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Is there any correlation between bees and blockchain? Alisha Forrester Scott knows there is and tells Blockleaders' Faith exactly why.

One manifestly obvious similarity between the two is that they both function in a distributed capacity. While bees play a significant role in the food supply chain via pollination, blockchains are fast becoming the microcosm for a decentralized future. Writing from her west coast home office, Alisha Forrester Scott (“Alisha Bee”) shares with me her eventful life journey so far, and how Bees and blockchain are the focus of her existence.

Growing up, for Alisha, was a highly competitive experience. Born into a religious multi-talented family, she grew up competing for literally anything and everything. “I won a placing ribbon in my first county art show at age two, was singing in a local performance group at age five, and was registered on my first ball team and playing my first musical instrument at age seven. I was placed in private piano lessons, played clarinet and percussion in school bands, acted in church plays, and took part in an array of individual and group sports each year. I could go on for 11 more years of skill-building activities, sports and musical experiences, but this level of involvement was normal for my family.” Wow, poor me has never entered a competition, not even for best sleeper.

In addition to such a rigorous competitive schedule at a young age, she is the oldest child. As the oldest child myself, the level of expectations and responsibility is near unquantifiable. It appears that Alisha had hers in triple doses. “As the oldest child of four, I was expected to be mature and progressing at school and church. My dad was the equivalent of a pastor in his church, and my mom was an impeccable pastor’s wife. On Sundays, I dressed like a perfect little angel to sit in church and church classes. I thought it was all a bit too dramatic. At age 14, I decided that church was not going to be a part of my adult life. I became stubborn about not believing everything I heard anymore, and was punished for it, but accepted it.”

Did growing up make Alisha shed her competitive streak? “As an adult, I have invested a considerable amount of energy into growing into a better quality person who lives with daily purpose and fiery passion. I continued to play competitive sports through early adulthood and now, as an experienced adult, I still enjoy musical expression, moving my body around for workouts and outdoor experiences and dance concerts. And I certainly still love talking smack whenever I’m near a basketball court or football field.” As they say, all things work together for good. “Now that I have learned to focus and control anxiety, I appreciate my early life experiences and the drive that was instilled in me from the sports and leadership experiences at home, school, and church.”

Seven, they say is the number of perfection. For Alisha, it was seven years ago when her life's direction took a paradigm shift. “Over time, seeds of acceptance that a better world was possible have been growing in my mind. I divested from big banks, big oil, and big telecom in 2011. Also in 2011, I got closer to seeing the big picture when a wise neighbor told me about the success of Mondragon Cooperative (Spain).” A year later, in 2012, she heard about how the Decentralized Dance Party was “redefining public togetherness and using crowd-organizing mobile Apps.”

Staying informed is the only way to progress in any new endeavor. Since 2012, Alisha has “been watching cryptocurrencies and blockchain info on Facebook since Bitnation launched online.” Meeting Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, founder of Bitnation, several years ago played a role in heightening her interest in the decentralized space. By 2016, her own colleagues were sharing their almost unbelievable stories about how they had turned crypto rich when they “successfully made their cryptocurrencies liquid and spendable.” This was the awakening. “All these experiences have compelled me to become more involved in all things decentralized with compassionate people who are creative, entrepreneurial, and able to network and collaborate.”

Using computers and their ability to pump energy into the world through the internet as an analogy, here is how Alisha would describe blockchain to a child. “People who buy special computers can help pump energy into the world through the internet. The computer owners are called ‘miners’. They pump energy through their computers to the internet, adding value in one of a few ways. Other people who track and monetize the amount of computer energy, will pay the computer owners for contributing their computer-generated value energy. The computer owners can be paid in whichever type of digital money they choose to be paid in. The amount of digital money they get is based on how much energy they gave to the internet. This money goes into digital wallets. Miners choose to add value to whichever digital money companies they trust the most. You can think of digital money as cryptocoins that are whizzing around all across the planet, through families of computers that will store the energy and the coins and keep them both safe until someone wants to spend them or trade them for other types of coins. The blockchain technology makes it possible for the cryptocoins to be paid to the computer owners.”

Although crypto, more specifically Bitcoin, has been in existence barely a decade now, it was only in the last few years its popularity skyrocketed. This was thanks to ICOs (Initial Coin Offering), a fundraising model peculiar to the blockchain space. It allowed projects to bypass the sluggish and expensive traditional methods and raise capital almost instantaneously. Alisha’s most recent work in the space involves writing content that “helps community and eco projects to get money they need from cryptocurrencies.” Here is how Alisha further explains what she does: “I place ideas and information about the projects in an order that makes sense to the people who read it. These people might want to give money to the project and, if they do, they will become sponsors of the programs and advertisers who will be seen on television. Then, I work with a team of other executives and board members to iron out details and make key decisions.”

