Integrative Community Ventures (ICV):
A Prototype Enterprise
In this chapter, we will explore an example of how we could implement the new employment sector, Local Community Capacity (LCC), as a necessary component of a successful Integrative economy. An Integrative Economy is a knowledge-driven economy where knowledge is both a resource that can be sold and a tool that can be used to create other products or services that enhance the quality of life of us all. As discussed in previous chapters, the backbone of an Integrative Economy requires humans that operate at optimal human development. Unless all of our children, who will eventually become adults, have the opportunity to develop their full potential, our economy will falter. To date, we have not valued this work to the level of professionalism necessary to achieve this high standard, but with the recognition that an Integrative economy cannot function without it, we can now take the proactive step to institute this core infrastructure as part of the next economy.
Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) is offered as a prototype enterprise for establishing “Local Community Capacity” as a new employment sector within an Integrative Economy. Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) seeks to build a company that will hire, train and manage the professionals needed to provide the “Local Human Capacity” work necessary for an Integrative Economy. The focus of this work is to provide human capacity development for children through a team of professionals networked within one’s local community. In an urban setting this might mean a 4 block radius, in a suburban setting it might be two contiguous subdivisions and in a rural setting it might be an entire county. Along with this human capacity development for children, ICV staff also provides professional level care for elderly seniors who are able to remain in their homes as well as services for children and/or adults with disabilities. Thus, at a very direct, local community level, ICV raises the standards of caring to a professional, compensated level that establishes this new employment sector as a vital component of the next economy.
Using a whole person framework, ICV‘s staff of professionals will work as a network that supports the entire cohort of children, those with disabilities and elderly seniors which comprises their scope of work. The long-term outcomes are the following:
• Children learn the knowledge and skills necessary to become autonomous, self-directed humans with the ability to work in relationship with humans and the earth.
• Those with disabilities have the opportunity to receive optimal care and development while maintaining as strong a relationship within the community as possible.
• Elderly senior remain in their homes (or at the home of one of the HCDPs) for as long as possible while addressing a huge need in our population—serving the ever-increasing elder population with a viable option that benefits the entire community.
Integrative Community Ventures (ICV)
Mission: To build a local, community-based Human capacity development enterprise as a prototype model for the emerging employment sector: “Local Community Capacity”.
Vision: ICV will, through the completion of this pilot project, create, test and establish a framework for an enterprise that is replicable by others wishing to establish employment opportunities in the “Local Community Capacity (LCC)” employment sector too. It is our intention to be a leader in “Local Human Capacity” enterprise development but only so others may use this framework from which to launch their own systems in their local areas.
ICV Inc. is designed as a pilot project to create, test and establish a framework for a viable “Local Human Capacity” enterprise. ICV will employ Human capacity development professionals (HCDPs). As such, the following is the current iteration of how we see this organization coming into existence. This of course is open to redesign at many levels but we need to get started with an originating framework so we can see what will need to be redesigned in the future. The Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) organization:
• CHCD: Chief Human Capacity Director
This position oversees the entire project as well as interfacing with the Research team. Goal is to keep everyone focused on the mission in the midst of the day to day functioning of the organization.
• Management level: 3 Senior Human Capacity Director
These positions will oversee the staff of 30 Human Capacity Development professionals. One of the three will have an expertise in child development, another in disabled services and the third in elderly services. Working together, they will design and direct the work load with their staff to meet the needs of all.
• Staff level: 30 in-home Human Capacity Development Professionals (HCDPs)
• University Research Team
• Administration services (Outsourced)
o Human Resources
This 30 person team of trained professionals will work together as a team to provide human capacity development and care for all the children, children or adults with disabilities and/or seniors that are directly connected as community as a result of their being hired to work for ICV. Each HCDP will have primary responsibility for the children, those with disabilities or senior who live in their home. At the same time however, the team has full responsibility to design the work flow to ensure that all the needs for the entire cohort are being met at optimal levels.
There will be one small, central office with meeting space. Otherwise, all management and staff work from their homes but are highly interconnected with the use of technology. Each day, some staff will physically interact with each other through their local environments but at times, it may be that technology is the primary networking channel for everyone.
University Research Team
Phase I design. Working collaboratively, the CCCD and Senior managers will be working with the University research team to determine the research parameters and how this can/will be implemented over the course of this 5 year pilot project.
