The Commercial and ®Evolutionary Classes: Sweet Water Complexities

From the point of view of the commercial classes, who focused on single bottom line possibilities of Sweet Water Organics(SWO) and paid little attention to the foundational work of the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF), the Sweet Water story is on hold.

From the point of view of those, like myself and Emmanuel Pratt, who focused on the ®Evolutionary possibilities (per Grace Lee Boggs’ “The Next American Revolution”) of Sweet Water, our “utopian visions” have been vastly exceeded by the facts.

I have been close to the stories of two MacArthur genius award winners, and I will be surprised if the mutualistic symbiosis of the Sweet Water Community(SWC) with Emmanuel Pratt’s network does not yield the MacArthur Award for Emmanuel and a continuing flow of high recognition for the current Sweet Water star, i.e. the Sweet Water Foundation. Know, however, that Sweet Water is a key player in a global integral ecology movement of on the ground experimenters who will also win our ongoing appreciation on the stage and at the edge of history, like Dr. Subra Mukherjee of the Sweet Water inspired Indo American Aquaponics Institute.

The Commercial Class and the ®Evolutionary Sweet Water Debates

Some of the original SWO “partners” expected quick commercial success with a single bottom line focus. Emmanuel Pratt and I were not of that view.

We saw Sweet Water Organics as a necessary research and development project with too many unknowns to expect quick green money bottom line performance. Our Sweet Water was an emerging network of practitioners, and the Sweet Water hybrid, i.e. the Academy(SWF) and the farm(SWO) was seen as a science lab, a multifaceted 21st century school “without walls,” an eco-business incubator, an emerging community center, and possibly a model for urban infill development with a “Sweet Water Village” potential.

The Sweet Water ®Evolutionaries proposed a focus on multiple bottom lines, e.g. ecology and equity, as well as multiple-income streams, e.g. fish and produce sales, but also compost, worms, worm castings, small plot intensive garden structures, workshops, tours, urban agriculture and aquaponics installations. And they also framed Sweet Water as a necessary experiment, a long march through series of trials and error, evolutionary gropings, cognizant that tens of millions of mindful acts are required for anything of enduring substance to manifest. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, what counts is the courage to continue.” (WC) Or, as Al Sharpton’s Grandma told us, “Life’s ont about falling down. It’s about getting yourself back up!”

From Riding Whales and Dodging Bullets To Astonished Participants In Miracle Cascades

We believed aquaponics to be quite possibly humanity’s most earth friendly and prolific method of food production, a major response to the challenge of food security, global warming, and the transition from industrial cities of consumptive capitalism to organic cities with cultures of respect and care, for all life forms, in harmony with nature. We opened our story to the public and the media from the get go, despite the possibility of substantial mistakes. Zorba the Greek was present in my mind’s eye, as was this mantra: “You wished it stranger. You left the path of your own free will. And you are lost if you believe in danger.” The cause was important enough that it had to be tried. And, we’re still trying!

Emmanuel and my core theory was that Sweet Water Organics could make a sufficient mark with its start-up team as to attract new sources of capital: green dollars, social, cultural, and spiritual capital that would launch the good ship Sweet Water for fruitful projects over the years and throughout Milwaukee and beyond.

Sweet Water, Alive and Well. Every City Deserves a Sweet Water!

Sweet Water, the Farm and the Academy, and the Community,
Is a museum alive, an evocative destination, and a science lab!

Sweet Water is a high tech, high science,
High craft, high art

Center for safe and delicious food production—
fresh fish and produce, locally sourced!

Sweet Water is a center for hands on education
For young and old.

A center for attracting and energizing
Inventors, innovators, enterprisers…active citizens!

Civic minded celebrators!

Transforming our great industrial cities
Into even more inspiring organic cities.

Every city in every country,
In all of earth’s great civilizations and cultures…

Deserves a Sweet Water and a Growing Power!

