Posts Tagged ‘evolutionary strategy’

Riding the exponential finance wave

One of the challenging—and fun!—parts of being a resilient investor is staying abreast of the relentless river of innovation that courses through so many aspects of our lives these days.  None of us can really take it all in, but hopefully we each have areas we follow more closely, areas of expertise that inform and guide us.  It’s good to take the time to scan “headlines from the future” in other realms as well. One of our favorite sources for radically evolutionary news is Singularity University; their site (and feed or weekly email) is especially relevant to the Driver and Dreamer future forecast types among us.  This week, they featured a series of posts from a conference on “Exponential Finance” that they cosponsored with CNBC.  It’s all as mind-opening and exciting as we’ve come to expect from Singularity, and well worth a few minutes of your time as part of your continuing education, so you won’t be caught unaware by the this cresting wave that will be rolling on in not too far in the future.  

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Inspiration and practical advice: investing in food, soil

Resilient investors are typically very attuned to the need and opportunities for investing in local, regional, and global farmland and habitat regeneration. Even recently, it was often difficult to find viable avenues for making these investments, but things are changing fast.  See our Zone 6 resources for many tangible, evolutionary options; and here are two recent online articles that offer both practical advice and big-picture perspectives that may inspire you to dig into this zone more actively.

The first is a great overview from Don Shaffer of RSF Social Finance.

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Fullerton launches evolutionary “Regenerative Capitalism” initiative

John Fullerton, a former Managing Director at JPMorgan, has embarked on an ambitious new initiative to foster what he calls “regenerative capitalism.”  Among the core principles he identifies are:

  • To view wealth not just as money in the bank, but as the richness we acquire through cultivating human connections and our connection to the natural environment;
  • To ensure capital flows towards every level of our human networks enabling all individuals to reach their potential and to make their fullest contribution to society as a whole, both for themselves and the health of the whole; and
  • To maintain a balance as economic actors between collaborativeness and competition; efficiency and resilience; and small, medium, and large organizational structures.

We’ve long taken heart in Fullerton’s big-picture perspectives on the blind spots in the current economic paradigms, and it’s easy to see the ways that his vision overlaps with the resilient investing framework, especially in our shared expanded definition of wealth and focus on investing (dollars and time) in personal assets and the tangible assets of our regional and global environment.

The Regenerative Capitalism white paper was developed in collaboration with many of our favorite leading-edge thinkers, including Allan Savory, Hunter Lovins, Gar Alperovitz, Paul Hawken, and Hazel Henderson; you can read or download the full white paper, or the 15p Executive Summary.  See also the Capital Institute’s website, which is currently featuring an 8-minute video introduction to the new project.

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Automated luxury communism?!?

In the scenario section of The Resilient Investor we talk briefly about the “Star Trek future,” where limitless energy, extraordinary but totally integrated tech, and breakthroughs of consciousness allow everyone to follow their highest calling and contribution. The Earth is without war or poverty (we need Klingons for dramatic conflict), racism and sexism are behind us, and benevolent scientists in concert with farmers, ranchers, and industry manage the climate. The dreamers who contemplate this possible future usually consider it hundreds of years in the future. Clearly we haven’t made much progress on transporters—or war, sexism, and racism, for that matter—but lately I’ve been thinking that the Star Trek future may be closer than we think.

An article in The Guardian provocatively titled “Fully Automated Luxury Communism” grabbed my attention recently. More like tickled my brain and scrunched my face into a “Say what?” Here’s the basic idea: robot tech and smart software is advancing rapidly and the time when we can dramatically reduce the need to work is soon upon us.  If so, let’s be sure this doesn’t benefit just a few; let’s share it with everyone. The article promises a near-future “where machines do the heavy lifting not for profit but for the people.” I also have to say that any article mentioning Star Trek, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, and A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al is going to grab me. Let’s unpack what FALC is all about.

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Book interview at the Sustainability Unconference in Honolulu, February 2015

Scott Cooney of Important Media and producer of the Sustainability Unconference in Honolulu wrote a nice Triple Pundit piece about the book and conducted this on-site interview with Michael:

http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/02/resilient-investor-interview-michael-kramer/

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Global Impact Investing Rating System

The Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS, pronounced “gears”) is a system used to assess the social and environmental impact of companies and funds in developed and emerging markets. It uses a ratings and analytics approach similar to Morningstar’s investment ratings and Capital IQ’s financial analytics. Run by B Lab, GIIRS provides a series of tools that impact investors can use to aid them in making intelligent impact investing decisions. B Analytics, a tool launched in late 2014, is a customizable platform used to measure, benchmark and report on impact. Visit website.

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Paul Gilding: The Great Dualist Disruption

Paul Gilding is an Australian writer, corporate consultant, and long-time activist.  His book “The Great Disruption” lays out a classic Dualist vision: he sees that avoidance of the climate issue is likely to send our economy veering into the edge of the ditch, but he’s convinced that as push really comes to shove, economic and political forces will refocus and direct their efforts to avert disaster.

Paul Gilding website
Includes an ongoing series of articles tracking current events in the context of the Great Disruption.

Book: The Great Disruption

Video: The Great Disruption, How Humankind Can Thrive in the 21st Century
An 18-minute condensed version of his talk on the book’s themes

Video and Audio: Gilding’s picks of the best of his talks

 

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Alternative means of raising capital and structuring ownership

Cutting Edge Capital is a collaboration among several leading evolutionary economy visionaries providing pioneering financing strategies for socially oriented businesses. that create possibilities of raising funds from both wealthy and retail investors. They also develop strategies to help businesses and organizations create and use capital market tools such as investment funds, secondary markets and market-based regulatory strategies. Visit their website.

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Spotlighting Social Returns of Impact Investing

This recent and relatively in-depth article (January 2015) offers a great look at the promise and excitement of impact investing: “Bannick says that if you picture a graph of the capital invested every year in the United States, it would look like a lopsided barbell: on one end, tens of trillions of dollars seeking the highest return possible; on the other, nearly $45 billion of philanthropic money seeking no return whatsoever. In the middle, very little. ‘We need to fill in that capital curve,’”he says. One potentially viable pool: high net-worth individuals. The 127 people to date who have signed the Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge, promising half of their money to philanthropic causes, have a net worth of around $600 billion. The Forbes listing of the richest 400 Americans alone totaled just over $2 trillion in 2013. ‘The pools of capital are absolutely massive,” says Bannick. “And while some may still be looking to maximize their investments, a lot of these folks would be willing to invest and get a more modest return, perhaps, while having a fabulous social impact.” Read the article.

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Crowdfunding Clean Energy

Several new crowdfunding lending platforms have made it possible for non-accredited investors to help fund clean energy projects; the loans can often be relatively small, and are repaid with interest. This article profiles several of the early entrants into this exciting new field; be sure to do a fresh web search to find new options as well. Some raise most of their money from accredited investors, or do crowdfunding only in some states, though most are eager for the new SEC rules that will open up crowdfunding opportunities more widely. Read article.

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