America faces profound challenges in core areas of our society: education, housing and healthcare among them. While government and philanthropy can treat these issues, they often fail to make a lasting difference. What’s needed to truly cure these problems are investments that create market-driven, long-term, sustainable solutions.
Turner Impact Capital has one mission: to create innovative and durable solutions to today’s challenges by investing in community-enriching infrastructure in underserved communities.
Two of Turner’s partners include Magic Johnson and Andre Agassi. He’s in the profit business, $2 billion in private equity, focusing on education and health care, building 79 charters schools, with another 70 planned for construction in the next several years [Idaho Mountain Express, July 3, 2018]. “Overall, Turner said, his methods rely on profit generation–but place societal benefit as the top priority. I get to make money while I’m doing it.”
Confessions Of A (Former) White Savior
by, Janice Erlbaum
“The white savior complex is about assimilation. It’s about feeling superior to another culture. It’s about validating your own personal, individual experience through the lives and experiences of other marginalized peoples. It’s taking their struggle (even if it’s a sometimes imagined or exaggerated struggle) and making it about how much of a good person you are.” – Uncredited quote on Tumblr
“The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.” – Teju Cole
“The 19th century saw the rise of a pious, middle-class feminism, devoted to the moral uplift of the poor. By ministering to prostitutes, middle-class women got both respectable jobs and the frisson of proximity to vice.” – Molly Crabapple
It’s an improvement, but there’s still a lot of work for me to do. I grew up under the pervasive influence of a culture that taught me that black-skinned people were lesser than me, and the years of brainwashing I accepted without question will take years to overcome. But I’m doing my best to drop the Benevolent White Savior act, and to relate to people as the individuals they are.
It also reinforces the pernicious assumption that brown-skinned people need white-skinned people to help them. It facilitates the fetishization and exotification of African people. It may bring people together physically, but it also fortifies the divide between them: One person is the have, the other is the have-not. Those roles are rigid and can’t be recast.
I don’t want to discount the motives of every white volunteer, and I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions on the people working for non-governmental aid organizations who do life-saving work under impossibly dangerous circumstances (though NGOs often come with their own imperialist agendas). I think it’s possible for a white person to be of service to people of color without automatically reinforcing their racist assumptions. I think it’s tricky, but I think it’s possible.
“The spiritualization of our nation’s corporations is the most important development that can possible happen of the spiritual growth of the world as a whole.
Changing Climate/Climate Change
Visuals from the Sun Valley Forum
Mark Peters, Director, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
‘The Idaho National Laboratory’s mission includes discovering, demonstrating and securing innovative clean energy options and critical infrastructure, making it a test bed and model for resilience innovation serving national security, including grid and cyber security and micrograms.’
“Last fall, Idaho National Laboratory researchers assembled a coalition of partners to design a system of microgrids that would enhance grid resilience by maintaining and restoring power after a catastrophic event or a cyberattack.
During the coming months, the partners will demonstrate this technology in the small fishing village of Cordova, Alaska.
When the microgrid system is finished, Cordova’s electrical grid will automatically reroute power to ensure that critical public services — hospitals, emergency shelters and other vital services — have electricity if part of the grid is damaged or disabled.”
“Microgrids and local generating capacity are central to surviving any catastrophic grid failure.” -Larry Schoen, Blaine county Commissioner
“As a medical professional and first responder, you learn to always have a back-up plan, and to think ahead even in life-threatening situations. In the same way, blaine county–and critical services like our hospital–need an energy back-up plan.” -Terry O’Connor, Blaine county/Sawtooth Regional EMS Director
Climate change, our changing climate, is not a political ideology. It is reality. The Sun Valley Forum created and organized by the Sun Valley Institute focused on risk and opportunity for our new reality over three days this past week. Continue to check this space for synthesis, integration, and action.
“The global food system is the number one water consumer, is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and threatens coastal ecosystems with nutrient-loads from fertilizers. At the same time, the food system faces major risks from drought, soil loss, and heat. A regenerative, climate-smart food system has the potential to sequester carbon, reduce water consumption and pollution, increase the nutrients in our food, and make it more resilient to heat and drought. Across consumer engagement, investment, and market development, we are sharing the innovative technologies,strategies, and good solutions being implemented local and globally.”