Sweet Water Multigenerational Experiments For A Higher Humanity

In communion with all life forms

Sweet Water Foundation Recent Breakthroughs

Nice Chicago NBC program on Sweet Water’s Emmanuel Pratt and the SWF’s collaboration with CCA Academy on the South Side of Chicago.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/05/03/your-chicago-cca-academy-and-aquaponics/

Sweet Water Foundation has been and continues to be recognized by the US Dpmnt of Agriculture and now the US Dpmnt of Energy for the educational/curricular/outreach work that we do with the 50+ schools we have worked with across 3 cities. Many sites have and continue to feature our work such as this http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/urban-farm-news/2012/08/10/sweet-water-foundation-makes-a-difference.aspx

Sweet Water Foundation is a key partner in the ACTS Housing project currently underway in Milwaukee offering solutions to address the dire situation of foreclosure in Milwaukee. http://www.milwaukeenns.org/2012/12/24/washington-park-partners-offers-doorbuster-on-foreclosed-homes/
This pilot project is being watched closely by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and PNC bank for the potential to translate to other cities.

Sweet Water Foundation is highly recognized and respected in cities like Chicago as the work we did in Milwaukee inspired Chicago State University to appoint me as Director of the Chicago State Aquaponics Center, which also highlights the ongoing educational and outreach work Sweet Water Foundation does. The center is partially funded by both the USDA and the US Department of Education as a potential national model (also inspired by the IBM Smarter Cities Milwuakee report).

Building upon the work at the CSU Aquaponics Center, Sweet Water Foundation was just recognized for our efforts in Chicago as I was one of 5 individuals featured as one of 5 green award winners in Chicago (http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/April-2013/2013-Green-Awards-Emmanuel-Pratt/)

Sweet Water Foundation has been funded by the USDA and is being recruited by NASA for the outreach and educational work we do resulting from our Midwest Aquaponics Expertise Development (http://citiesprogramme.com/cities/americas/usa/milwaukee/maintaining-and-improving-water-quality/water-cleaning-and-reuse/midwest-aquaponics-expertise-development-initiative-maedi).

Sweet Water Foundation’s Seed to Table Project Pilot initiative has been recognized and awarded for two years with promise of future funding by Newmans Own Foundation under our name

Tomorrow I have a conversation with several media companies interested in featuring Sweet Water Foundation as part of several national Toyota Green initiatives (http://www.toyotagreen.com/)

For the past three days, Sweet Water Foundation has been highlighted in the American Planning Association national conference for the educational and outreach we do ‘growing neighborhoods’. It is worth noting that city planners all seem to see the potential translation of the model we have developed on the Cobbs properties and the greater implications it presents for the entire Rust Belt but also internationally.

After being asked to be featured at the National Science Foundation funded talk regarding ‘Challenges in Vertical Farming (http://challengesinverticalfarming.org/), Sweet Water Foundation has also been featured in a Global publication http://www.asabe.org/publications/resource-magazine.aspx as part of a series of upcoming publications along the theme of Controlled Environment Agriculture. The magazine features trends, new technologies, issues, and applications related to agricultural and biological engineering.

Tomorrow I will be leading a mobile tour of a group across our network of sites (see flyer attached and this link:
http://www.planning.org/store/product/?ProductCode=ACTIVITY_13CONF_W057)

For the past 3 years, Sweet Water Foundation currently has had ongoing partnerships and is receiving increased interest with every major University in both Milwaukee and Chicago along with UW Madison for collaboration. All of these universities continue to get grant funding leveraging us as their partner. They also continue to publish papers in support of our work and impact. This does not include the national interest from Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth (many of which our team has either graduated from or worked with directly).

Sweet Water Foundation has been a key partner supporting the Organic Therapy Project with the Veterans in Milwaukee. Such was featured in the TEDx talk by Howard Hinterthuer of the Center for Veterans Issues (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObUoupoeJfw) as has since been discussed as a potentially national model.

Sweet Water Foundation was recently requested to be a listed partner in the USAID global submission with several partners in India and Kenya with which we have worked over the years as part of our Growing Networks initiative (http://growingnetworks.weebly.com/). Our submission was just received and we await response soon.