She does, however, find it ridiculous that ICO projects, even after raising millions in crypto are actually broke in Fiat, underscoring the fact that crypto has some sort of dependency on Fiat. “Is it that every single pre-ICO office with executive-investors seems to suffer from money shortages, specifically $ cash shortages? Cryptos needing Fiat is such a silly or Catch-22 type of quandary. Some business operations are lucky to have executives that have made gains in cryptos. Many of these executives invest more of their cryptos than they wished to, to pay the costs of doing business. Also, it seems that most of these crypto offices will offer their future currency as payment for professional services to consultants and other vendors. In these scenarios, no one gains any actual value for much longer than they anticipated.” However, she is optimistic that this practice of crypto depending on Fiat “will change, as cryptocurrencies become far more valuable and accessible than Fiat cash.”

Unlike most people, Alisha didn't just have dreams to “leave Corporate America”, she acted towards it by saving up. You know, those dreams of taking your power back that keep you up late at night. Another motivating factor was that she wanted to “spend more time with my daughter who was young then. I was missing out on her daily life and she was always tired and waiting for me to spend time with her.” Finally freeing herself from the corporate shackles, Alisha “decided to try and start a small home services business, and soon I found that I was being treated with more respect and could make more confident decisions for myself, compared to when I was working for a bigger company. At least it seemed this way. As time marched on, I became an increasingly savvy small business owner who could consult on exciting marketing and PR projects. As I gained experience, I created opportunities to work one-on-one with small business owners and arts organizations as a creative consultant and community events organizer. Often times, I was the first or only consultant that these people or groups had ever hired. I did not want to let anyone down. (In the background, I also produced fancy parties and weddings.)”

“Since then, I have stayed independent so that I could keep my precious time free for projects I want to do.” Sometimes though, Alisha still misses Corporate America. “Working primarily as a lead on my own has been enriching and has brought new challenges. So, somewhere along the way, I decided to make a list of what it would take for me to stop consulting (“my exit strategy”) and work for or with a bigger fish. Of course on the list of what I would need, to say “f*ck yes!” to the opportunity, if and when it came around, was that I would feel like an equal and be treated with mutual respect.”

Eventually, she found the elusive Mr. Right Project, (actually two!) that has ticked all her boxes. “Beyond financial expectations, I am now pleased to share that I have signed on with two new philanthropic groups that will represent the bulk of my full-time work for the next five years plus. I am joining a group of positive, change-making people who share the same community values, who have creative talents and unique personal interests, and who enjoy watching positive changes materialize through their collaborative efforts. I appreciate these opportunities to fulfill my missions.”

What then happens to her independent life and business? “With this shift in my career for the next years, I will take a hiatus on most other outside consulting work, so that I can focus primarily on the new projects. I’m pleased to share that the projects directly relate to each other and, as a group, we all like working together. With this shift in my careers comes a folio of new work requirements, acceptance of cool new job titles and projects, attendance to maintain new board seats, and a range of thrills and hills that will come with the new work.”

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For someone with an aggressively competitive childhood from age two, the idea of collaboration could seem abstract. But not for Amazing Alisha. “My thoughts are that, after all my experiences, I am convinced that togetherness, collaboration, and community-funded technologies are keys to our need to leapfrog into a loving and bright future. Ultimately, I think that the future would be too creepy to live in if “people” like big banks and big politicians and big public relations firms were to run things. If we can make massive gains by working together on each other’s “dream projects” then I think we can prevent our grandchildren from being slaves to corporate persons, private prisons, and politician warlords. I think that decentralization is to be one of our saviors.”

Some days, perhaps those when she's bored of writing and managing projects, Alisha moonlights as “a community reporter who likes sharing information I learn about bees with people I meet, so that we can save them and the food supply chain.” If you're like me, perhaps, the only thing you remember about bees from biology class is that they produce honey and have a queen. For Alisha, it is so much more than that. Her “bees work” includes sharing facts that inspire people to get involved. “I love sharing how bees pollinate our world’s food supply. Without bees, growing a range of popular healthy foods cannot be efficiently accomplished. Bees are amazing because of the skills they have; they have survived two Ice Ages. And one fact to share with your friends: all worker honey bees are female.”

Not being selfish, Alisha does share the good news of decentralization with her family, although not many of them are into the decentralized space. She is convinced that the current state of things will change in the next couple of years. “I will guess that in the next two years most of my family members will be involved, whether or not they realize it. My boyfriend invests in cryptocurrencies and I intend for my daughter to inherit them.”

