Henry Rael presenting at meeting

Reversing Babel

City Alive Business, Connecting People and Places, Entrepreneurship

Reversing Babel

The Initiative’s Molino Project is working to create a shared language to accomplish the work before us

“The goal of Molino Project is to start to build more commonality within the entrepreneurial ecosystem around language and understanding the path toward strengthening the ecosystem together.”Henry Rael, Program Officer, McCune Charitable Foundation.

If you’ve ever heard the myth of the Tower of Babel you know its story of both the staggering power of unified language and the muddled chaos of language divide. In the myth, meant to explain the origin of different languages, all of humanity was once unified under one language. As one people with one language everything was within reach. Together, they were building a great tower that would touch the heavens. But God, who was offended by the whole thing, confused their speech and scattered them over the face of the earth and, needless to say, the great tower was never completed.

The Molino Project could be thought of as a reversal of the Tower of Babel in Albuquerque’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The goal is to create that common language that leaves the possibilities for growth and progress through cooperation wide open.

Henry Rael, Co-chair of the Initiative’s Leadership Table and Program Officer at the McCune Charitable Foundation, noted that while Albuquerque has a robust service sector for entrepreneurs, many services are not connected or configured in a way that accomplishes what we are truly capable of as a community. The goal of Molino Project is to understand and develop a common language to communicate where entrepreneurs are in their process and what resources, services and support they need to get to where they want to be. “This is a pretty laborious process,” Henry recognized, “but in order for [the Initiative] to be successful, the language and vision has to be ubiquitous.”

The Molino Project initiated its first two convenings over the past month to begin building that language. One convening was held with existing support providers (like WESST, Encuentro and the SVEDC), and one with a cross-section of Albuquerque entrepreneurs. As a starting point, service providers and entrepreneurs were presented with a test framework for the entrepreneurial process, which was, interestingly, developed by Siembra Leadership High School, the recently opened entrepreneurship-focused high school. The goal is to synthesize feedback to iterate a final framework that can guide the successful collaboration and configuration of service providers in support of entrepreneurs across the city.


The framework that results from the Molino process will also be deployed throughout Albuquerque’s Integration Initiative pilots, including TREPconnect, the navigator program and co-op capital, with the express goal of both deploying and tracking the success of interventions.


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