Joining The Party: the Neighborhood Economics Network


Neighborhoods across the country bear signs of the pressing waves of development-driven displacement: boarded windows, doors hanging open, furniture and household items in front yard. Despite its impact on thousands of families and lives, the displacement that accompanies gentrification often proves too complex and unyielding a force for local organizations or groups to successfully address.

Spiritual Capital author Craig Mattson bings to us a story of Neighborhood Economics – a group in Chicago who has been forging a creative, collaborative pathway into this common local issue while building a  national network of others doing the same.

Mattson’s podcast is founded on the concept of making hidden resources available in organizations and communities. He explains, “I think that seeing those resources calls for a contemplative awareness — a closely spiritual and imaginative attentiveness. If we ignore the resources available in workplaces and their adjacent neighborhoods, we’ll be doing things backwards.”

This is the wisdom behind Neighborhood Economics, an emergent, collaborative group of entrepreneurs, community organizers, social scientists, programmers, and liberal arts educators working together on the question: “How can people in the South Shore neighborhood stay in their homes?” and, “What are the systemic obstacles of that reality?”

In this podcast, Mattson speaks with some of the individuals who form the driving engine of this collaborative: Anton Seals, a filmmaker, entrepreneur, educator, founder of Grow Greater Inglewood; Kevin Jones, an entrepreneur, co-founder of the world’s largest social investment conference, SoCap; Dr. Lenore Night Johnson, Sociologist at Trinity College, who is spearheading community-based research in Chicago; and Dr. Aaron Kieker, Provost at Trinity College, which acts as one of the anchor organizations for this community-led partnership.


Going Further:

About the Lead Author

Craig Mattson
Craig Mattson
Scholar-teacher-analyst of social enterprise, professor at Trinity Christian College, podcaster for Spiritual Capital

The Latest

The Story of the Clouds and the Forests

There’s a story one often hears in conversations about systemic transformation that goes like this… We are headed in the...


More Articles Like This