Watershed Regenerative Ventures (WRV)
One-line solution summary:
WRV is improving the quality of life for people living in the Klamath/Trinity River Basins through impact investing and capacity building
Pitch your solution.
Watershed Regenerative Ventures (WRV) is a dynamic Native owned social enterprise incorporated under the Yurok Tribe. 1)The main problem we are committed to solving is the lack of access to capital for Indigenous entrepreneurs, worker-owned businesses, Tribes, and regional civic groups. 2)The solution we are working on is to provide Indigenous-led capacity building for people living in the Klamath-Trinity Basin. 3) Through entrepreneurship capacity building in technology and the digital sectors for example, with emphasis on our grandmas, moms, aunties, and sisters; our local, regional, and global communities can build local market resilience. Because of our proximity to Bay Area and So California markets; we can be a case study for regenerative practices in the private, public, civic, and digital sectors.
What specific problem are you solving?
Lack of capital is the problem we have listed however, this problem is multi-layered and come from different places. Indigenous communities here in the US are engineered to be dependent on the government without much decision-making in regional infrastructure. However with climate change many local municipalities, counties, and states are now turning to Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. As Indigenous Peoples share more about their life experiences and research, their unique intellectual property needs to be protected as well. Building capacity in ways for Indigenous Peoples to continue living in their traditional homelands while still balancing their quality of life. I plan to start with my Tribe (Yurok) that has about 6200 citizens locally, regionally, and globally.
What is your solution?
In short our solution is unique pathway for Indigenous-led self-determined jobs and the larger Indigenous Land Reclamation movement. Gathering relevant educational and technical resources for locals to pay bills, housing and wellness. Educating local artists about new things in modern society like NFTs and DAOs has also helped shape our solution. Although these are new to some, Indigenous Peoples have successfully used them for thousands of years. Our solution is aimed at using these new technologies in alignment with our Traditional Ecological Knowledge to help our changing life systems (i.e. Ocean Acidification/Deoxygenition, Wildfires, Intense Drought, Suicide). Furthermore we feel this solution will show how technologies can connect us more with Nature than ever before.
Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit?
Im a Yurok Tribal Citizen and look for this solution to help the Tribe first which has a population of about 6,200. This project will be working with the adjacent Hupa, Karuk and Klamath Tribes that are on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The adjacent counties are Humboldt with approximately 160,000 population, Del Norte County with 28,000 approximately.
Which dimension of the Fellowship does your solution most closely address?Increase access to jobs, financial capital, and skill development opportunities
Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.
- Problem: Lack of Access to capital for Indigenous-led infrastructure projects and the capacity building to operate
- Solution: Use appropriate technology with Traditional Ecological Knowledge for people to align their job with their passions
- Target pop: Yurok Tribal Citizens
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Weitchpec, CA, USA
What is your solution’s stage of development?Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model.
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.
We are doing this work already but would be accelerated with this fellowship.
Who is the Team Lead for your solution?
Isaac Kinney CEO, Watershed Regenerative Ventures
Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your primary delegate.
Is your primary delegate a member of the community in which your project is based?Yes
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
Describe what makes your solution innovative?
I feel the world of big tech and finance need more Indigenous women voices. This is innovative because of the ongoing epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
People Power and Indigneous Technologies.
Provide evidence that this technology works. Please cite your sources.
Climate adaptation strategies around the world and the United Nations
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
Does this technology introduce any risks? How are you addressing or mitigating these risks in your solution?
The biggest risks will be prevented through outreach and education. We want to help people protect themselves and their data.
What is your theory of change?
By building locally we can work to building regionally and from there we can build globally.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which state(s) do you currently operate?
In which state(s) will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
We are currently serving 20people in different capacities.
What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and -- importantly -- how will you achieve them?
- Next year we look to support 50 people towards social entrepreneurship.
- 5 years: 200 people is our goal
- *If we are awarded this timeline will move much faster
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
If people are obtaining funding, approval of incorporation, if they have a business plan in place yet. Another metric is where they are looking to start their business.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
The main one is financial barriers with needing about $300,000 to kick start our priority infrastructure projects.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
Developing the needed fundraising documents will get me there.
What type of organization is your solution team?
For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
How many people work on your solution team?
1 person at this moment full time but look to hire as funding comes in.
How long have you been working on your solution?
less than 1 year
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
My work experience and living alot of the work included in this solution
What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?
My experience working for my Tribe, we expanded the Transportain program form two people to 13 full-time staff.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
Why are you applying to Solve?
I am applying to meet other people in MIT Solve that can help with our work here in the West Coast.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
I need help fine tuning and finding new ways to articulate my work.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
Fab Labs Foundation
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.
Yes, I wish to apply for this prize
Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize to advance your solution?
The digital sector is apart of all things now since COVID-19 specifically equitable healthcare.
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ASA Prize for Equitable Education? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.
Yes, I wish to apply for this prize
Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The ASA Prize for Equitable Education to advance your solution?
Please I am working on a mobile production company for people to find their passion in the creative practice.
project is the renovation of a 1987 Recreational Vehicle (RV) to a
mobile production company focused on amplifying Indigenous-led
regeneration projects and campaigns. For those not familiar, "STREAM"
stands for "Sciences, Technologies, Research, Engineering, Arts, and
Mathematics" and will remain central to this project's development and
implementation. Starting with podcasts, we plan to expand to establish
one to three radio stations, television stations and motion pictures.
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.
No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI For Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.
Yes, I wish to apply for this prize
Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations have been successfully implemented by Indigenous Peoples around the world for thousands of years. I would love to make this into a video game.