A New Bio + Updates from my Week

I’m grateful for this long weekend and the changing weather. During a long swim this afternoon, I noticed my mind and body getting a chance to gradually catch up (re-align) to so much that’s been emerging and unfolding recently. As I was putting my son to bed tonight, I started drafting a new bio. It attempts to capture the transition I’m in the middle of, while also pointing to some of what feels like it’s begun unfolding.

Longer version (first draft)

Felipe Witchger founded and served as Executive Director of the Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA) between 2013 and 2021. He co-founded the Community Cooperative to continue supporting the growth and development of CPA and other similarly inspired social-purpose co-ops. Felipe currently consults with The Industrial Commons — a network of co-ops and social enterprises with hundreds of textile workers in western North Carolina. Felipe also collaborates closely with Metro IAF, Apis & Heritage Capital Partners, and Start.coop.

Felipe believes in the need for more connective tissue between different parts of the shared ownership movement ecology. Inspired by Pope Francis’ call to young economists and entrepreneurs, Felipe began convening the US Economy of Francesco. In 2020, he launched two workshops (Spiritual Community Building for the New Economy and Setting a New Shared Ownership Agenda) aimed at unleashing more productive capacity from our top leaders, while also weaving together new sets of relationships. The hope of integrating the power of the established co-op, organizing, and religious movements (i.e. NCBA, CCHD) with new frontiers (like the New Economy Coalition, Zebras Unite, and Exit to Community) animates his work.

Let’s try to flip it and shorten it now:

Felipe is animated by power of the established co-op, organizing, and religious movements (i.e. NCBA, Metro IAF, CCHD), when integrated with their emerging frontiers (i.e. folks like the New Economy Coalition, Ayni Institute, Zebras Unite, Exit to Community, and the Economy of Francesco). Felipe weaves together his decade-long project at the Community Purchasing Alliance, with new partnerships (such as with The Industrial Commons), through workshops (i.e. Setting a New Shared Ownership Agenda) that unleash more productive capacity from our top leaders, and catalyze new culture-changing possibilities. Inspired by Pope Francis’ call to young economists and entrepreneurs, Felipe believes in the need for more connective tissue between different parts of the shared ownership movement ecology. Felipe also collaborates closely with Metro IAF, Apis & Heritage Capital Partners, and Start.coop.

Okay, 3 sentences this time:

Felipe weaves together his decade-long project at Metro IAF and the Community Purchasing Alliance, with new partnerships (such as with The Industrial Commons, and Apis & Heritage Capital Partners), in hopes of creating more connective tissue between different parts of our broader movement ecology. Felipe is animated by the power of the established co-op, organizing, and religious movements, when integrated with their emerging frontiers (i.e. New Economy Coalition, Ayni Institute, Zebras Unite, Exit to Community, US Economy of Francesco, CCHD). Felipe organizes special workshops (i.e. Setting a New Shared Ownership Agenda) to unleash more productive capacity from our top leaders and catalyze new culture-changing possibilities.

Now without parentheses (final draft):

Felipe weaves together his decade-long project at Metro IAF and the Community Purchasing Alliance, with new partnerships in hopes of creating more connective tissue between different parts of our broader movement ecology. Felipe is animated by the power of the established co-op, religious, and impact investing movements, when integrated with their emerging frontiers. Felipe organizes special workshops to unleash more productive capacity from our top leaders and catalyze new culture-changing possibilities.


Links I want to be able to reference

as I think more about my evolving work and how I show up in the world:


What happened this week:

  • I had a great deep-dive conversation with Blake Jones to better understand (and make meaningful investment in joining the co-op) with Kachuwa Impact Fund
  • Elizabeth Garlow and I talked about a vision for a US Economy of Francesco project that uses human centered design processes (something I still don’t have close first-hand experience with, but always sounds interesting) — or some “Future Economy Lab” process (like AStrid / Zebras Unite described to us) — where we bring together interested and aligned and creative investors and co-create something that responds to their needs, while also being deeply aligned

-Kayoko Williams (Cabrini)
– Ryan Strode/John Oshaughnassy (FSM)
– Cindy Kroll (CAC)
– David Lynn (mission driven finance)
– Umar Moghul
– Rev Sidney Williams – https://crossingcapitalgroup.com/– Maybe Christian Peele?

  • I went to Morganton NC, and spend the day (and a couple follow up conversations) with Molly Hemstreet from The Industrial Commons. I was humbled. The creativity, innovation, persistence, grounded-ness, focus on the concrete realities and needs of and coming alongside to build the capacity of their worker-stewards…I was also in awe of the scale of their vision and their track record. They really could become the Mondragon of the US in 10-20 years…Check out this quick video I made about them: https://youtu.be/4pZoiO8JR4o:

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