Past Grassroots Research Projects

Local Food Action Initiative Economic Opportunities Analysis

Compiled data on economic opportunities related to the City of Seattle’s Local Food Action Initiative in 2010. 

Small Farm Distribution Practices

Can cooperative distribution reduce the cost and carbon footprint of bringing sustainable farming’s small-lot diversity to market? Research with Growing Washington, a local farmers’ cooperative, and WSU Extension.  Download the report, Small Farm Distribution Practices in Washington State.

Research arm of the B-Sustainable Information Network.   Read a case study on B-Sustainable by clicking the button to the right.  Abstract follows.

In the early 1990s, community indicators gained currency as a principal means of turning visions of sustainability into action. In the intervening years, indicator projects have been launched by communities the world over to guide and measure progress towards sustainability, but their effectiveness in serving this purpose has also been questioned. These critiques have focused attention on how information is organized within indicator systems in addition to the content and quality of the information itself. This case study draws on the work of Sustainable Seattle, an early pioneer in developing community indicators through participatory processes, to create a next-generation sustainability indicators system, the B-Sustainable Information Commons. The study aims to make the framework’s design explicit according to its purposes by reflexively analyzing the design in relation to the theory and practice of framework development. The framework’s most ambitious goal is to stimulate “information flows” that will lead to collective understandings of emerging sustainability patterns.

Local Food Economy Study for Sustainable Seattle

This research explains why we should care about our spending choices when it comes to food and sustainability.  It finds that locally directed spending supports a web of relationships, rooted in place, which makes for healthier and more prosperous communities.  Download the report, Why Local Linkages Matter: Findings from the Local Food Economy Study, by tapping the button .

Putting the Vision of Sustainable Community Economies into Practice

Past Community Learning Projects

Stone Soup Workshops

EcoPraxis collaborated with BALLE-Seattle, Sustainable Cascadia and Eat Local Now! to develop a new model of launching community projects, we call “Stone Soup Projects”.  The model borrows from open source projects used in software development  and from design charettes in urban planning.  The first Stone Soup design event took place in November 2009 with a focus on Urban Farming in Seattle.  To view a video summary of the process, click this link:  Stone Soup Project on Urban Agriculture.

Network Weaving Training Program

There is growing awareness that social change happens in networks. Networks are webs of relationships and the patterns they create. A network’s pattern influences the quality of communication and the likelihood of collaboration and innovation.  Working in networks is the most powerful way to tackle challenges that are too big for any one organization.

B-Sustainable Indicator Mapping Workshops

These cross-perspective dialogues are a core process in development of the B-Sustainable Information Commons.  Workshop participants select indicators that describe progress towards a sustainability goal.   Participants are chosen to provide multiple perspectives on an issue.

Economics as if Community Matters Workshops

Sustainable Community Development Practice Circles

Sustainable Business Practice Circles