Victor Friedberg, Co-found S2G and Founder, Good Shot Global
Alex Mackay, Director of Business Development & Investor Relations, Iroquois Valley Farms
To feed 10 billion people by 2050: http://www.foodshot.org
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT is a restorative farmland finance company providing land access to organic family farmers, with a focus on the next generation. Starting in 2007 (through Iroquois Valley Farms LLC) and establishing itself as a leader in socially responsible investing before “SRI” and “Impact Investing” were common vernacular, the Company has a long track record of successfully acquiring organic and transitional farmland. In 2016, the Company expanded its scope to include first mortgage financing.
The Company raises private capital from accredited investor sources including IRA’s, family offices, financial advisors, foundations, and socially responsible investment-related funds. Investors are broadly based and encompass over 40 states and countries. These investments facilitate farmers’ expansion plans through leasing or mortgage financing. Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT was established as a Public Benefit Corporation, whose public benefit is enabling healthy food production, soil restoration and water quality improvement through the establishment of secure and sustainable farmland access tenures.
“We built our business to support the businesses of our farmers.” David Miller, Co-Founder and CEO
“Organic family farmers with land access.”
Which Vision of farming is better for the planet?
by Paul Chisholm
Matt Distler is an ecologist with Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, which sits on a 243-acre mosaic of organic farmland, wetland, and forest east of Seattle. Distler’s job is to balance food production against environmental concerns.
For Distler, the results are interesting, but they might not change the way they do things at Oxbow. That’s because their decisions are based on a lot of different environmental considerations, and carbon storage is only one of them.
“Certainly, the question of carbon is in the back of our minds,” says Distler. “But we’re focused a bit more on the conservation of biodiversity.”
American Farmland Trust (AFT) began in 1980 after a small group of farmers and conservationists asked an important question: What will happen to the nation’s food supply if we continue to wastefully develop our best farm and ranch land?
In Texas — the heart of Trump country — the city of Georgetown runs on 100% renewable energy. Republican Mayor Dale Ross told Axios that the decision was “a no-brainer economically.”
“If you win the economic argument you’re going to win the environmental argument.”
Why it matters: President Trump and many Republican leaders are rolling back environmental measures related to climate change. But in Georgetown, “We put these silly national partisan politics aside,” said Ross. Climate change is one of the most divisive political topics, but cities like Georgetown are finding that renewable energy sources like hydropower, wind and solar may provide more financial stability than fossil fuels.” -Republican Mayor Dale Ross
Initial takeaways from the 2018 Sun Valley Forum:
The media promotes crazy extremes; the changing climate is not a political ideology.
Time is imperative.
“Stop thinking in silos.” -Julie Wrigley
Climate Mayors — the national coalition of 407 U.S. Mayors dedicated to pursuing solutions to global warming — denounces this unprecedented attack on both the environment and states’ rights, and vows to continue moving forward on transportation policies that help reduce the impact of climate pollution.
“I promise to leave the world better than I found it.”
The authors of Natural Capitalism say that these choices are possible and such an economy would offer a stunning new set of opportunities for all of society, amounting to no less than the next industrial revolution. The book has many practical suggestions for companies interested in a sustainable future.
According to the authors, the “next industrial revolution” depends on the espousal of four central strategies: “the conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes, the reuse of materials as found in natural systems, a change in values from quantity to quality, and investing in natural capital, or restoring and sustaining natural resources.
We win or die by our culture; we are everyday change makers.
The Climate Optimist Manifesto:
“There isn’t enough hope–we have to keep hope alive”
“Martin Luther King didn’t say, ‘I have a nightmare.’ He said, ‘I have a dream.'”
Climate Change Mitigation and Advocacy in 2018 and Beyond
by Anita Fete Crews
On May 2, Blessed Tomorrow and Auburn Seminary co-hosted the 2018 National Climate and Faith Leadership Forum, a gathering of nearly 50 faith leaders exploring how to increase climate change mitigation and advocacy activities across the country. Participants represented a diverse group of faith institutions and faith-based organizations, shared best practices, and discussed how to catalyze new, bolder, and broader efforts such as committing to 100% clean energy. Faith organizations and leaders are increasingly adopting climate change as a top priority, and embracing care for God’s creation as part of their faith identity and moral responsibility.
“Vote with your fork.” -Ali Long
“Local Food Alliance…is on and pushing the leading edge of dynamic social and economic changes that are increasingly important in an ever-widening circle of acceptance.” – Larry Schoen, Blaine County Commissioner
Senator Cory Booker (D) spoke with Founding Executive Director Aimee Christensen at the first Sun Valley Forum four years ago. On Friday, August 2nd, at the Netroots National Annual Conference he shared:
“No matter how powerful corporate greed and corporations might be getting, the power of the people is greater than the people in power.”
And this gives us hope.
[More from the forum soon–check this space.]