Sweet Water Foundations AQUAPONS program (funded and supported by MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations) will be featured in the summer launch of the Chicago Summer of Learning program as part of a national platform to introduce new models of education.
(http://chicagosummeroflearning.org/ | http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/january_2013/mayor_emanuel_announcessummeroflearninginitiative.html)

From my perspective, the recent evolution of aquaponics/urban ag is somewhere between the evolution of the car with Henry Ford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford) meets Apple with Steve Jobs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs).

Sweet Water is a complex universe with three galaxies: Sweet Water Organics(SWO), the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF), and the Sweet Water Community(SWC).

Sweet Water Organics (SWO) has essentially given its intellectual capital to the Sweet Water Foundation (SWF), which is committed to open source optimization. As of now our most advanced iteration is in a state of limbo as far as use goes.

Harvest Sweet Water Organics Intellectual Capital

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/BrainstormingProductDevelopment/SweetWaterInstallation

Internet Enhanced

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/BadgeProgram1/0

Who I Am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCiCfu-wtqQ

Some Common Responses to Our Experiments

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/SweetWaterOrganicsSweetWaterFoundation/SweetWaterTestimonials

Integral Urban Homes and Foreclosure Harvesting

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/ForeclosedHomesGrowingNeighborhoods1/0

India!

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/IndiaCollaborations1/0

Spring 2013 Sweet Water Story

Sharing Sweet Water Stories

“Sweet Water” is a complex creation of extraordinary significance that deserves to be understood. It has awakened thousands of people across the world to the splendor and bounty of Mother Nature’s ways when her human sons and daughters co-create mindful relationships with all Earth life forms, including the aquaponic ecosystem’s balanced array of microorganisms, fish, plants, symbiotically harvesting photons, air, water, and “earth.”

As with the unfolding of life on our blue green planet, the golden thread running through the Sweet Water weave is experimentation and “evolutionary groping.” Trial and error, feedback loops, failing to succeed are among the guiding concepts of the Sweet Water experiment. I hope to share some of the story of the Sweet Water “emergence,” advancing what might well be the most earth friendly and prolific method of food production yet constructed by challenged humanity. The balance required of an aquaponics system helps focus the mind on required balance in human eco-systems. Both require modesty in the face of subtle relationships among myriad partners. This story is presented as just one among a number of vantage points, hoping to inspire reflective sharing. These “truths” will take quite a while to emerge, and only in dialogue.

Foundational Sweet Water Visions: Commercialize, Democratize, and Globalize Aquaponics Experiments

Sweet Water is a multidimensional aquaponics innovation center, with three foundational fields: Sweet Water Organics(SWO), the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF), and the Sweet Water Community(SWC) of “partners.” Each of these expressions are entwined, but capable of advancing autonomously if required. The first phase vision of the Sweet Water founders focused on (l) SWO as a commercial upscaling experiment of Will Allen’s aquaponics model; (2) SWF as a non-profit harvesting as much information and support, i.e. knowledge and social capital, as was appropriate; and (3) SWC of “partners” as an emerging local, regional, national, and global community of practice with a widespread open source ethos.

Sweet Water Organics built upon Will Allen’s urban agriculture models and mainstreamed aquaponics much faster than its founders expected. It was the commercialization vision of creating sustainable
farms in urban factory contexts that sparked the most intense exuberance. The Sweet Water Foundation’s democratizing and globalizing vision, on the other hand, has received very little attention from the mainstream media, although ecological innovation “partners” and green “world citizens” in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America are investing considerable time and resources in collaborations of a variety of levels.

The SWF is a separate legal entity with an independent Board created to harvest knowledge and social capital from SWO to advance the democratization and globalization of aquaponics. The Sweet Water Community is a network of “partners” who have been inspired by and informed in their work by both SWO and the SWF. Participants in the SWF and SWC were very aware of the substantial risks taken by SWO in accepting a government loan in a food system more science than labor in- tensive.

