Impact Hub Berkeley Launches NEW Change Accelerator, “From the Ground Up” in Partnership With Yellow Seed and Lexicon of Sustainability

Brings Together Sustainable Food and Agriculture Organizations to Accelerate Sustainability

BERKELEY, CA- Impact Hub Berkeley has announced the launch of its NEW Change Accelerator, "From the Ground Up." The four-part, year-long program will bring together multi-stakeholder organizations working in sustainable food and agriculture to collaborate on joint initiatives. The program will be offered in partnership with Yellow Seed, a nonprofit, impact driven enterprise that connects small-scale cacao farmers to new trade opportunities via a community-powered web platform; and Lexicon of Food, engaging, educating and activating people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.

The program combines dynamic working groups, public-facing education programs, and community building events with innovative online networks to foster awareness and growth while amplifying the work of leading experts and organizations. Each focus area working group will feature a different topic and participants will share their experiences, discuss current challenges, and collectively develop solutions. Together the group will generate outcomes and co-design next action steps for change. The quarterly themes for 2016 are:

Collaborative Trade (January - March)

Living Oceans (April - June)

Soil Health / Carbon Farming (July - September)

Local Food Systems (October - December)

Our Collaborative Trade initiative will feature:

Innovation Salons, with curated organizations and participants (journalists may contact to attend), include:

Topic 1: The Farmer, Buyer and Intermediary Relationship

Part 1: Building Trust, January 26

Part 2: Story and Transparency, February 8

Topic 2: The Risky of Business of Logistics and Supporting Finance

Part 1: Bridging the Gap, February 23

Part 2: Criteria for Relationship, March 1

Topic 3: The role of technology, tools and strategic partnerships; March 15, March 31

Part 1: Strengthening Market Connections, March 15

Part 2: Tools for Transparency and Choice, March 31

Public programs for the series will feature inspiring film, lecture, panels and networking events to amplify the work of innovators and change makers in the food and agriculture space, and provide the public with opportunities to learn, act and engage. Events include:

Collaborative Trade Launch Party (Jan. 25)

Real Food, Real Stories: The Chocolate Diaries (February, TBD)

Make Chocolate Not War: Celebrating the Art of Chocolate (February, TBD)

Craftmaker Expo (March, TBD)

Collaborative Trade Closing Celebration (April 5)

Online Engagement via:

Lexicon of Sustainability

A project of Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard's Lexicon of Sustainability, the Lexicon of Food provides consumers a window into our food systems. This online platform provides critical insights and learning opportunities, which allow consumers to shop according to their values, and thereby transform our food systems with their choices.

From the Ground Up will be posting content in Lexicon's curated news feed and hosting related public challenges throughout the year.

Hylo & Loomio, Collaboration Tools

Hylo is a new kind of social network that helps real communities create, together. Loomio facilitates a crowd-sourced decision-making process, used by movements such as the Occupy movement. From the Ground Up will be using these innovative collaboration tools for our Design Salons to continue our in-person conversations online, create projects, and share offers and intentions.


Michael Anzalone, Managing Director of Impact Hub Berkeley

Michael recently joined Mission Hub's Impact Hub Berkeley team after serving as Managing Director of the David Brower Center. The Brower Center -- where Impact Hub Berkeley proudly calls home -- is a LEED-platinum building for convening, inspiring, and sustaining people committed to environmental and social action. Michael also actively builds community and manages projects for OSC2, an innovative member network for founders and CEOs of progressive food companies.

"What excites me most is the opportunity to amplify our network," says Michael. "Social enterprise is such a powerful vehicle for change, and I love helping our community build a lasting network of support."

"Our vision is to bring together like-minded organizations and accelerate the shift towards sustainability in various sectors of sustainable food and agriculture," says Michael Anzalone, Managing Director of Impact Hub Berkeley. "Our goal is to collaboratively design healthy, global food supply chains where farmers are treated as equal partners and participants work together to accelerate the shift towards sustainability."

Nancy Zamierowski, Founder / Collaboration Architect of Yellow Seed

Nancy is a social entrepreneur, energy coach and powerful connector. She is passionate about designing systems for collaboration and practical ways we can work together for mutual benefit of people and planet. She is a co-founder of two non-profit impact driven enterprises; Yellow-Seed facilitates connection between farmers at origin and emerging markets, and Wild Forests and Fauna (WFF) supports local leadership in conservation of wild forest frontiers. Within WFF she activated the ARCAmazon Project in Peru and the Native Seeds restoration project working with traditional healers in Gulu, Uganda. During her work with The Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Nancy co-authored the 2012 LINK Toolkit, a participatory methodology to improve inclusive trading relationships with small-scale farmers.

Impact Hub Berkeley and MissionHUB

Impact Hub Berkeley is a co-working and events space for social impact professionals taking action to drive positive social and environmental change. Hosting year-round education programming, themed, "Sustainable Food/Ag," Impact Hub Berkeley is part of MissionHUB, a global marketplace for social innovation that includes:

1,500+ members of Impact Hub coworking & events campuses in San Francisco, Berkeley, Washington, D.C., and New York City

13,000+ attendees of the annual SOCAP conference for impact investing & social entrepreneurship

15,000+ attendees of events on campuses each year, with a focus on Financial Inclusion in New York City, Sustainable Cities in San Francisco, Sustainable Food/Ag in Berkeley, and Civic Innovation in Washington, D.C.

NEW for 2016: SOCAP 365, year-round programming on campuses with world-class speakers; and SOCAPtv, a video platform for social innovation thought leadership, broadcasting globally

Piloting in NYC: Impact Bazaar, a physical marketplace for social innovators to access and activate unique resources to launch and grow

Yellow Seed

Yellow Seed's website engages new voices to provide more choices -- from the millions of small farmers left out of today's markets, to the growing base of buyers, importers and intermediaries looking for resources that exist but are currently invisible. Our pilot starts with cacao farmers in the heart of the Amazon, and the craft chocolate makers desperate to find them, providing a way for valuable products to flow, from farm to port and ultimately, to consumers. Farmers can share their stories and products, access new markets and build consistent trading relationships, while buyers can find new farms, read product reviews and connect with service providers to facilitate trade.

Yellow Seed believes that small-scale farmers should be meaningfully engaged as partners in the management of our food supply systems and the environmental services that underpin them. Its collaborative trade model unites people to share resources and work together so it can multiply the positive effects of all of those committed to doing better.

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Contact Information

Marissa Feinberg




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