June 2017
From Paris to Drawdown
By John Fullerton

Yes, it was a shameful poke in the world's eye by the dangerously narcissistic, temporary occupant of the White House. 

Like other unconscionable and unfathomable acts of the early 21st century--a period of historic great change already--Trump's pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement has sent me searching for the deeper meaning of it all, while the pundits flail away.  

The attack on the World Trade Center, an iconic symbol of globalization if there ever was one, triggered for me a period of introspection and a personal existential crisis as it opened up a possible dark side of my previously unquestioned Wall Street-influenced worldview.  Then the financial crisis drove a stake in the heart of our failed neoliberal economics and finance ideology, leaving in its wake profound and still unanswered questions.  Brexit shined a light on the flawed architecture and economic assumptions underlying the European Union, while Trump's unimaginable election should force America's self-anointed elites, in particular, to face their own shadow.

Is there not a deeper message being offered up to us as we undergo the shock therapy that is the Trump phenomenon, with his extraordinary ignorance, egotism, and moral ineptitude, most recently evidenced by his unconscionable withdrawal from Paris?  It's worth our reflection: Trump as cosmic messenger, the wake-up call we deserve. 

Exploring Science and Soul Through Regenerating Tottenville 
Located at the southernmost tip of New York City, Tottenville--a Staten Island village unlike any other--once enjoyed a thriving marine and ship-building economy. Known by locals as "The Town the Oyster Built," today, Tottenville is a shadow of its bustling heyday--its residents feel isolated and often neglected by the city at large, and its once diverse economy has devolved into a strip-mall on the outskirts of town, with little evidence of the rich, human activating networks that characterized this once vibrant community.

Regenerating Tottenville unearths the shore town's history and, for the first time, uncovers--at community scale--the science behind revitalizing and implementing a fully regenerative society.    

Our story is just beginning in Tottenville. We're fortunate to be partnering with Tottenville's modern-day Jane Jacobs, local historian Linda Cutler Hauck, and others who love the community, to forge a road map to revitalization.   

Capital Institute 2016 Annual Report

What We're Reading

"We do have an epidemic of failing communities," writes Thomas L. Friedman in response to President Donald Trump's dystopian portrayal of the state of American life. "But we also have a bounty of thriving ones - not because of a strongman in Washington but because of strong leaders at the local level."
Quote of the Month
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
- Abraham Lincoln 
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