By Christine Tristani
Christopher King, also known as King, President of the Conscious Capitalism DC chapter, began the second Conscious Monday event with a brief discussion about stakeholder orientation, integration, feedback, and the importance of a higher purpose. In order to gain a well-rounded understanding of everyone in the room, the event guests were asked to introduce themselves, not by occupation but by disclosing their higher purpose. King described what Higher Purpose means by quoting Patanjali, the father of modern yoga and author of yoga sutras:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Project Rebuild Baltimore City is a real estate development project that aims to create affordable housing in Baltimore. There are over 16,000 homes in Baltimore that they have targeted. King outlined three essential components that need to exist achieve stakeholder integration and make affordable housing a reality:
The three panelists for the evening were then introduced. These men have come together with Christopher King to collaborate, organize, and execute Project Rebuild Baltimore City.
Rich Rudy, Director of Real Estate Development for the Project, founder of the Pinnacle Real Estate Company and of Manor Ventures, discussed his efforts to facilitate home ownership and its correlation to building wealth.
James Stewart, Director of Banking for the Project, Vice President and Residential Mortgage Loan Officer for BlueRidge Bank, spoke of buying and renovating properties in Baltimore and how we need to make it economically feasible for people of the Baltimore community to live there.
Kwesi Robotham, Director of Financial Literacy for the Project, Conscious Capitalism member and Managing Member of Liberty Roe Capital LLC with an extensive background in management consulting for a variety of government agencies, spoke of his decision to teach people how to improve their financial literacy and raise public awareness on basic home ownership knowledge.
King decided to immediately open the discussion to everyone in the room instead of moderating the panel himself. This allowed for a very interactive discussion in which everyone in the audience was an active member of the conversation.
As our panelists, members, and guests discussed, the Baltimore project is multifaceted and must be laid out and executed strategically. A new approach must be implemented where factions of the Baltimore community are brought together to work with development initiatives to understand the existing internal community relationships. This approach must include a strong training and education process for first time low-income homebuyers. It is imperative to have a continuous follow up in place to help the novice homebuyer transition from having no wealth to having wealth and a stake in the community they live in. This first time homebuyer training must be one on one, providing information on banking, credit, affordability, wealth building, and community impact.
During the open discussion, we heard from various audience members and their ideas. One member spoke of incorporating solar energy resources in the original design of the homes to reduce costs and increase the home and community value. Another member addressed the importance of home ownership and resources that will put these new homeowners on a wealth-building track.
In closing, we were reminded that the Conscious Capitalism movement is not intended to be solely intellectual. In order to incorporate the numerous strategies involved in projects like Project Rebuild Baltimore City, versatile individuals with a higher purpose must work together. Stakeholder Orientation is an approach that is not only mindful of those being affected but also includes affected communities in the discussion and execution benefits everyone involved.
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