This risk was offset by the commitment to provide other kinds of value if SWO proved unable to meet the job quotas. The Sweet Water Foundation, with the help of the Sweet Water Community “partners,” is committed to providing value in service to Milwaukee’s students, families, veterans, businesses, universities, faith communities, and civil society associations, such that the investment of the City in SWO will be judged, from a 10 year time frame, as good an investment as one could hope for, surely worth the start-up risk.

And an on-line expression used for our introduction of aquaponics to Indian engineers and scientists back in 2011.

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarlySweetWaterStory/HomePage

Our city director Jesse Blom has summarized our Spring 2013 strengths:

1) AQUAPONS badges - online badge-based training, learning, and collaboration for aquaponics
2) Seed to Table - installations of small-scale aquaponics systems and curricular integration for classrooms at all levels
3) Intern and volunteer management for small, medium, and large-scale operations
4) Aquaponics training for adults, with particular emphasis on teachers and US Military veterans

Spring 2013 Sweet Water Story

Sharing Sweet Water Stories

“Sweet Water” is a complex creation of extraordinary significance
that deserves to be understood. It has awakened thousands of
people across the world to the splendor and bounty of Mother Nature’s ways when her human sons and daughters co-create mindful relationships with all Earth life forms, including the aquaponic ecosystem’s balanced array of microorganisms, fish, plants, symbiotically harvesting photons, air, water, and “earth.”

As with the unfolding of life on our blue green planet, the golden thread running through the Sweet Water weave is experimentation and “evolutionary groping.” Trial and error, feedback loops, failing to succeed are among the guiding concepts of the Sweet Water experiment. I hope to share some of the story of the Sweet Water “emergence,” advancing what might well be the most earth friendly and prolific method of food production yet constructed by challenged humanity. The balance required of an aquaponics system helps
focus the mind on required balance in human eco-systems. Both require modesty in the face of subtle relationships among myriad partners. This story is presented as just one among a number of
vantage points, hoping to inspire reflective sharing. These “truths” will take quite a while to emerge, and only in dialogue.

Foundational Sweet Water Visions: Commercialize, Democratize, and Globalize Aquaponics Experiments

Sweet Water is a multidimensional aquaponics innovation center, with three foundational fields: Sweet Water Organics(SWO), the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF), and the Sweet Water Community(SWC) of “partners.” Each of these expressions are entwined, but capable of advancing autonomously if required. The first phase vision of the Sweet Water founders focused on (l) SWO as a commercial upscaling experiment of Will Allen’s aquaponics model; (2) SWF as a non-profit harvesting as much information and
support, i.e. knowledge and social capital, as was appropriate; and (3) SWC of “partners” as an emerging local, regional, national, and global community of practice with a widespread open source ethos.

Sweet Water Organics built upon Will Allen’s urban agriculture models and mainstreamed aquaponics much faster than its founders expected. It was the commercialization vision of creating sustainable
farms in urban factory contexts that sparked the most intense exuberance. The Sweet Water Foundation’s democratizing and globalizing vision, on the other hand, has received very little attention from the mainstream media, although ecological innovation “partners” and green “world citizens” in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America are investing considerable time and resources in collaborations of a variety of levels.

The SWF is a separate legal entity with an independent Board created to harvest knowledge and social capital from SWO to advance the democratization and globalization of aquaponics.
The Sweet Water Community is a network of “partners” who have been inspired by and informed in their work by both SWO and the SWF. Participants in the SWF and SWC were very
aware of the substantial risks taken by SWO in accepting a government loan in a food system more science than labor in- tensive.

This risk was offset by the commitment to provide other kinds of value if SWO proved unable to meet the job quotas. The Sweet Water Foundation, with the help of the Sweet Water Community “partners,” is committed to providing value in service to Milwaukee’s students, families, veterans, businesses, universities, faith communities, and civil society associations, such that the investment of the City in SWO will be judged, from a 10 year time frame, as good an investment as one could hope for, surely worth the start-up risk.

