Generative design and local living economies

with Stuart Cowan and Marjorie Kelly at BGI

Last week, Casey and I returned to our Alma Mater, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, to talk about Community Sourced Capital with about 20 MBA Students studying Local Living Economies in a class taught by sustainable finance expert Stuart Cowan.

The class was brilliant. Student projects ranged from working with local energy providers in Alaska to creating housing for social entrepreneurs. Students at BGI are working on all the right subjects to solve food, energy and finance issues using local solutions. At the same time, a few students are also working in large corporations to help bring local initiatives to the communities in which the corporations operate. We were so proud to see the next generation of local business students coming out of our MBA program.

As an extra special treat that day, the local living economies class was also hosting a special guest, Marjorie Kelly of the Tellus Institute. She’s just written a book that the class is reading called Owning Our Future, which explores how community ownership is supporting new, living economies. She and the students held some meaty discussions, and she also gave us some great positive feedback on Community Sourced Capital.


Marjorie talked about generative design, a concept we resonate with and want to keep discussing through this blog. We were particularly interested in a question she posed about finance:

How do you make capital a friend, not a master?

Generative design uses financing from stakeholders, not anonymous shareholders. Marjorie, and many other experts, believe that sustainable finance is about using money to lift up businesses with friendly capital instead of capital that limits businesses from pursuing their vision.

At Community Sourced Capital, we’re continuing to design generative capital that naturally incentivizes Squareholders to support the companies they lend to because our revenue-based loans accelerate payback when revenue grows. Lenders can take their quarterly payments as they receive them, or they can recycle the capital by lending to another small business they know.

We’re doing our best to perfect the future of generative capital, and with the help of sustainable finance experts like Stuart, Marjorie, and the students at BGI, our vision will just keep growing.

Rachel Maxwell

Author: Rachel Maxwell

Rachel is co-founder and CEO of Community Sourced Capital. She loves connecting community and finance in new ways.