Finance, technology, human resources will be contracted as needed through outside contractors.
Human Capacity Development and Wholeness
To become fully human does not just happen. This is apparent as we see the impact on children around the globe who have had minimal human capacity development provided by their communities. A child must be taught, guided, and provided good models in order to achieve full human capacity.
For our purposes at ICV, the framework of a ‘whole human being’ sets the tone for what human capacity development means. This is not some “airy-fairy” thing, but a conscious recognition that humans are physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual beings and in order to achieve optimal human development all of these areas must be developed through well thought out processes. Within this whole human focus, specific areas of information and knowledge accumulation are required in order to live fully. This includes areas such as nutrition, exercise, feelings (emotional quotient), cognitive development, communication skills, relationship/partnership skills, sexuality, parenting/family building, community connections, environmental integration, work, play, financial literacy, coping skills for particular life challenges, spiritual/values orientation and finding meaning for one’s life.
HCDPs work to enable a child to optimize capacity of knowledge accumulation in all these areas with the intent that in the future, this child will have the option to use knowledge as a resource and/or a tool to maximize his or her life as well as participate effectively in an Integrative Economy.
Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) recognizes that despite 12-16 years of schooling, many of the above areas are not addressed—nor should they be addressed by schools. Much of this information and life skills should be part of a living experience based in the home and community. Knowledge accumulation is possible in almost every moment of one’s life if the environment is set up to let this happen. ICV is a conscious focus of establishing the environment and framework for building optimal lives. It is not an 8am-3 pm process with a linear outcome of data focused on one specific course. Knowledge accumulation comes through multiple methods of learning and that is what ICV’s HCDPs are trained to do. As a result, human capacity development and knowledge accumulation becomes a life-long process that is initiated at birth and is guided throughout childhood. What’s key for the work done via ICV is that HCDPs recognize and attune to the developmental levels of the different humans in their work cohort and design processes accordingly. ICV’s HCDPs will be experts at knowing what a person needs at different stages of one’s life and set up a learning environment to support this for individuals and the team as a whole.
One example might be nutrition—a key component of one’s life that impacts physical, emotional, cognitive, sexual and whole person development. HCDPs look at this area and design a lifelong series of processes to assure that by the time a child reaches adulthood, the knowledge they have about nutrition is a life-skill that is incorporated into one’s wholeness. Nutrition isn’t a separate thing to do, but a lifestyle of whole human development. So, at age 2, a child is provided healthy food that is high fiber, low sugar, local and fresh. The HCDPs are tuned into simple food preparation and beginning to help the child handle food and choose from healthy options. As the child gets a little older, she will work in a community or backyard garden and begin learning where food comes from, what different fruits and vegetables are named. By 10, this child will know the value of soil in relation to the nutrition quality of foods and how this impacts one’s thinking and creativity. By 14 she will have an understanding and appreciation how the body processes foods internally and why certain foods are more healthful based on how the body can or cannot process them effectively. Weight management/obesity prevention tied in with healthy exercise will be tied to awareness that disease prevention is a lifestyle. All of this is guided by the HCDP because that is their work—to consciously ensure this level of life-skill/human development capacity for all of the children in their work co-hort. The long range goal and outcome of course is whole human development that results in adults who are fully able to take responsibility for their lives, their health, their relationships, their families, community, work environment etc.
While this might seem like a simple example—it is obvious that the current population does not harbor this life-skill information. Obesity is rampant as well as precursors for Type II diabetes. Having worked in the health field for over 20 years, I can attest that the average person makes no correlation between the foods they eat and the health-physical, mental or emotional—they reflect. As many clients have said, “I walked into adulthood fully ignorant of the connection between the foods I eat and the quality of life I live”. As a result, the health problems created due to this are so significant that we are literally bankrupting our country to provide health care as a compensation for this ignorance. At ICV, we expect to interrupt this pattern.
At the launch of ICV, an intensive training will start with the adults who will be hired as “Human Capacity Development Professionals” (HCDPs). The benefit of this intensive training is that children learn best by watching the modeling provided by the adults. We can only teach what we know so first the newly hired professional staff will engage in establishing the framework of their own wholeness through this intensive training and then knowing this, be able to bring it to their children. This training will be a minimum of three months before the actual daily work schedule is implemented at the individual level with the children, disabled and/or elderly. However, training will be an on-going process throughout their entire time of employment.
