BALLE Network Leaders are accelerating positive change in their communities by aligning their efforts directly; building on shared infrastructure and successful financial models; and working to change policy to create local economies that work for all. Our staff is committed to weaving together individuals and initiatives across the Network to facilitate the flow of social, financial, and natural capital.
Left to right: Local Economy Fellow and CEO of Communities Unlimited, Ines Polonius; Local Economy Investor's Circle member Pat Riley; and Foundation Circle member and Chief Program Officer at Arkansas Community Foundation, Sarah Kinser.
Local economy ecosystems build strength, resilience and greater equity through collaboration, over time. There are few better examples than the work of Local Economy Fellow and CEO of Communities Unlimited, Ines Polonius; Local Economy Investor's Circle member Pat Riley; and Foundation Circle member Sarah Kinser, Chief Program Officer at Arkansas Community Foundation. In September 2017 these central Arkansas leaders designed and hosted a convening of national investors, funders, and BALLE Network leaders and partners to help people understand their relationships to each other, and ways to accelerate shared goals. Of note: a $1mil impact investment by Riley through a Donor Advised Fund at the Arkansas Community Foundation provided access to capital for Polonius, whose Communities Unlimited was able to make loans and connect 16 households to a shared water system when their wells went dry; extend resources for a small business outside of Pine Bluff, AR, to ensure there are heating and air services accessible across a large rural area; and continue to build a healthy foods value chain, coordinating directly with local farmers.
Read more about the entrepreneurial revival happening in rural De Witt, AR, which was included in the fall 2017 central Arkansas Local Economy Accelerator.
Left to right: Chattanooga artist and mentor, Rondell Crier; Local Economy Foundation Circle member and Executive Director of the Footprint Foundation, Lisa Pinckney; Local Economy Fellow and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Chattanooga LAUNCH, Hal Bowling.
Foundation Circle member Lisa Pinckney, Executive Director of the Footprint Foundation, has been weaving and accelerating local economy efforts in Chattanooga, TN for years. Along with local artist Rondell Crier, and BALLE Fellow Hal Bowling, and many others, Lisa has been seeding and guiding collaborations for years. After her first Foundation Circle immersion, Pinckney immediately saw the power of BALLE’s approach, so that "when the BALLE Summit came about I couldn’t wait to share that with other people. I brought a group in 2016 and an even bigger group in 2017. I know for a fact because of participating at the Summit, and having an intention to collaborate, we have been able to accelerate our work.”
Read more about the ways that local economy principles come to life in this community the New York Times' Chattanooga Is Changing, but Its Charms Remain.