Tag Archives: regenerative finance

Investing in a Just Transition in NYC

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On March 31, 2016, as leaders Jay Saper and Andrew Meeker put the finishing touches on their Regenerative Finance presentation in sun-dappled Washington Square Park, they ran into a gaggle of NYU Divestment activists. As Jay and Andrew shared about Regen’s work on investing in a Just Transition, they learned that the group had already heard about Regen! While half of the students were headed to a direct action that night, the other half were excited to learn how the reinvestment work of Regen could be used as a model for reinvestment at the university level. That little piece of kismet shows how powerful our emerging work is as a precedent setting model, and how important it is to share our practices publicly, beyond philanthropy conferences.

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That night in the upstairs community space at the Patagonia store in SoHo, over 65 people gathered to learn about Regenerative Finance. Andrew shared the just transition framework, and the basic ways the Banks and Tanks economy operates.

 

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Jay shared our 11 Regenerative Economy principles, and examples of cooperative businesses that embody those values, like CERO Waste Cooperative, Black Mesa Water Coalition, and Renaissance Community Coop.

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Andrew broke down the differences between extractive and non-extractive finance.

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Kate Poole stepped in to help bring out the wisdom of the audience and facilitate a lively discussion. The audience asked so many brilliant questions!!

Why focus on local communities in the U.S. when there’s so much poverty and need globally?

How do you save for retirement if you are investing at 0% interest?

Who are the rich people that are redistributing wealth?

What do you say to a rich person to convince them to invest differently?

What does it look like for a community to control capital?

Is charging interest always wrong?

We’ve thought through all these questions, and are continuing to evolve our answers. Watch video excerpts of Andrew and Jay in action sharing about Regen here:

We’re excited to continue sharing our model. If you’d like to have Regenerative Finance present our work in your city, reach out to info@regenerativefinance.org.

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How will you Invest in a Just Transition?

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Wowzers! Regenerative Finance just got back from Resource Generation’s annual conference Making Money Make Change (MMMC) and we are feeling inspired to act, excited to follow-through on commitments and challenged to dig deeper in confronting racism in our economy and in our lives.
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This year Regenerative Finance partnered with Resource Generation on the Igniting Action booth. The purpose of the booth was to allow participants (who spent 4 days exploring how to leverage their access to resources towards a just and equitable world) to ground their learning and commit to taking action in the world!
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Through this exercise we tried to demystify finance and show the ways it distances us from our complicit participation in the extractive economy. When we draw connections–from mountaintop removal to luxury gated communities to prison labor–we can better understand what we mean when we say “extractive.” Similarly, as we imagine and visualize the economy that we want and need, we can take inspiration from the work that many are already doing, and set bold goals to help us get there. We were thrilled to partner with Resource Generation on this project, as their recently released 40 year campaign vision is very aligned with this shift. At MMMC we collectively visualized what is possible when we organize to invest resources in a just transition together, and our collective commitments embody a small but significant step towards shifting control of capital.

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As pictured, we had two maps in conversation with one another. On the left was the extractive economy, and on the right was the just, sustainable, democratic economy we are growing towards. The goal was to have people draw a connection between their vision for a healing, sustainable economy and their investments. We define investments as resources (time, energy, money, love) that can be put towards something in order to create change. This definition moves beyond the mainstream understanding of investments strictly as putting your money towards something in exchange for financial return. We asked people to center racial justice as they identified how their money was accumulated and then pledged to make investments that could heal the legacies of harm that exist as a result of wealth accumulation.

And participants leaned in…

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Dug deep…

 

And challenged themselves to make meaningful commitments to helping create a different economy.

We closed the conference with over $38 million in commitments to invest in a just transition!!! Commitments included:

“I will invest $1,000 in Cooperation Jackson to build a just world”
“I will invest $5,000 in food sovereignty to build a nourished world
““I will invest $30,000 in indigenous sovereignty in Canada to build a reindigenized world”
“I will invest $200 and my whole life in healing justice to build a more well, just world”
“I will invest in $15,000 in developing anti-classist compensation and personnel policy guidance for management to build a more economically just world”
“I will invest my labor in migrant justice to build a less fearful, more free world”
“I will invest $10,000 in POC-led orgs to build a safer, bolder world”
“I will invest $30,000 in Black Coop Economies to build a just, liberated world”

Regenerative Finance will be working hard to provide folks with the support they need to follow-through on the bold visions they set for themselves as one focus of our ongoing work.

If you were at MMMC and you put up a green arrow with your name on the back–you can look forward to hearing from us! If you didn’t put your name on your commitment but you want support–please reach out!! And if this email is inspiring you to take action, we’d love to connect with you.

P.S. If you’d like to see the lengths we went to for a just transition and to recruit folks to participate in the igniting action booth–check out this video of us singing at dinner.

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