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Will Raap: A practical futurist and quiet revolutionary

WILL RAAP

We would like to honor someone who profoundly influenced the landscape of the local food movement in Vermont. On December 12, 2022, Will Raap, founder of Gardener’s Supply, the Intervale Center and Earthkeep Common, among many other regenerative initiatives, transitioned beyond this material world.

Will was initially inspired by his readings of and meetings with Fritz Schumacher, founder of The Schumacher Center. Will described Fritz as “a practical futurist and quiet revolutionary,” and the same could be said about Will himself. He was one of the first leaders to focus on triple bottom lines, social enterprises and alternative models of ownership. He envisioned a different future, and he leapt into action to make it happen.

It is eerie, and prophetic, that in this 2006 Schumacher Center lecture, Will requested that on his gravestone, he’d like to have carved, “He tested and proved common-sense ideas for a more sustainable world that works.”

Indeed, Will Raap, your ideas have led us on a path towards sustainability where “the commons” and collaborations are valued — ideas that had been dismissed and forgotten in our dominant culture for the last 500 years.

We hope that ACORN’s work, including the ACORN Food Hub, can be our community’s embodiment of Will’s 5 point strategy: envisioning our desired long-term future and choosing a smart course forward; discovering our personal passion and a way to express it; defining and planning for a good market niche; creating collaborative relationships internally and externally; and taking advantage of the new economic understanding that we live in a finite world where nature has inherent value that we must ultimately internalize into our economic world.

Sending peace and well-being to all who knew and loved Will.

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