Here are some testimonials to the kind of value SWF has been providing and will continue to provide:

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/SweetWaterOrganicsSweetWaterFoundation/SweetWaterTestimonials

Here is a chapter in a European planner’s book on Sweet Water:

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/SweetWaterOrganicsSweetWaterFoundation/SweetWaterChapterInCPULBook

And an on-line expression used for our introduction of aquaponics to Indian engineers and scientists back in 2011.

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarlySweetWaterStory/HomePage

Our city director Jesse Blom has summarized our Spring 2013 strengths:

1) AQUAPONS badges - online badge-based training, learning, and collaboration for aquaponics
2) Seed to Table - installations of small-scale aquaponics systems and curricular integration for classrooms at all levels
3) Intern and volunteer management for small, medium, and large-scale operations
4) Aquaponics training for adults, with particular emphasis on teachers and US Military veterans

Transformations Guided by IBM Aquaponics Innovation Center Vision

Home Gr/OWN USA?

Dear Emmanuel, Joe, Howard, Tim, Dean, Julia, Jesse, Allen, Ken, Nik, Stan,

 Fred, David, and Eagan,

Why not elevate the lineup for partners harvesting the information,
networks, brand, and state of the art aquaponics facility on the Cobb
Fields for the veterans and Milwaukee?

Kabala Washatko
Urban Aquaculture Center
Urban Ecology Center
Center for Veterans Issues
School of Fresh Water Science
Growing Power
MIAD, MSOE, UWM, MU, Alverno Stritch Aquaponics Urban Ag R&D Consortium
IBM

It is my understanding that the SWF would gladly help steward this
transition. We are already in conversation with Allen Washatko and
Mickey Willis about a major urban agriculture project in Fort Collins,
Co. that has SWF and Growing Power as partners in the cause.
Also have been in 3 month conversation with major factory complex
transformation in Troy Mills, N.H. that would be enhanced with
this vision’s manifestation.

The Bay View Sweet Water Complex IS/CAN BE The IBM Innovation Center

Correct me if I am not on point re:

The Urban Aquaculture Center(UAC) created a vision and networks that
this concept advances, SWF has a demo project in Washington Park
with UEC. Fred Binkowski is poised to explore participation
in some reconfiguration. Growing Power/SWF already collaborating
with teacher project. Will and Emmanuel are “partners.” The veterans ready
to team up if the political challenges diminish. We have sparked research
projects with engineers, architects, biologists, etc. from the above named

 schools, networked already into an emergent R&D consortium.

Milwaukee Aquaponics Innovation Centers and Networked Neighborhood
Hubs

I have no doubt that each of the above parties would look favorably upon an
internet enhanced opportunity to brainstorm, design, and orchestrate this vision.
I have been in conversation with every one of their “reps” and would advance this
quietly with each of them if you all agree as to its merits.

When Sandy Foloran completes her huge new green houses and brilliant
transformation of the Domes, she would be my choice as to the general manager
of what I see as Milwaukee’s response to the IBM challenge. I can imagine
other people of her capacity being recruited as well.

Home Gr/OWN USA and All University Urban Ag R&D Center

This project could also serve nicely as an start-up iteration of Home Gr/OWN
USA, with USA being the Center for Veterans Issues “Urban Sustainable
Agriculture.” Joe Recchie has a powerful start-up relationship with General
Cockroft around foreclosed housing project possibilities SWF’s Washington
Park project fits in nicely with this as well.

Godsil

Invitation to Journal Sentinel Editorial Board re “Organics Loan”

I would very much appreciate an opportunity to introduce the “JS” editorial board to the quite complex “Sweet Water” story over the course of 2013 and beyond. In our digital age this introduction can involve information conveyed via e-mails, collaboration platforms, conference calls, and gatherings, say, at Sweet Water and other old city innovation
centers. Or at your offices as well!