The other reason for this intensive training is that it sets the foundation for the HCDP team to work together in the designing of their work flow, outcome goals etc., with the children, disabled and elderly. They will need to have a solid understanding of the wholeness model that is at the core of their work and with it, an ever-increasing knowledge and skill set of how to implement this on a daily, weekly and monthly level. While the Senior managers will be part of this work flow design, ideally most all of what is happening on a daily level is determined by the team as a whole and the team as subsets as needed to work with the children, elderly or disabled. HCDPs are responsible for this design, work flow and it is a significant portion of the work they will be doing.
How will we pay for it?
Once it is agreed that establishing “Local Community Capacity” as an employment sector of an Integrative Economy is a necessity for future success, then funding it can become a priority to which we direct our attention. It is truly a matter of re-apportioning how we measure and monetize the economy that enables us to fund it. This new model addresses so many of the crisis’ that we’re challenged with today: economic recession, unemployment, environmental and social challenges, health care, community development, transportation, global warming and the retiring boomer generation to name a few. Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) reinvests in people while creating jobs and bolstering the resiliency of community. Why wouldn’t we want to fund it?
So, it’s not that there isn’t enough money to fund this. There’s plenty of money circulating but because of the way we measure the economy, it has no way to get to the Local Community Capacity employment sector. But that limitation does not have to stop us at this point. Investing in ICV as a pilot project allows us to initiate the first stages of this new employment sector. At the same time, we can begin to work with the many different systems that will need to be included in this transformative process of creating new economic measurement systems.
To get started, a public/private cooperative investment is possible because both the market and the government sectors benefit by seeing that funding enables the Local Community Capacity sector. Here are several ways funding streams can be created to get the Local Community Capacity sector up and running. This is no different than what happened in the early days of the Industrial/consumer economy when public/private partnerships were created to fund new transportation systems like the railroads or the national highway system.
• Public/Private foundations. Just as they do today, Public and Private foundations can supply funding to the non-profit corporations that will be the backbone of the Local Human Capacity sector.
• Large corporations. Making direct major contributions to this new, employment sector would provide a tax credit while knowing that this investment could have direct benefits in their own local community. For example, in the current realities, businesses often find their employees having to deal with young children and/or aging parents/end of life issues which takes them away from work—but within the Local Human Capacity area hiring professionals that work at the local level dealing with aging parents, the employee remains on the job yet the care is provided. Some of these professionals may as well be married/partnered with actual employees of the large corporation.
o Imagine Google, Microsoft or Insitu each providing a $2 million investment in ICV. For this, 10 of every 30 person HCDP team would be hired from the spouse/partner of one of their employees while the other 20 would come from the community at large.
o The corporation gets a tax credit, greater loyalty by employees who see the company investing directly in their community and employees with better productivity since they no longer need to take time from work to care for children/elderly since this is covered by the HCDP partner of this employee.
• Small business cooperatives. The companies can pool their resources to fund the Local ICV type business. In many ways, these funds will circulate through the local community directly and indirectly back into their own businesses as the employees of the Local Human Capacity non-profit businesses purchase products and services.
• Government. State and/or local funding would continue. Currently the State funds many ‘social service’ non-profits and in some ways, the Local Human Capacity Development is another option for using State funds to support the state in a proactive manner. However, it should be considered that funding the Local Community Capacity (LCC) employment sector could result in less and less need for many of the social services which are often directed at fixing human/social issues at the crisis stage.
o If it can be shown that ICV can reduce the need of many of the social services provided by the State, the resulting decrease in taxes to fund these systems will return to the private sector and thus be available for private investment into the Local Community Capacity (LCC) employment sector of which ICV represents an example under the LHCD focus.
As you can see, three of these four funding solutions come from the private sector. This is the ideal situation because ultimately it is an Integrative economy working at its best—integrating the social, natural and business systems together to build the most dynamic and innovative economy ever created.
The decision to fund Integrative Community Ventures (ICV) as a pilot project is not a simple one but it holds an important opportunity to confront the changing economic systems, provide new employment resulting in a stronger economy, resilient communities, and our children being provided the care necessary to establish them as successful adults. It is time for this change.