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Francis Koster: Rescuing Your Local Economy

Success stories for sustainable communities
Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 11:12 AM

"Locally there are lots of nice, tidy, quarter-of-a-million-dollar investments sitting there that the large companies will not do because their overhead is too high. So one of my themes is look in your own backyard -- focus on fiscally-conservative, sound investments and focus on local employment. You will be surprised at the opportunity that just leaps out at you."

So says Francis Koster, author of the new books Rescuing Your Local Economy and Rescuing School Kids who specializes in identifying community investment opportunities that offer attractive returns for the capital provider as well as long-term benefits for the local residents.

In this podcast, Francis highlights a number of the case studies he's collected at his website, The Optimistic Futurist, where motivated individuals have improved their local schools, roads, food, water supply, etc. while earning double-digit returns. These models can be adopted in nearly any community, which is the purpose behind Francis' work. » Read more


Peak Prosperity

What Should I Do? - Crash Course Chapter 26

Take prudent steps NOW, while there's still time
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 11:43 AM

If there’s one message to take away from this newly-updated Crash Course video series, it’s this:  It’s time for you to become more resilient and more engaged. Things are changing quickly and nobody knows how much time we have before the next economic, ecological or energy related crisis erupts.  Nobody knows when, but we do have a pretty good idea of what is coming.

And it is within your control to enter the coming future with a higher degree of security, prosperity and fulfillment than you enjoy now. » Read more


Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing

Bruce Seifer: Creating A Durable Local Economy

Lessons from the Burlington, VT model
Sunday, April 20, 2014, 7:35 PM

In a recent podcast with Michael Shuman discussing local economies, Shuman praised the progress made in Burlington, Vermont over the past 25 years -- largely led by a local activist named Bruce Seifer who co-authored the book Sustainable Communities: Creating a Durable Local Economy. This caught the attention of a number of PeakProsperity.com readers and, at their request, we invited Bruce to speak specifically about the urban revitalization he has helped bring about in Burlington, and what other communities can learn from that model. » Read more



Michael Shuman: The Benefits of Deploying Investment Capital Locally Vs Wall Street

Better returns, stronger communities
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 6:01 AM

The Federal Reserve and other central planners have worked overtime to lead the world back to "recovery" from the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. Using one of their main signaling indicators, they've succeeded: stock market indices are hovering near all-time highs.

But, as has been often discussed here, are we really better off for it?

Recent survey data from Bloomberg show that 4 out of 5 Americans don't feel any more financially secure as a result of the stock market rescue. 62% believe the country is headed in the wrong direction: » Read more


Francis Koster

Francis Koster

Francis Koster received his doctorate from the Program for the Study of the Future at the University of Massachusetts in 1982, where he studied the public policy implications of likely national and global futures and their impact on the United States. He focuses his attention on issues concerning the basic life support systems of air, water, food, energy, environment, and the public health consequences of how society meets its needs in these areas.  Following service in the National Guard and the Peace Corps, Koster began his career as a higher-education reformer in the ‘60s and ‘70s. His focus shifted to energy policy during the oil embargoes of the ‘70s, during which time he set up and ran the University of Massachusetts’ Toward Tomorrow fair; the university’s Alternative Energy Program; the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Renewable Energy program; and consulted with many of the nation’s major utilities on energy conservation and renewable energy programs. In this same era, working with the U.S. Department of Energy, he developed and ran the first assessment of how counties can attain energy self-sufficiency.  President Ronald Reagan cited this Franklin County study as a national model. Recruited to a rapidly expanding health-care organization in the 1990s, Koster established himself as a pioneer in the application of information technologies in health care. His efforts demonstratively improved health care through ubiquitous deployment of electronic medical records, thereby making patient information available over the internet; and “telehealth,” among many other initiatives. In 2008 he retired from the position of Vice President for Innovation for The Nemours Foundation—one of the largest children’s health systems in the United States, which now has more than 450 full-time physicians, two regional children’s hospitals, and more than 20 pediatric clinics.  Since 2008, Koster has provided services to the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute, the Duke University Graduate School of Nursing, the Duke University Center for Health Informatics, the Catawba College Center for the Environment, and other clients. Dr. Koster is married to Dr. Carol Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in North Carolina.  Like other parents and grandparents their age, they worry over, and cheer for, four adult children and three grandchildren.

Daily Prep

Local Harvest Website

Find local food and farmers in your area
Saturday, July 7, 2012, 1:00 PM

Farmers Market season is in full swing and there is lots of great food out there find and eat.  LocalHarvest.org is a great directory and resource for finds local area farmers, farmers markets and food producers in your area.  Find and support the people who grow great food.  They even have an App!


Featured Discussion

Have you joined/created a Group in your local area yet?

Have you joined/created a Group in your local area yet?

Celebrate the 4th by uniting with like-minded people to build resilience in your community

Daily Prep


Foraging for Food in Your Neighborhood

Find food locally and get to know your neighbors
Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 1:29 PM

As you travel your neighborhood on walks or the daily commute, try to take notice of your environment and take stock of the various edible and medicinal plants growing in your area.  You will be amazed at what is available and growing.  Many can be harvested for free or shared with the neighbor who is growing them.  It is a great way to meet new people who are building resiliency. 

Learn about some of the rules of the road and find some other resources here:  http://www.urbansustainableliving.com/foraging-for-food-in-your-neighbor... » Read more