Harnessing digital connectivity to bring major metropolitan papers more intensely into the stories of our old city renaissance experiments, in an interactive way, will be a hallmark of emergent ecological cities. I can imagine the “Journal Sweet Water Story” worthy of a place in the upcoming eBook series on Living Cities I and ret. lt. col. Ken Kenworthy of Knowledge Realm in D.C. have been discussing.

Milwaukee has won great renown for giving birth to Growing Power, Sweet Water, Walnut Way, UEC, Victory Garden Initiative, and more, and soon, quite likely, the Mayor’s Home Gr/OWN project. The way in which we as a city respond to the challenge of SWO at this moment could enhance that well deserved acclaim.

The failure of Sweet Water Organics(SWO) to meet its job quotas is an important piece. But an equally important story is the emergence of the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF).

Here are some of the SWF programs of most significance for this transition and worthy of your attention.

  • a global leader in the MacArthur/Mozilla badge program in digital training/credentialing, which will be informed by the cross university aquaponics R&D we have inspired.

  • a regional leader for teacher training and aquaponics demonstrations in about 40 schools in Milwaukee and Chicago

  • an urban agriculture/community development pioneer connecting foreclosed home transformation to aquaponics and raised bed food production skills, e.g. Washington Park ACTS Housing/UEC partnershp

  • an accelerator of “organic healing gardens” with veterans groups in Milwaukee and Chicago

Sweet Water, “The Farm, The Academy, and The “Partners”

Sweet Water was conceived as a hybrid enterprise experiment, with SWO focusing on the commercialization of aquaponics, and the envisioned SWF, formalized a year after SWO’s start, committed to democratizing and globalizing aquaponics. The commercial vision proved a compelling attractor of capital, attention, and “pro-bono” genius, which translated into the SWF advancing its mission much faster than had been anticipated. SWO’s “legacy costs” as a de facto global R&D venture have proven sufficiently intense that private funding will not likely
arrive in time for SWO to recover on its own. The SWF’s emergence finds its Board prepared to absorb SWO and harvest its hard won intellectual capital, social networks, and brand for its democratization, i.e. education & training, and globalization mission, e.g. badge program. It is my belief that this transition, from Sweet Water 1.0 to Sweet Water 2.0 will, with time, fully vindicate the city’s investment in SWO, in, say, a 5 to 10 year time frame.

I may be proven wrong, but not without working hard to inspire an all city conversation on collaboration experiments to accelerate our urban agriculture advance.

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” WC

Attached is an essay by “Harvard’s” innovation scholar Rosabeth Moss Kanter on my Sweet Water work, properly summed up as follows:

Godsil organized a “community of practice” or network of advocates and practitioners that wanted to generate a complex of enterprises needed to build the industry.

Thank you for your attention to this note, and eager for a conversation over time.

Sincerely,

Godsil

Sweet Water Foundation IS the Aquaponics Center IBM Called For!

Here is what IBM recommended to the City after evaluating Sweet Water. Funding these ideas instead of just handing money over like they did might have brought the progress of aquaponics in Milwaukee farther along toward sustainable business models:

“In the view of the IBM team, urban agriculture and aquaponics have the potential to address these issues and
make Milwaukee more economically viable while engaging the community’s support. With clear measurable goals and objectives, these recommendations are attainable and affordable. In the report, specific steps are identified to foster the growth of aquaponics in Milwaukee: Establish an Urban Agriculture and Aquaponics Council, based on the successful model of the Milwaukee Water Council to advance the science and business success of the industry through the collaboration and sharing of knowledge, innovation, and technology by for-profit, nonprofit and public sector stakeholders

  • Establish an Aquaponics Innovation Center to:

Build upon technology transfer and skills development by area universities and K-12 education

Evaluate new aquaponics technologies

Support aquaponics business development and maturity by analyzing and documenting best practices and economic impact using research methodologies and business metrics

Act as a virtual and physical incubator for new companies

Investigate operational impacts on aquaponics system sustainability

Perform public outreach to tell the story of the aquaponics industry

Lists of Sweet Water, both SWO, the Farm, and SWF, the Academy, Top Accomplishments

