Shorefast Foundation


Making it possible for local communities to thrive in the global economy.

Zita Cobb on Fogo Island

We exist in relationship to the whole: the whole planet, the whole of humanity, the whole of existence. It is our job to find ways to belong to the whole while upholding the specificity of people & place. 
Zita Cobb

Shorefast believes in the inherent value of place.
We believe that:

  • Place is fundamental to our humanity.
    Place holds the relationships we have with ourselves, with one another, and with our natural and built environments. The sum of these relationships gives us a sense of belonging.
  • Place is specific. Place holds the space for people to create and express an original identity.
  • Place gives us a shared global fate; all places are interconnected. Advancing our universal interests while nurturing the specificity of each place will contribute to our shared well-being.

We engage with the following to support place:

  • Business All businesses can be community businesses. Business is a system, a social and economic instrument, and a tool that can be used to support place and shape relationships. Done well, business allows all of us to contribute our individual and collective capacities to society.
  • Art Art is fundamental to all of us. In the 21st century, art reflects on and responds to place, history, the present, and the future. Art-making is thinking, and the power of art is evident in its capacity to translate, enrich, and deepen our experience of the world. These interpretations help us make sense of the world, function in relationships, and shape new ones.
  • Financial Capital Money, whether philanthropic or for-profit, is an instrument to invest in and develop what we value. Investing in the potential of place requires a long-term perspective. The stronger the connection between the ownership of financial capital and the places it is engaged with, the more likely that this long-term view is possible. The effectiveness of financial capital should be measured by the impact it has on developing and strengthening that which has real value.
  • Architecture and Design Design and architecture are systems: a human way of organizing and expressing value. They orient us within a specific place or environment, and add a form of beauty, texture, function, and quality to objects and space that can influence and elevate experience. We have the potential to use design systems to reflect our best selves, and motivate us to act in ways that respect our shared fate. Architecture and design reinforce the specificity of place, and shape our relationships with each other, with time, and with place itself.
  • Hospitality Hospitality is the bringing together of people in place; it is the love of a stranger. It is a way of sharing place, and of understanding each other socially, culturally, and geographically. Geotourism is a way of practicing hospitality in a way that sustains and enhances the character of a place – its environment, heritage, art, food, culture, and the well-being of its people and communities.

in community