Amanda Kiessel

Project/Organization
Role
Description
A curated community of social enterprises, cooperatives, responsible businesses, networks, voluntary initiatives, and changemakers creating an economy that’s good for people and good for the planet
💫 Your brief bio
I have a background in agroecology, sustainable food systems, community organizing, and social enterprise. I've spent the last 20 years based out of Asia (Sri Lanka and Thailand)
Stage
EstablishedCommunity-Owned
Location
Phoenix, Arizona, USA / Colombo, Sri Lanka
Timezone
Mountain Standard Time GMT-7:00
E2C Vision
We're working on a community finance campaign to be able to speed up the next phase of software development. We originally planned to do it during this program, but now the plan is to do it during the first quarter of the new year. We're also working to improve the community governance system. We're looking for simple tools that support decision making across large groups. Simple is the key word since we have many international community members that aren't comfortable with tech and/or English
Motivation
We're interested in being part of the cohort because we're entering a new phase of community financing and community governance, and we'd like to connect with others that are dealing with similar challenges.
Status
Featured
Time in operation
Commitment
1. Develop communication materials for investment crowdfunding 2. Transition to online community governance systems - Introduce a committee for any issues that arise with the curation and crowdsourced monitoring process (judicial function) - Find simple online tools to collect input on changes to minimum standards, the curation process, or the software roadmap (legislative function)
E2C journey so far
We have a lot of experience exploring different legal structures and investment options. We originally registered as a benefit corporation with the idea of taking on impact investment and exiting to community. We soon realized that most of the investors we were talking to were not mission aligned and that a shareholder structure wasn't suitable for a curated community / commons. We ended up re-registering as a not-for-profit to lock in the mission. We still have a revenue generating, self sustaining model, but now it's clear that all surplus is reinvested. While we've been trying to figure out financing, the community has continued to grow, which means that instead of exiting to community, we're focusing on community investment. I have a birds eye view of this space. We're currently working with nearly 1,600 enterprises and networks across 56 countries, so I've had the chance to see many different models of ownership, governance, operations, and impact across different sectors. I personally have experience with holding space and supporting in-person community organizations to become self-sustaining. I'm still exploring ways to do this online with a highly diverse community.
E2C journey ahead
Funding - investment crowdfunding campaigns, grants, PRI loans, etc. Communications - helping people shift from "this exists," to "this is for me" to "this is mine." It's already happening, but we want to find ways to learn and improve. Tools - simple online decision making tools for a large, diverse group. We've used Loomio for smaller groups, but since there are now almost 1,600 enterprises across 56 countries on the platform, we want to test simple lightweight options like survey forms or dotstorming