Since the City Loan to SWO,

1) SWO achieved USDA Organic certification for its sprouts product
2) SWO built and currently operates a state-of-the-art, world class aquaponics facility that produces fish and lettuce year-round
3) SWO, in partnership with Goodwill and the Alma Center, has hired and sustained employment for disadvantaged individuals who could not find employment elsewhere
4) SWO has hosted over 15,000 visitors to its facility to learn about its innovative farming techniques
5) SWO has cut its energy use by 80%, because of the more efficient systems it currently operates

Before the City Loan to SWO,

1) SWO was the first commercial-scale urban farm on a former industrial site
2) SWO became a global destination for individuals interested in sustainable agriculture
3) SWO hosted an international conference on urban agriculture in January 2011
4) SWO leveraged very scarce capital and incalculable amounts of volunteer labor and sweat equity to start its business
5) SWO incubated Sweet Water Foundation, now one of the foremost leaders in urban agriculture as an education, job training, and community development tool

Sweet Water Foundation,

1) Works with over 30 schools and 5 universities in both Milwaukee and Chicago (Milwaukee is headquarters)
2) Won a $175,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to build online curriculum for aquaponics in schools and community organizations
3) Is partnering with ACTS Housing, Urban Ecology Center, and Milwaukee Bicycle Collective on the Washington Park Neighborhood Renewal Project. SWF’s role is to give new homeowners the ability to grow food at home with gardens and aquaponics systems
4) Is partnering with the Center for Veterans Issues to train US Military Veterans how to grow food using urban agriculture as a technique. This program is both a job training program and an Organic Therapy Program for healing veterans.
5) Hosts 5 interns every year, partners with youth job training programs to provide a place for young people to learn work skills on the farm, and trains 50 MPS school teachers how to use aquaponics as a learning tool in the classroom
6) Sent 10 interns to India in the summer of 2012 to build an aquaponics system with a local college as part of its first “Growing Networks” international program

Press:

Find all of our positive press here: http://sweetwater-organic.com/press

and for information on Sweet Water Foundation, send people here: www.sweetwaterfoundation.com

Partnerships

We hope to sustain our partnerships with a core staff of 5 full time employees (SWF currently has 5 part time in addition to 7 part time with Sweet Water Organics and 4 part time with CVI), which we hope will grow slowly and consistently over time, with additional part-time labor being provided both year-round and seasonally for farm work.

Of course, all of our partners also employ people who are engaged in work with us. The important thing we want to emphasize is that this is a long term process, which requires not projection of number of jobs but patient and consistent progress which results in robust partnerships.

Partnerships for Sweet Water Foundation

1) Mozilla Foundation, with support from MacArthur Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Mozilla Foundation is creating an “Open Badges Infrastructure” for education and job training. They have awarded Sweet Water with a $175,000 grant to create digital “badges” for aquaponics which will certify certain individuals’ skills and expertise as we train them in aquaponics through an apprenticeship model.

2) Center for Veterans Issues/National Association of Black Veterans - SWF provides space on our farm and hands-on jobs training through CVI’s Organic Therapy Program. This project provides 3 FTE positions for veterans as well as .5 FTE Sweet Water staff to provide training. Please see a note on this program in an attachment provided by CVI. This project is currently being replicated in Chicago.

3) Milwaukee Public Schools - SWF trains teachers and works to improve school facilities through urban agriculture programming. This work requires Sweet Water staff to provide training and oversight of projects. This is funded mostly by Newman’s Own Foundation, with support in the past from US Department of Agriculture and National Education Association Foundation.

4) Charter, Private, and Public Schools in Milwaukee and Chicago, and surrounding areas - SWF engages in the work described above, with teachers, students and administrators at all varieties of schools in Milwaukee and Chicago. If a school has the desire to work with Sweet Water to improve their urban agriculture program, we will find a way to make it work.

