Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

This content was posted on  3 May 24  by   Joe Brewer  on  Medium
Bioregional Weaving in Cali, Colombia

I want to share something special that is happening in Colombia right now. Penny Heiple and I have been in Cali this week to help cultivate deeper partnerships across the diverse territories of the Northern Andes.

We came to meet with the director of TerritoriA (the support organization for territorial foundations in Colombia) and key leadership at the Charles Steward Mott Foundation (a Michigan-based private foundation that supports the movement of territorial foundations around the world). This is part of our work to establish a regeneration fund for the Northern Andes.

The schedule for our visit was organized by TerritoriA to showcase several leading community organizations that work in the Valle del Cauca that surrounds the large Colombian city of Cali. We gathered on Wednesday to visit one of the most marginalized parts of the city where the local foundation Pan Vivo has been doing transformational community work for more than a decade.

This is a picture I took of their founder, Andrés, next to an amazing community-owned park that was created from abandoned land in the city. Now it is a vibrant gathering place for neighbors to visit while their children play among us.

The view from the park is incredible — as you can see below. In this group photo are excited children from the community together with our crazy gang of change makers. We could feel the vibrance and beauty of the people in Cali.

Pan Vivo is beginning to walk the path of evolving into a territorial foundation. They see the importance of creating the collective ability to sense-make, organize, and weave processes at the territorial scale. While they don’t have the word bioregion in their vocabulary, you can feel how they are living into their local “life-place” in ways that are deeply resonant.

On our second day together, representatives from several local community organizations gathered to learn about community philanthropy and territorial foundations. Each leader brought a depth of relationships and knowledge that is truly inspiring. Together they can be truly powerful and transformative.

We were blessed to have Agustin Landa Garcia-Tellez with us. He has helped establish a network of more than 20 community foundations across Mexico in the last thirty years. Now he works as a consultant to the Mott Foundation, bringing his immense knowledge to the global movement.

Our local work in Barichara is part of this — we have a territorial foundation called Barichara Regenerativa that I helped create over the last three years. It is in this dual role as a local representative in Barichara and as a global teacher of regenerative design at the bioregional scale that enables me to help weave a tapestry within Cali, across Colombia, and between North and South America.

We will share more about the regeneration fund of the Northern Andes as it continues taking form. For now, I give you a visual metaphor from a tree we passed in the center of the city this week in Cali. Note how the many trunks are woven together as a shared root system to nourish the tree as a whole. We are doing exactly this in Colombia right now with the movement of territorial foundations.

Onward, fellow humans.

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