Alisha's personal motto: “Together, we will thrive,” encompasses in four words what she stands for and what she believes humanity needs to survive. She is energized to hear from others when her work has impact and cares deeply that the documents she prepares “enact strategic relationships, to allow for proper funding and quick progress for a range of humanitarian and eco-restoration projects to occur.”

Her future plans, at least for the next five years, include working with her new groups “to quickly accomplish the first phases of the projects.” Her current tasks center on: “bringing attention to the importance of cryptocurrencies by fundraising one-billion dollars value for a fund that will finance humanitarian and eco-restoration projects such as saving bees; while helping compel people worldwide to adopt cryptocurrencies into their daily lifestyles.”

In addition, and “related in scope, within five years our groups will have seen the first Global Cryptocurrency Payment Systems be installed, which means we are intending to install 50,000 crypto-enabled ATM and Point- of- Sale terminals across the U.S. By then, will have successfully began a World Basic Income program payable with spendable cryptocurrencies and asset-backed by eco-friendly financial instruments. Furthermore, our collective dream is to break ground on a Smart City that is empowered by sustainable technologies and funded by digital currencies and other assets.”

If you think she was done, above is just a prelude. Alisha's ultimate dreams for the next five years “include seeing the blockchain used to save money for organic farmers and beekeepers so they can monetize their future crops. I want to see the Natural Capital Accounting system adopted by all Indigenous Nations and organic farmers. I want to see Smart Contracts aid important farming and eco-restoration operations in my hometown and beyond. I want to offer gardens and orchards to supply all sorts of organic foods and safe products to kids and families at no out-of-pocket cost to them. Then, after five years, I cannot honestly focus past that. I will work to see these projects through to completion, some of which are decades-long projects.”

Like me, are you wondering what kept such a vibrant spirited lady busy before she got converted to decentralization? As a young divorced mother in the early 2000s, Alisha was already working as “an administrative, sales, marketing and events professional.” During that period, she learned how to guide teams and complete projects for companies in over one dozen industries.

The pollination chapter of her life began “after finding ‘Bees Work’ in 2012. I became an activist and a word-of-mouth advertiser for the terrible plight of bees and other pollinators. I found others who cared, and since then I have never had to truly work alone. Along the way, a long list of especially skilled professionals and educated activists and journalists have given me opportunities to bring what I find to the airwaves. With my new projects in the works, I will realize the actual opportunity to fulfill what I consider to be my spiritual mission in this life, which is first to save and restore bees and an innocent food supply chain.”

Drawing from her writing skills and experiences, Alisha keeps a beehive of creative activities aimed at amplifying her advocacy for pollination and bees. She has “had the opportunity to write print magazine articles about bees, reviews about books, and how to keep baby animals wild. More recently, I readied a leadership training and project coordination book for ages 12 to late-adult for print. And I have finished illustrating my first sustainable t-shirt design. But what I am proud of most perhaps, is that I was able to finish producing the first draft text for a children’s agricultural fantasy book ‘about the story of the very first bee, called Melissa’. I can’t wait to keep working on it and see where it goes.”

The artist in little Alisha never died. “Throughout my adulthood I have remained an artist. Not too long ago, I had a photographic exhibit appear in an Arizona Children’s museum. That was fun! Last year, I released my first instrumental music album called ‘Meet Me There’, which was on my bucket list. I have other pet projects that I started before my true interest in blockchain began, but these are the most personal.”

Usually, when people ask me “Faith, what is blockchain?”, their real question is “how can I make money, (fast!) from blockchain?” And like I always answer, “you have to learn, before you can earn.” Alisha gives similar advice for those looking to launch a career in the space. She says “I would invite anyone interested in blockchain technology and a career to first research and learn more about the potential of the technology to disrupt ‘big’ industries in ways that are good for the 99%. It is scary and maddening to think, but it is already happening that ‘big’ bad companies who wish to continue to take advantage of us are developing centralized blockchains. This is not promising! So, once you discover where you want to ‘fit in’ then begin reading, reading, reading! In six months' time, if you still want to get involved then perhaps take an online or local course about blockchain, and create a LinkedIn profile to connect with others who can give you leads for meet-ups, jobs and other opportunities for involvement.”

Alisha calls on those with integrity to step up and be at the forefront. “Direct involvement by those with integrity is the best way I can think of to ensure that benevolent blockchain projects can move forward. So, if you are a someone who is sophisticated and interested in blockchain technology, please conduct online research for humanitarian projects that are using the technology to improve quality of life for people in need, and start to volunteer or maybe work with them.”

Why would anyone wish to expend such a great amount of energy writing about and advocating for bees and the food supply chain? Alisha wishes “for a chance to see proof that I am helping to save bees and provide healthy food to people in need.” All she wants for her legacy is for “those I love and their families and friends and local communities to feel more loved, more secure, and more empowered because of the choices and decisions that I make.”