Local Visionary Talks about Algorithms, Currency, and what makes him TICK. TICK. TICK.
by Logan Lynn
Pacific Northwest native Michkael Baker is a self-described visionary. With a history in the old school Portland music scene, a nutritional education center up and running, a global media company under construction, and a new economic paradigm of his own creation on the horizon, he seems braced to take flight.
Born in Seattle, Baker grew up in Vancouver, Washington and has lived in the area ever since. He is a longtime singer and performer. In the 80’s and 90’s he performed with Body & Soul, Linda Hornbuckle, Nu Shoes, Dan Reed, and other local musicians who were well-known at the time and were influential in creating the now thriving Portland music scene.
By the late 90’s Michkael had become disillusioned with the music industry and decided to exit the rat race, shifting his focus toward internet-based business concepts instead. After yet another major life change in 2007 (which he refers to as “the integration”), his company Blue Voice Enterprises was born. The endeavor he’s currently best known for is The Open Kitchen, a community center which brings young entrepreneurs, chefs, and farmers together in an effort to break the barriers between food production, preparation, and consumption.
Blue Voice Enterprises is currently shifting focus to two new endeavors, the Creative Action Center Of Online Open source Networks (CACOON) and Showcase Networks, an online television network. CACOON is a social media network created to bring together social entrepreneurs, innovators, and creative types to solve social problems and issues by connecting them to resources, finances, ideas, and products.
Even in a recession, Michkael believes the algorithm he has invented will hold up and draw investors to the project.
“The system I’ve created, Use Value-Based Economics, has a built-in alternative currency called Community Credits. It’s a platform to build a new economic system and shows you that money is not the only exchangeable currency. It places value on people instead.”
Michkael says he is “about to start engaging the local community and sharing my vision. It’s difficult for people to find a job here. I think Portland is primed for big change. If it can just change focus, we can become one of the most influential cities in the world.”
“Creativity abounds here, but people tend to be really cliquey. This needs to be opened up. When you have a clique, the energy flow gets cut off.”
Baker wants to bring together the Occupy Movement, the black community, the LGBT community, the spiritualists, and the entrepreneurs to help them find common ground.
“I truly desire people to remember who they are; that they are amazing, magnificent beings of light that can do anything when they know who they are. Now more than ever we all need to love each other.”
This article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Just Out.
About Logan Lynn
Logan Lynn is a Portland-based musician, activist, writer, producer, and regular contributor to the Huffington Post.