The latest research insights and observations from the frontlines of ecosystem building for social change. A one-person think-tank.

The future is rural

Jun 1, 2022

When we think of rural America, we may envision cows grazing lazily on the rolling hills of Vermont, spectacular vistas in the mountains of North Carolina and Kentucky, and long fields in Oklahoma that stretch into the horizon, spotted with red-painted barns, tractors and water towers. We imagine lively, quaint downtowns with independently-owned shops and […]

Unlocking ecosystem Building

Oct 28, 2021

What they don’t tell you in ecosystem building school When one of my earliest mentors changed cities and careers, I was befuddled that he could step back from his work. He had co-founded the region’s first accelerator for high-growth startups and advocated for the needs of entrepreneurs every chance he got. For more than five […]

Unlocking entrepreneurship

Oct 4, 2021

“Oh, and Anika! Don’t forget to tell people what exactly the issue is you talk about solving!”, Tara – my podcast producer – says at the end of our first meeting.  “Sure. No problem.” Wait, what? I mean, OBVIOUSLY, I know why we need to build more ecosystems for social change, and why we need […]

Value: Redefined

Aug 30, 2021

Have you ever had a question buried so ferociously in the back of your mind that you couldn’t shake it? A voice that piped up every time you came to a crossroads in your personal or professional life? A sense of this-is-not-how-it’s-supposed-to-be that has sunk its claws so deeply into your psyche that you can’t […]

Complexity as a mindset

Jun 29, 2021

My phone rings on a Thursday morning. “Why is ecosystem building so addictive?” It’s my friend Larkin, community builder and small business advocate extraordinaire. I know how she feels. I’ve been giddy and restless since we returned from an ecosystem building event in Irvington, VA, the day before. My mind is buzzing with excitement over […]

Martyr in recovery

Jun 3, 2021

Most afternoons in the last year, I emerged from my home office at 4.30 p.m. completely and utterly exhausted. Spent. Empty.  On the really tough days, the five-minute walk to my daughter’s daycare was unthinkable. I couldn’t possibly put one foot in front of the other and repeat that action 500 times each way. Inconceivable. […]

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The Purpose Gap

May 12, 2021

I remember this moment very clearly: I was eleven years old and sitting in the middle of the bus on my way home from school. I could feel the slow drip of ink on my hair and then scalp. I didn’t dare look back, react, or – heaven forbid – turn around and slap the […]

#7 Start. Be patient.

Mar 28, 2021

This article belongs to the 7-part series Ecosystem Building 101. The entire series is developed in Fireside Chats with entrepreneurial ecosystem builders around the world. The resource guide is no longer available. Sign up for Impact Curator to never miss another resource. In an infinite game, (it) is the game that lives on and it is the players whose time […]

Clarity & Focus

Mar 16, 2021

When I graduated from my East German high school, it seemed everyone knew their destiny – bank apprenticeship, tourism degree, communications. After over a decade of schooling, I had no idea why I was in this world and what I would do with my one wild and precious life. After traveling and volunteering far away […]