Ecosystem building and community building is hard. Entrepreneurship ecosystem builders work for social change and impact — working to help their communities thrive. They amplify the work of local makers, doers and innovators by championing their efforts and rallying support around them. They build a culture of trust and collaboration among stakeholders, so that the doers and innovators have equal access to information, talent and resources when they need them. But it’s exhausting and mostly unappreciated work with few resources to help ecosystem builders learn, grow, cope, and thrive.
For years now, and with far too little fanfare, Anika Horn has been consistently creating and publishing resources and content for entrepreneurship ecosystem builders to help them learn new skills and better handle the stresses of ecosystem building life. She did this initially through her Social Venturers website with blog post articles, fireside chats, and masterclasses.
In 2022, Anika launched the Ecosystems for Change podcast. In the podcast, Anika explores how ecosystem building can help unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. She talks with her guests about the tactics and practical skills they use in their everyday work and what they do to prevent burning the candle at both ends.
Over the course of several seasons, Anika has explored numerous themes and interviewed dozens of ecosystem builders who share their insights and experience. For ecosystem builders looking to up their game, Anika’s podcast is a must-listen.
Ecosystems for Change Podcast Seasons and Themes
Season 1: What is ecosystem building?
In Season 1, Anika welcomes ecosystem builders from around the world. Her ecosystem building guests share how they support change makers in their community by using a systems approach. Check out to Season 1.
- Episode 1: My Journey From Social Enterprise Enthusiast to Ecosystem Builder
- Episode 2: How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem with Debbie Irwin
- Episode 3: How to Build Trust Within an Ecosystem with Charlton Cunningham
- Episode 4: How to build an island-wide ecosystem with Denisse Rodríguez
- Episode 5: How to Manage Copycats and Grow Ecosystems Together with Darlisa Diltz
- Episode 6: How to Approach Economic Development Through an Ecosystem Mindset with Christina Oldfather
- Episode 7: How to Build a Full-Service Ecosystem Support Organization with Michelle Arévalo-Carpenter
- Episode 8: Season 01 Review: Co-writing the Playbook on Ecosystem Building
Season 2: The slow and complex nature of systems change
In Season 2, Anika explores complex adaptive system and talks to systems thinking ecosystem builders to better understand how to navigate and affect change in complex, adaptive systems. Check out to Season 2.
- Episode 1: The Slow and Complex Nature of Systems Change
- Episode 2: Humanity-Focused Systems Design with Madelynn Martiniere
- Episode 3: The Slow Dance of Change: Emergence and Systems Thinking with Lauren Higgins
- Episode 4: Servant Leadership, Co-writing New Narratives and Burnout in Ecosystem Building with Jeff Bennett
- Episode 5: Thriving In a World of Ambiguity, Uncertainty, and Constant Change with April Rinne
- Episode 6: Sitting in the Fire: Giving Birth to New Systems with Lana Kristine Jelenjev
- Episode 7: Good trouble: Stakeholder Capitalism & Global Cooperativism with Kate “Sassy” Sassoon
- Episode 8: Building The Future With An Indigenous Worldview with Vanessa Roanhorse
- Episode 9: Season 02 Review: Models of Leadership in Systems Change
Season 3: Burn both ends
Ecosystem building is challenging on many levels and the challenges of life and years of toiling as an ecosystem builder take their toll. Burn out is a serious problem for ecosystem builders. In Season 3 Anika talks to practitioners about burnout and their coping mechanisms. Check out to Season 3.
- Episode 1: Burn Both Ends: The Mental, Physical, and Emotional Toll of Ecosystem Building
- Episode 2: Creativity, Reputation and Boundaries in the Social Impact Space with Isaac Jeffries
- Episode 3: Redefining Fitness: The Ebb and Flow of Self-Acceptance and Mental Health with Alex Boross-Harmer
- Episode 4: Honoring Life’s Ups and Downs with Candace Dalmagne-Rouge
- Episode 5: The Value of Therapy and Building Your Own Support Network with David Hirsch
- Episode 6: Slow Your Roll: Creating a Healthy Lifestyle with Shelly Rose
- Episode 7: Season 03 Review: Constant Work in Progress
Season 4: Social Capital
Building trust and relationships is critical to successful ecosystem building. But how do ecosystem builders actually go about building their social capital and managing conflict? In Season 4, Anika welcomes guest to explore building a culture of trust and collaboration. Check out to Season 4.
- Episode 1: Social Capital: Building a Culture of Trust and Collaboration
- Episode 2: Equitable Ecosystem Building: Speaking Your Truth with Fay Horwitt
- Episode 3: The Power of Positive Social Capital with Jess Edwards
- Episode 4: Dissent, Trust and Conflict with Cecilia Wessinger
- Episode 5: Communities of Practice: Taking the Time to Build Trust with Margo Fliss
- Episode 6: Investing in the Lives of Founders with Todd Nuckols
- Episode 7: The Know-How via Know-Who of Social Capital with Julie Heath
- Episode 8: Succession Planning: Transferring Social Capital To The Next Generation with Rick Turoczy
- Episode 9: Season 04 Review: Conflict, Trust, and Social Capital
- Ecosystems For Change: Logbook #5
- Federal Funding for Ecosystem Builders with Melissa Roberts Chapman
Season 5: The Quitters
In season 5 of Ecosystems for Change, Anika explores quitting, talking guests about their experience with quitting. Check out to Season 5.
- Episode 1: The Quitters: Quitting the Infinite Game of Ecosystem Building
- Episode 2: Recognizing Your Strengths and When It’s Time to Sail On with Joe Maruschak
- Episode 3: Self-Trust and Curating Impactful Community with Julia Firestone
- Episode 4: Grief, Quitting, and Listening to the Your Heart with Annie Wood
- Episode 5: Start. Hand over. Repeat. The cycles of ecosystem building with Larkin Garbee
- Episode 6: The Art of Quitting: Gracefully Navigating the Responsibility of Change with Lucas Lindsey
- Episode 7: Unlearning Systems, Sharing Power, and Stepping back from Your Startup with Naomi Ryland
- Episode 8: What We Learned: Knowing When and How to Move On as an Ecosystem Builder
Summer Skill Sessions
Between podcast seasons, Anika shares short episodes that introduce ecosystem builders to very practical skills for ecosystem builders — skills like storytelling, ecosystem mapping, outreach, and productivity. Check out the Summer Skill Sessions.