Imagine our world three generations from now: The world of your great-grandchildren… Industrial activity works to decarbonize the atmosphere and stabilize the climate. The oceans have been cleaned of the horrific plastic gyres now poisoning them. Farming mimics, restores, and enhances natural ecosystems. Renewable energy, smart transit, and “living buildings” are the norm. Population has stabilized at a sustainable level.
We have an economy that serves both people and planet, with everyone’s basic needs being met and abundant opportunities for meaningful work. Goods are produced in a closed-loop production cycle and the concept of waste no longer exists. Nature heals itself as we take off the pressure. It is a world of true security, no longer deeply divided between haves and have-nots. – Joel Solomon, The Clean Money Revolution
Does this sound like a utopia or an impossibility?
Think about what humans have created in the past 50 years. I bet it was hard to imagine the Internet, mobile phones and self-driving cars 50 years ago. Just imagine what 50 years in the future could be like. Holding a vision of a beautiful world is important. Making choices to contribute to it is vital.
These days it is easy to look at the world through the lens of doom and gloom. How often do we read the news and believe that the negative momentum is too strong to overcome? Doing so will not move the healthy needle forward—and it might not even be true.
Did you know that in just 10 years the amount of organic food that North American’s use has multiplied by 1,000%, from a $3.6 billion to a $350 billion industry? Renewable energy is on the rise. California will have converted to 50% renewable energy by 2030. Trillions of dollars are shifting from destructive practices to more generative ones. Innovation for sustainability and zero pollution are growing at a rapid rate. It’s happening. We just need to pay attention and support it when we can.
As a money coach, it is my mission to envision and apply a new money ethic. To keep the positive momentum going, we must realign money with positive, long-term outcomes—with a vision of the kind of world we would love to inhabit. To make this happen, more of us will have to live life from a space of connection to what we are buying and whom we are supporting.
That includes knowing where we are investing our money. The rise in SRI or Socially Responsible Investing means that clients are pressuring their financial advisors to invest in ethical companies—or at the very least, get out of Big Oil. Being ethical with investments is tricky. A company may be creating a product that is good for the planet but use a lot of fossil fuels in manufacturing or shipping. It is never black and white.
Connecting to how your money is impacting the planet and talking about it is the first step—even if your financial advisor rolls their eyes at you. Because of their work, they are even more entangled in the money game than you are (more on that later). Doing this requires each of us to ask more questions, to be curious, to lead with compassion and love. We are a global community. We have more than enough on this planet. Let’s bask in that fullness.
Paraphrasing Esther Park, CEO of Cienega Capital: It’s not just about the financial return but also the ecological return and the human return. Financial return is not the top of the line—it has to be in balance with the other two (Clean Money Revolution). When we begin to incorporate these ideas into our lives, we are fostering a new business model. Reimagining how it could be done.
What part do you want to play in this new money ecology?