories about extraordinary rural communities throughout the US.

    Austin Danforth is the chief storyteller in charge at the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), not that he would call himself that. But I definitely do.

    Austin is putting his prior career as a sports reporter and photographer to use to reshape the narrative around tech ecosystems, innovation, and entrepreneurship in rural America.

    Austin and the team at CORI have produced the incredible video series The Rural Edge, as well as community case studies, reports, and tools that I, personally, have found super useful in my own work developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Shenandoah Valley.

    Naturally, I wanted to get Austin on the show to share with us how CORI does what they do, and how they do it so well. He’s spilling the beans on the process of developing stories, how it differs from his life as a journalist, and how and why CORI has committed funding and resources to telling these vital stories.

    Austin Danforth is a native Vermonter who spent more than a decade as a sportswriter and photographer before jumping into nonprofit communications with the Center on Rural Innovation. He's an avid storyteller and connection-maker who loves to experience new places and figure out what makes them tick. 

    Listen to the full episode to hear:
    How Austin thinks about shaping narratives and making CORI’s work meaningful and accessible Why it’s been vital for CORI to partner with funders who believe in their mission to change the narrative about rural entrepreneurshipThe tightrope walk between audience and engagement in storytellingHow Austin and CORI think about metrics and return on investment for storytelling workLearn More About Austin Danforth:
    Center on Rural InnovationTwitter: @eadanforthConnect with Austin on LinkedIn
    Learn More About Anika Horn:
    Website: www.socialventurers.com Instagram: SocialVenturersNewsletter: Sign up for Impact Curator
    Resources:
    Wright ThompsonTim LaydenThe Rural EdgeEcoMap Technologies

    • 44 min

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