October 23, 2015
Franciscan Economics & Regenerative Capitalism
Image courtesy of the Associated Press' Alessandra Tarantino
We are pleased to share with you this unsolicited guest blog post from  Bob E. Ulanowicz, an American  theoretical ecologist  and
The recent media flurry over Pope Francis' Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si', appears to have missed his major thrust, which happens to connect strongly with Regenerative Capitalism. Most reviews highlight Francis' concern about global warming or his Integral Ecology - the manifold connections between the natural world, economics, society, and politics. Yet, while attention to such relationships is laudable, this focus has already received considerable notice in the academic and professional literature. Other analysts point to his critique of unfettered capitalism, yet this too is nothing new - Catholic Social Teaching has criticized unrestrained capitalism since Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum in 1891.
Instead, the radical thrust of this document relates strongly to Jorge Bergoglio's choice of name as Bishop of Rome - Francis, as in St. Francis of Assisi, the Saint who championed the poor and outcast, and preached that poverty often was the road to deepest spirituality. Pope Francis channels the Saint in his opening section, citing Francis' "refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled" [paragraph 11] and relates how Francis always made sure that a part of the friary garden was to be left to God's plants and creatures. He shows his awareness of the complex ties between the health of the natural and human worlds and the workings of finance and monetary policy by noting that "whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only rule" [56], adding that the "Economic and financial sectors, being transitional, tend to prevail over the political" [175]. He argues that the "undifferentiated and one-dimensional paradigm" [106] of economics in which "the maximization of profits ... reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy" [195]. He regrets that "Finance overwhelms the real economy" [109] - these days by a factor greater than 50:1  [1].  Yet, Pope Francis reveals his hand most openly in Chapter 5 when he makes what might be his most counter-cultural statement...
Latest Field Guide News
Image courtesy of GABV

October 22 was the second annual banking on values day, an initiative of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), now 27 banks strong and growing.  Our partner in the Year in the Life of a Regenerative Bank project, Central Florida's First Green Bank (FGB), recently hosted a visit from a group of GABV bankers from around the world to talk about the opportunity but also the challenges they face in implementing the new GABV Scorecard as a tool for transparent reporting on the impact of their values-based banking.  

For the Year in the Life project, we videotaped a provocative discussion about balancing profits and values between David Korslund, who directs the Scorecard initiative, and FGB CEO Ken LaRoe and FGB's Scorecard Expert Robbie Gossett.  We will be posting it and sharing it next week on social media.

Meanwhile if you are interested in learning more about this exciting regenerative banking movement, you may want to register for an Open Online Course co-developed by MIT and the GABV: Banking as if Society Mattered, which will launch in March. Learn about it by pre-registering.
Patagonia's Vincent Stanley & John Fullerton Discuss Their Uncommon Journeys Toward and Beyond Sustainable Business
One man came to business through Wall Street. Another through a California mountaineering company with surfer employees. Yet both arrived at the realization tha t the business model of the future needs to cooperate with nature, respect life, and serve people.

Speaking Engagements

For more information about the above events and other places you can find us on the road this fall, please visit  here .
What We're Watching
The Institute for New Economic Thinking just released a video interview with British Economist John Kay in which he  shares findings from his new book (Other People's Money), as well his insights on changing the financial sector.  Watch it here.
Quote of the Month
"Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up." 
- David Orr

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