May 092016

I began my day at the Broadwell Hill Learning Center being greeted by Shiloh and Tala, and of course getting covered in hair as they begged for attention. Once they got their hellos, I began talking with Kathy about how she raises her worms and the concepts of verma-compost. I had never known that worms could be so picky about their environment. They hate light, need the right amount of moisture, and like certain foods.

This was also the first time I learned how Athens’ Own takes a lot of food waste from local businesses to create multiple different composting bins. I think this is a great method, and I think in the future if larger businesses could begin employing this form of off grounds composting for their food waste, this could be a great way for local farmers to build composting businesses, and to slowly heal the earth we have been filling with trash for the last century or more. It was around this time that I joined Constantine to talk while he replaced the wheel bearings on the Athens’ Own truck.

We began our discussion with the topic of how to use my Holistic Goal. Constantine talked about how creating a personal holistic goal can make it easier to align community and team members together. By seeing where each others goals are similar, you can create plans together to help one another achieve those goals. An example could be how my holistic goal includes having meaningful work; work that helps others. Because Athens’ Own has the goal to help community members and to create a better local economy, our goals are parallel and can work together to help reach those individual goals.

Con also used the term “compounded interest”, a common financial term, but he used it to describe how a person can “invest” in another person’s human capital, and in the long run this can lead to them receiving “interest” off each other, by taking in interest in one another. By taking the time to help one another, you can in turn benefit yourself.  This works in to the marketing world by showing how taking time to include people in the marketing discussion, who may be without a business major, can make a marketing team stronger. Application of this could be using biology and conservation science students to help create a marketing plan for Broadwell Hill and Kathy’s verma-compost business; using students with Journalism or Communications majors can help a marketing team plan different ways to publicize a company like Athens’ Own. I thought this was a great way to think outside the business box, by creating a team with multiple different backgrounds. This can help to stimulate compound growth by utilizing human capital.

A specific discipline Constantine took particular interest in was that of an actuarial. This discipline uses numbers and statistics to help create an idea of what the future might look like; specifically for Con, what the world will look like for my generation’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren if people continue to take our forests and environment for granted. There needs to be a push for people to realize that the health of their communities and the Earth is a necessity, , and for people to start thinking about how to get the word out to millennials especially, because we are the next people to work for the world.

In the context of the Athens’ Own, Con describes it as being “in” internship, rather than being at an internship. The difference is that Athens’ Own wants to create a work experience that is indicative of the real world and that helps those who are “in” internship cultivate new thought paths while on their malleable journey towards the Worker Readiness Certification. Con described the opportunity to use modern gaming styles as a way to get students more involved in an internship experience, and also to get them involved in the revival of Earth. This game would have levels, one could be an individual project, such as reading At Home with Holistic Management, and others could be team based, such as a project similar to Ohio University College of Business cluster. Each level would use different incentives and goals to help keep the “player” motivated, but also to help them build up interest in the community and economy around them.

My main takeaway from our discussion was the importance of teams, and how the way to make influence is to work in groups, even if they’re not your typical persons. Thinking outside the box, and trying to find ways to get millennials involved with each other and with their surrounding communities is the only way we’re going to be able to insight change. Before I left, Constantine was putting back together the wheel bearing and began to explain to me how you would typically tighten the final bolt that much, but for how the car had aged that’s what was appropriate. I took this in my own small metaphorical way of thinking of how certain teams, like the parts of the bearing, will fit together differently, and just like our discussion about making unique teams, the car needed its own unique touch to work its best. I also learned that I should never over tighten a wheel bearing if I ever need to work on one in the future.

Feb 032016

My time at Ohio University has opened my eyes to some of the privileges I’ve had in life. The most substantial being my availability to food. There has never been a time in my life where I have not been able to feed myself, and this is something I believe has blinded many of my fellow students as well. We all have heard the saying “There are starving children in China, eat your dinner.” but may of us don’t realize that there are starving families in Athens. I think that a project that could open the eyes of the student body to the region the live in, and create a call to action for local businesses to get involved could really be an amazing opportunity to help fight the poverty that surrounds this wealthy University.

I think this project would be best completed in steps.

Step 1: Student Awareness

This portion of the plan would involve bringing information to the students. Putting posters around campus that highlight some of the facts regarding Appalachian Poverty, maybe highlighting some groups that are already active in Athens that they may have only heard of by chance, or a widely unused resources on campus, using residence halls to participate in food drives and promotion. Step 1 is important because if students are unaware of the issue, they won’t act as a support system for our project.

Step 2: Local Business Participation

Small business are the backbone of Athens culture, and I think getting them involved in a community they have been apart of for years would be a great move. This could be smaller scale initiative such as making a “Pay it Forward” program where students can buy meals ahead of time for people in Athens who may not be able to afford it, or having reading materials about the poverty in the area, or donation boxes for local organizations. This can help support Step 1 by bringing community members and off campus residents who may not be in areas on campus that Step 1 would affect.

Step 3: University Involvement.

This is the most in-depth part of the initiative, which would be to somehow work out a system with Ohio University where the dining halls would decrease waste by turning them in to a soup-kitchen once a week. This plan is based off the idea that food  from the dining halls cannot be donated because of health regulations, but if they were use utilize the left over food they have at the end of the week, they could greatly benefit the community. This will be more difficult to coordinate because it involves going through the University and there will have to be compromises based on costs for the university etc.

I am excited to be able to present this idea through Athens’ Own. I hope that this could be a great chance to get Ohio University more involved in its community and make a lasting impact on the people who surround the school.