Regenerative Investing

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Regenerative Investing

  1. 1. Regenerative Investing Presented by Nicholas Mang Regenesis Group, Principle Story of Place Institute, Co-Founder Jessica’s Love Foundation, Executive Director
  2. 2. Every development project is an investment into a community of place
  3. 3. This same perspective applies whether the development project is in the arena of: Land-use Development Community Development Economic Development Education Philanthropy
  4. 4. We are all investors
  5. 5. Every investment has impact
  6. 6. How do we define success? How do we evaluate our investments?
  7. 7. Three Types of Investment • Degenerative Investments • Generative Investments • Regenerative Investments
  8. 8. Degenerative Investments • Are Unsustainable o Begin to fall apart as soon as the investment is made o Require on-going investment to stay functional • Are Wealth Depleting o Can create short-term profit and benefit through the extraction of resources from the system, but ultimately deplete rather than grow the overall wealth of a system
  9. 9. Example:
  10. 10. Generative Investments • Save energy, money, and time o requires some energy in the initial investment but saves more energy over its life than it took to create • Have greater longevity o requires little maintenance or further investment over its lifetime
  11. 11. Example:
  12. 12. Regenerative Investments • Reinvest Surplus o create surplus return and reinvest it back into the system • Grow Resiliency o strengthen webs of mutually benefiting relationship • Are Wealth Building o have a net positive effect on the multiple forms of capital that make up a community system
  13. 13. Example:
  14. 14. How do we create more regenerative investments?
  15. 15. Leveraging All Five Capitals Human Resource Capital Natural Capital Produced/Built Capital Financial Capital Social/Cultural Capital
  16. 16. Financial Capital; Currently the most highly valued form of capital. Facilitates economic production though it is not itself productive Natural Capital; Natural resources, habitat, food producing and health generating capabilities of the natural ecosystem Cultural or Social Capital; Social infrastructure and organization, mutual trust and understanding, shared values and socially held knowledge, community cohesion and shared stewardship Produced or Built Capital; physical Infrastructure and assets generated through human activity that can provide a flow of goods or services. Human Resource Capital. The engine for an independent, healthy, local economy. Education, training, developed capabilities, skill-base, etc.
  17. 17. Example One Food-for-Trash program (Curitiba, Brazil)
  18. 18. Food-For-Trash Program “[T]he city has been buying surplus food from farmers in the surrounding countryside and trading it for bags of garbage – six kilos of trash bought a sack of rice, potatoes, beans, and bananas. For a kilo more, some eggs. The program began in 1989 when an outbreak of leptopirosis, a rat-borne disease, was noted in the slums. Because the streets are narrow and unpaved, the garbage trucks hired by the city couldn’t get up to them to collect trash, which was piling up in the favelas. Lerner’s team made a few quick calculations: how much would it cost to pay the garbage haulers (a private concern) to collect the trash from the crowded slums? When they had a figure, they determined how much food they could buy for that sum and then let the slumdwellers collect the trash themselves and bring it down out of the favelas to the trucks. Along the way, the program manages to support small farmers who might otherwise have to abandon their fields and migrate to town. (McKibben, 1995, p. 89) By thinking in networking terms, Curitiban leaders developed a cheap, simple, but ingeniously designed, solution which addressed a number of different systemic issues at once, including waste management and recycling, urban ghettoization, health and nourishment, the economy of small farmers, and regional migration flows into the city.
  19. 19. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital A Linear Approach to this Problem would have Led to the Following Impact:
  20. 20. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital Curitiba’s Approach Created a Multiplier Effect in terms of Impact:
  21. 21. Example Two Evergreen Cooperatives (Cleveland, Ohio)
  22. 22. Evergreen Cooperatives “Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions (including the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government), the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is working to create living wage jobs in six low-income neighborhoods. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative has been designed to cause an economic breakthrough in Cleveland. Rather than a trickle down strategy, it focuses on economic inclusion and building a local economy from the ground up; rather than offering public subsidy to induce corporations to bring what are often low-wage jobs into the city, the Evergreen strategy is catalyzing new businesses that are owned by their employees; rather than concentrate on workforce training for employment opportunities that are largely unavailable to low-skill and low-income workers, the Evergreen Initiative first creates the jobs, and then recruits and trains local residents to take them. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative creates meaningful green jobs and keeps precious financial resources within the Greater University Circle neighborhoods. Worker-owners earn a living wage and build equity in the firms as owners of the business. ”
  23. 23. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital A linear approach that lowered corporate tax rates to attract jobs would have:
  24. 24. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital A linear approach that invested in work- force training alone would have:
  25. 25. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital Evergreen’s Approach led to:
  26. 26. Example Three Hubbell Trading Post (Ganado, Arizona, USA)
  27. 27. Hubbell Trading Post At the Hubbell Trading Post in northern Arizona, Regenesis was asked to create a design for redeveloping the historic farm. The original National Park Service program called for basic infrastructure as a basis for recruiting a local farmer to lease the farm. However, given both the ecological context (the harsh climate making conventional farming marginal) and the cultural context (a Native American community with agricultural traditions incompatible with the National Park Service model), it became quickly apparent that the farm would need to be re-imagined. The result was a farm conceived as a potentiator of existing community initiatives, including a program for growing traditional Navajo foods to combat diabetes, a 4H program for working with youth to bring back the endangered variety of sheep traditionally raised by the Navajo, and programs to revitalize the sheepherding way of life. The farm is organized to grow perennial pasture, with sheep grazing used as a tool for managing and improving soils. Thus, the farm becomes a learning center for teaching how to engage in traditional lifeways while using new methods that heal local grasslands rather than depleting them.
  28. 28. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital Original Linear Approach
  29. 29. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital Regenesis’s Approach
  30. 30. Example Four Playa Viva (Juluchuca, Mexico)
  31. 31. Playa Viva “Among resort projects, Playa Viva is unique in that it’s focused on building relationships with the community, to learn from them, and use their knowledge to develop a better project. It’s a slow process, but one that demonstrates a deep commitment to the sustainability of whole communities.”• - Laura Valdez Kurl, author of Ecohabitat: Experiences in Sustainability “Imagine if every ‘green’ hotel in the U.S. was actively working to revitalize inner city neighborhoods, developing community gardens so low-income people had access to healthy food, supporting alternatives to incineration, and supporting local small businesses. That’s what Playa Viva is doing on the beach in Mexico, that’s what makes for a truly sustainable resort and that’s what travel with ethics is all about.”• - David Leventhal, eco-resort owner
  32. 32. Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Human Capital Social Capital Playa Viva’s Approach
  33. 33. Where does this leave us?
  34. 34. Some Key Principles • Develop a Place-Sourced Approach Deep understanding of the distinctive assets and webs of relationship within a place helps to source creative solutions that uniquely meet the particular needs and potentials of that community • Grow webs of mutually beneficial relationship In Permaculture, this is called a guild – a small community of organisms that through systemic reciprocal exchange help grow the conditions for each others’ well-being. • Look for Solution Multipliers Identify single investments/actions that can contribute to the growth of multiple capitals. This requires seeing beyond our silos. • Grow and Reinvest Surplus Create systems that are abundant and reinvest the abundance rather than hoarding it for ourselves.

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