5) Wells Fargo, ACTS Housing, Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee Bicycle Works - SWF is part of the Washington Park Neighborhood Renewal Project, which will sell 10 foreclosed homes in the Washington Park neighborhood to first time homeowners. SWF will offer these families consultation, installation, and training to enhance their ability to grow food at home. They will be growing food using gardens and indoor aquaponics systems.

6) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) - Sweet Water has an ongoing research agreement with UWM School for Freshwater Sciences to provide yellow perch fingerlings for the study of aquaponics as a commercially viable food production tool.

7) Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) - Sweet Water partners with professors at MSOE to enhance their students (undergraduate and graduate) exploration of urban agriculture and related disciplines. One example of this is the invention of a solar thermal biomass processor, a renewable energy generator, which will be piloted at Sweet Water this coming spring to significantly lower our energy costs.

8) Local/Regional/National/Global partners - Sweet Water engages in regular conversation, and occasionally negotiates contracts and submits grant proposals for Sweet Water-inspired replication projects around the world. We have a particular emphasis on a “hybrid” approach of commercial-scale food production as well as maximizing the social and environmental impact of what we do.

“Jobs” Creating Junk Can Impoverish, “Work” Creating Real Value Can Transform

If an alderman were asked to choose to support another greasy fast food joint that created 10 “jobs”
and a place like Walnut Way that taught 30 young people to grow food for their family, what should be chosen?

Here’s some essays on the importance of educating our citizens for self-reliant and community building WORK!

http://www.keller2012.com/work

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-01/business/ct-biz-0101-outside-opinion-jobs-20120101_1_independent-contractor-work-and-jobs-employment

Citizen Opinions re City Loan

Reciprocity Economics Social Science Research on Power of Giving

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?pagewanted=9&hp

The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples’ lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves. The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples’ lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves. Where other people see hassle, he sees bargains, a little work for a lot of gain, including his own. Nice guys can finish first! (Now there’s research to prove it.) Grant is credited with reviving the field, shifting the thinking toward the more modern conditions of a service and knowledge economy. Even simply showing the callers letters from grateful recipients was found to increase their fund-raising draws. It was almost as if the good feelings had bypassed the callers’ conscious cognitive processes and gone straight to a more subconscious source of motivation. prosocial motivation — the desire to help others, independent of easily foreseeable payback. I “In corporate America, people do sometimes feel that the work they do isn’t meaningful. And contributing to co-workers can be a substitute for that.” “as a result of gratitude to the company for the opportunity to affirm a valued aspect of their identities, they developed stronger affective commitment to the company.” Giving, he eventually realized, was a reliable way of mediating social interactionsGrant often starts his research with observations about himself — “me-search,” they call it in the field productive form of O.C.D. “He noticed that when I was anxious about something, I had a habit of throwing myself single-mindedly into tasks in which I felt responsible to others,” he said. “A few days later, my mentor, Brian Little, sent me an article by Ian McGregor, one of his doctoral students, who studied ‘compensatory conviction’: anxiety in one domain motivates people to dive into passionate pursuit in another. Grant could even be seen as a paradigm of Freud’s definition of mental health: aggression sublimated into work. “How Prosocial Behavior Can Mitigate O.C.D. Tendencies.” Grant’s book, incorporating several decades of social-science research on reciprocity, divides the world into three categories: givers, matchers and takers.The most successful givers, Grant explains, are those who rate high in concern for others but also in self-interest. And they are strategic in their giving — they give to other givers and matchers, so that their work has the maximum desired effect; they are cautious about giving to takers; they give in ways that reinforce their social ties; and they consolidate their giving into chunks, so that the impact is intense enough to be gratifying. The path to success is filled with people helping to clear the way. “The best ideas occur to people who are touching multiple worlds and domains. And in our field, he’s at the nexis of a lot of them.” he virtually never says no to the five-minute favor, something that will help someone out — an introduction, a quick suggestion — but cost him very little, relative to impact. William James,” he said. “ ‘The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.’ A big part of it is being remembered.”

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on May 11, 2013

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