The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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“America Can Be Too Proud”

In keeping with today’s theme, here’s an article by Carole Motsinger about the Asheville based non-profit Global International that is focused on investing in long-term customized solutions created by local communities. Christopher Sacco, the co-founder and director of Groundswell International, who lived in Ecuador for eight years notes,  “One thing that I realize after this latest financial crisis is that we have a lot to learn from developing countries.”

I’m proud to be an American. That said, America can be too proud.
Our country has a tendency to not look outside the borders for wisdom and solutions — sometimes I feel the only time we do look at developing countries is to look down on them.
Christopher Sacco, the co-founder and director of Groundswell International, an Asheville-based global nonprofit focused on strengthening community organizations and training leaders, knows firsthand how much the United States can learn from other parts of the world. And he’s inviting Asheville to access this global classroom, so to speak, through free, facilitated discussion at UNC Asheville on solutions to major issues impacting the global food and agriculture system.
“The majority of our Groundswell partners are international organizations and people,” he said, noting he lived in Ecuador for about eight years. “One thing that I realize after this latest financial crisis is that we have a lot to learn from developing countries.” Continue reading


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At Burke, empowering women, one baby blanket at a time

An artisan market at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will showcase the handicraft of women from around the world who work with artisan cooperatives to empower their communities. Five of the cooperatives have Pacific Northwest ties.

By Hannah Leone

Seattle Times staff reporter

A member of the OckPopTok cooperative of Lao PDR embroidering.

A member of the OckPopTok cooperative of Lao PDR embroidering.

Event preview

‘Empowering Women’ Artisan Market

Demonstrations by artisans from Rwanda, Morocco, Laos, Nepal, India and Bolivia, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle (206-543-5590 or www.burkemuseum.org). In conjunction with the “Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities” exhibition, running through Oct. 27.

Katlin Jackson was volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti when she realized how many children were there not because they don’t have parents but because their parents could not afford to keep them.

When Kari Davidson met Jackson at a weekend-long enterprise event in Seattle last winter, the two instantly connected. Jackson’s passion for Haiti and Davidson’s desire to use her design major to improve society blended together to form Haiti Babi, an artisan cooperative with a mission: to give moms jobs so they can keep their children.

The two women decided on a handmade product that someone with relatively low vocation levels could learn to make and that there is a market for in the U.S.

“We came up with the concept of baby blankets because we liked the idea of a mom making a product she could understand,” Davidson said. Continue reading