Mark Deutschmann is one of my oldest friends, I’ve written about our habit of “nightwalking” on my blog and I delved into our work together in the Nashville Calling chapter in The Clean Money Revolution. Here’s an excerpt from that chapter focusing on the challenges of gentrification (which we have yet to solve):
If you want to invest in positive change as a social entrepreneurs and clean-money investor, it’s important to recognize all dimensions of success, and to seek solutions for uncomfortable consequences. My argument is not for “pure” or “perfect” solutions, but for ever-better, wiser outcomes. When human ingenuity is pointed in good directions, with responsible behavior, many improvements happen. It takes far more than business people to shape the world, but business is powerful for its ability to create jobs and revenues and influence public policy. Business success in a clean money context implies a responsibility to get involved in public policy and make things better for everyone, often against the values of the conventional business community. These realities are part of changing any system. If you engage with them, the results can be inspiring and amazing.
And this week Mark’s book One Mile Radius: Building Community From The Core, which delves into how Mark’s work and vision helped shape Nashville into a vibrant city with a strong urban core, has been published and I was honored to write the foreword. Here’s a small sample:
Mark and I have this insatiable curiosity when it comes to Nashville, and we love experiencing each new greenway the city builds. I served on the board of the early Greenways Commission, but it was during Mark’s tenure in this organization, over twenty years later, that greenways really flourished in Nashville. We still talk for hours and hours. It’s Mark’s love for and dedication to the Nashville community that makes him so effective at everything he does. It also makes this book a colorful, creative, and very meaningful tale of how building a business the right way is good for a community, its people, and the natural world that supports it all.
His boundless passion and commitment could not have come at a better time for Nashville. He writes about a crucial era in the city’s history when the city almost lost its historic neighborhoods. Instead, with the work and vision of people like Mark, those neighborhoods have become the envy of cities across the nation. Nashville has demonstrated how thriving small businesses, jobs, prosperity, and smarter citizens model the creative economy that will fuel much of the future of urban life.
If you’re interested in approaching the world from a place of authenticity, strong values, forward vision, and true caring about people and the planet I highly recommend you take this opportunity to share Mark’s experiences via his book!