As Local As Possible Meeting Recap
Bruce and Cathy Odom hosted a wonderful potluck and planning meeting for the refresh of As Local As Possible (ALAP). Around a dozen of us discussed a new, community investing orientation for the ALAP group and shared a variety of ideas on how we can structure future meetings. We agreed to keep things simple at this stage with a discussion and networking format that can be launched right away. Many in the room seemed quite interested in eventually evolving into a true investment club (which involves a degree of legal and structural work), but for now our efforts will revolve around building a forum where local entrepreneurs and those interested in making local investments can meet and discuss local business projects.
So far, we agreed to stick with our general intro statement as follows:
We are an informal group of Northern Michigan citizens seeking to have more local impact and connectedness with our money. We gather once a month for a potluck and to meet local entrepreneurs and learn about their projects. During our meetings, we also share ideas for how we might keep more of our money locally and invested for triple-bottom-line returns (financial, social, and environmental). This is an experiment of sorts with exciting offshoot possibilities, including the spawning of a more formal local investing club. For now, though, those interested in pursuing local investments with other group members or presenting entrepreneurs may do so independently of this ALAP group. Our meetings are open to any individual, although we request that you RSVP so that we can assure sufficient meeting space.
We also agreed to try a once a month meeting frequency, with our next three hour session slated for Thursday, December 8. The structure for this meeting will be along the lines of:
6:00-7:00 Potluck and Social Time
7:00-7:30 Invited Entrepreneur #1 Discussion Time (Short presentation plus Q&A period)
7:30-8:00 Invited Entrepreneur #2 Discussion Time (Short presentation plus Q&A period)
8:00-9:00 Group Business (Selection of next meetings speakers, format changes, feedback for presenting entrepreneurs, etc)
Cathy is checking out possible venues for the Dec 8 meeting. Possibilities mentioned include The Good Work Collective, MLUI HQ, and the GT Commons meeting room.
Zach and Bruce will create a short “Investing Opportunity” submission form that group members can use with prospective entrepreneurs who would like to speak to our group.
All are encouraged to introduce the group to friends who have an interest in community investing and to also help find sustainability-focused entrepreneurs seeking alternative, community funding sources. Interests among group members tonight were broad including areas such as local sustainable farming/food, alternative energy, healthcare, eco-tourism, clean transportation, green building, and education.
For those seeking more information about community investing in general and a group like ours that has formed in Washington, see the following links:
This promises to be an exciting new adventure! Thanks to all who attended and especially to Bruce and Cathy for welcoming us into their home!