Winter 2015


"In these times, it's so easy to be paralyzed by fear or blinded by hope. Somewhere between hope and despair is the good work of building relationships, seeking fairness, and practicing compassion. 
That's where I want to live." --Leslie Christian

For this our Fifth Anniversary newsletter, as we struggled to find the words to express where we all "live" today in these troubled times, we received the above wise reflection from Leslie Christian, CEO of Integrated Capital and a long-time Capital Institute friend and mentor.

Regeneration is the self-restoring and self-renewing process that natural systems undergo as they adapt to unexpected, sometimes threatening, circumstances. No system, including our economic system, can sustain itself over the long-term if it does not continuously regenerate.  From Lopez Island, Washington, to the inner cities of Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago; from Mexico's Sierra Gorda to rural Australia; from Totnes, England, to Maine; from Wisconsin to Haiti; from Central Florida to the Northwest Bronx; and from Kentucky to a Colorado ranch, we have been on an extraordinary journey for the past five years with a group of brave and innovative practitioners operating in that challenging space between hope and despair, where the critical regenerative work is taking place off the radar of mainstream media and at the fertile edges of today's extractive economy.

We have been honored to share their stories, and invite you to visit our Fifth Anniversary page where our Field Guide storytelling partners update us on their progress. Where they are working today is where we all, one day, hope to work and to live.

Our deep thanks to the Kendeda Fund and the Compton Foundation for their generous support of the Field Guide, and to Kallioepeia, for its general support of Capital Institute's work.  


As the "Year in the Life of a Regenerative Bank" project moves into its final quarter, First Green Bank's story is taking unexpected twists and turns.  After beginning the Year intent on broadening the bank's mission into financial inclusion and social impacts, CEO Ken LaRoe recently decided to circle back to an exclusive focus on environmental regeneration. What are the implications of that decision, and how will it impact the bank's strategy to increase its holistic-value asset base?  We will be talking more about this with Ken in coming months.  In January, "Year in the Life" will be visiting the bank with Capital Institute Founder & President John Fullerton, Author and Regenerative Educator Carol Sanford, and Vincent Stanley, Patagonia's Director of Philosophy, to probe deeper into what this course correction means.

Meanwhile we were fortunate to capture Ken and David Korslund, a senior advisor to the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, in a lively video discussion where together they question the assumption that there need be a choice between our spiritual values and our material well being.

Last June, Ken hired Annette Snedaker, a Methodist minister, to be First Green Bank's director of marketing and strategic relations. When we interviewed Annette for "The Year in the Life," it was our intention to touch only in passing on her spiritual vocation. After all, what bearing could it have on her life as a banker?  As it turns out, quite a lot. In a video and accompanying story Annette talks with Ken about what the world of banking might learn from innovative church planters, and what role she hopes to play in helping the bank live out its values. 

We hope you will continue on this regenerative journey with us into the New Year. Until then, we are sending warm wishes for health and happiness to you and yours.
-Susan Arterian Chang, Director of the Field Guide
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