Generative Reconstruction in a Post-COVID Era

Angela Barbash
May 6, 2020

COVID has disrupted every corner of our lives, including our future. We now have the opportunity to reconstruct that future in a way that is centered in humanity. If you've wondered where to go from here, we have some ideas.

We do not need to tell you how our world has been completely upended by the COVID pandemic. Even if your community has not been heavily affected by the disease itself, it has assuredly been affected by the economic and social fallout from quarantines and supply chain disruptions. By this point many people have come to terms with the fact that there's no going back, and they are wondering what they need to do to adapt. If that's you, then read on for inspiration.

As each town and state considers the logistics of reopening, there will be a void in our collective consciousness where once a flawed-yet-understood socioeconomic infrastructure existed, but now there is only a vast, open landscape of opportunity for a newly reconstructed infrastructure that will, hopefully, carry us all into a more equitable future for generations to come.

But first, a mental map

It is one thing to talk about this as an ideal and another thing to do this in the months and years to come. The doing part of the reconstruction work will require three key ingredients:

        1.     An unwavering centering of human and social value within the new infrastructure itself.

        2.    An agile, experimental mindset as we explore this new landscape.

        3.    A collaborative relationship with one another as we collectively reposition ourselves to build this new future.

Keep these ingredients in your mind and reference them as you plan your actions. As a nod to the cover photo we chose for this post, think of them as the tools you will need to carve the interconnected rope of your future state from the rough-hewn stone at your feet.

With this foundation laid, let us dive in to the doing part of the Reconstruction era. Please meet our friend, Michael Shuman - an attorney, economist, and long-time drumbeater of all things local economy related. He has a great book for local investors coming out in June that we collaborated with him on; more on that soon. We bring Michael up here because he wrote a great article about the coming Reconstruction era, where he laid out a list of eight criteria for community resilience in the years ahead. The article juxtaposed where we're coming from against where we need to go by critiquing the theory of comparative advantage.

We need a different way forward, what we might call the Theory of Comparative Resilience. My basic proposition is simple: Those communities that are best able to withstand future crises—whether pandemics, climate disruptions, or financial meltdowns—will be the ones that thrive economically. They will be the best places for investors to park their money. They will attract the best and the brightest people. They will be the places where residents feel secure enough to innovate. As your community begins the long road of rebuilding, here are eight criteria by which you might measure your community’s comparative resilience.

To hear more about what this criteria means to Michael, check out his original article on

Our version of a COVID resource list

This is the future that we can build, and in many cases already are building. While we at Revalue do our part by providing services for investors and institutions that serve them within the context of these frameworks, we want to help you do your part in whatever way you feel called. Based on Michael Shuman's synthesis, we've curated a list of actionable resources and mutual aid networks that may be helpful as you explore what the Reconstruction era will mean to you, your organizations, and your community.

If you are thinking about your next move in life, find a compelling next step from the collection below and feel confident you are moving humanity in the right direction. Redefine your world, for good. And when you are ready to redefine your wealth, for good, we are here for you.
#postcovid #humancapital #localresilience


Local Ownership

Local Investment

  • Search for local investment offerings anywhere in the U.S. - Investibule
  • Education and resource links for local investors - Grubstake (Revalue’s local investor education site!)
  • Community for people investing locally through self-directed 401ks and IRAs - The Next Egg
  • Community Investment Fund Handbook - NC3

Economic Diversity

  • List of Local Farms + Markets with Online Sales (Washtenaw County) - Taste the Local Difference
  • Tools for entrepreneurs, accelerators, and educators for raising impact investment capital - CASE
  • National Community Solar Programs Tracker - ILSR
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Programs and Policies for State and Local Government - ILSR



 Social Equity

  • Legal information, best practices, and tools for time banks, local currencies, and barter exchanges - SELC
  • Community land trust toolkit - Shumacher Center
  • Honest conversations about identifying and dismantling bias - SOCAP
  • 7 ways to offer flex work at your business - Ellevate
  • Find a black-owned bank or credit union - Blackout Coalition
  • Toolkits to help health systems to advance an Anchor Mission approach within their institutions - Democracy Collaborative 


  • Free translation services - Google
  • Community broadband toolkit - ILSR
  • Pod mapping for mutual aid tool
  • Platform for community mutual aid (Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor’s site) - Givitas
  • Resources for the creation and growth of intentional communities - Foundation for Intentional Community 

Social Performance of Business

  • B Corp Certification - B Labs
  • Quick Impact Assessment for Michigan businesses - Good for Michigan/B Labs
  • Benchmarking tool that assesses diversity, equity, and inclusion - The Equity Audit by Beloved Community
  • Case studies and data in impact investing - ImpactAlpha

Note to readers

There are a million great ideas and tools in the world; we hope you enjoyed the eclectic mix that we ultimately chose for this page. Do you know of a resource that would fit perfectly here? Share it with us so we can consider adding it to our favorites. Some of these resources will be tailored to our backyard (Ypsilanti, Michigan), however many are applicable no matter where you are. This information is for educational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to invest or an investment recommendation.

If you would like to know more about the value we add to people's lives and whether it's what you want and need, let's chat.

Angela Barbash



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