Convincing Trump about Impact Investing

I love irresponsible investors and criminals. Not real irresponsible investors and criminals, I mean those that are totally against ESG and Impact Investing. Those that have a clear idea why ESG is a terrible idea and it is a complete waste of time and will always fail. Why do I like this group, because they are the easiest to convince about Sustainable Investing and achieve behavioural change. Remember the financial sector is the most predictable group you will eve encounter.

Recently I was at a conference on ESG investing with mostly mainstream financial alpha males, all totally convinced that they had all the answers. A significant part of the Conference was dedicated to ESG and ESG analysis. At the end of the first day, there was a very nice dinner. Everybody rushed to sit themselves next to the best potential client. I walked slowly and ended up at a big empty table with two men and many empty seats. Next to me was a German, hard core, anti climate change, and sustainable investment. He was very aggressive and didn’t want to be confused with facts or fake news. I thought I was sitting next to Donald Trump, but I wasn’t. My neighbour was actually more educated.  The other dinner guest was an ESG fund manager and a big fan of ESG integration and investment.

Did you ever talk to someone who contradicted and denied whatever you said. If I said, it was raining, he said no it isn’t. It’s cold. No its not. Renewable Energy is terrible. Money wasted. Extra financial investing is stupid. Etc. My German challenge had a family office and managed his own money, and according to him, he didn’t do so well, as he often missed his bench mark. After 1.5 hours of listening to his tirades, fake news, silly remarks and unwillingness to keep an open mind, I used the fool proof convincing method.

I said “Remember this day. March 16th. It might take one hour, one day, one week, one month, 1 year or 2 years or 3 years, but you will ultimately adopt ESG and Impact as a way of managing your money, and you will remember this day and me.” Then I turned to my ESG fund mangers and said to my Trump Surrogate that his firm manages Euros 200 billion, and he has beat his bench mark, regularly,  for his clients using an integrated ESG methodology”. My ESG skeptic looked shocked and his facial colours changed, a small smile forced its way out of his vault like face and asked “could I have your card so we might speak about your ESG services”.

Don’t you love financial alpha males who hate ESG and Impact. I do.

Impact Investing Myanmar

My wife, Dr. Rieki Crins started The Learning Exchange Foundation (LEF). After successfully creating a vocational hotel school in Bhutan, she has been asked, by the Governor, to set up a hotel school for Karen refugee youth in Myawaddy, Karen State, Myanmar.

As you all know, until 2012, there was a bloody civil war in Burma and the ethnic minorities where became victims of this war. For example, the Karen people had to flee to refugee camps. Now there are several of these camps along the Thai border. These camps have been here for 60 years  and  there are more than 100.000 people living in these camp, with  50% under the age of 25. These young people receive education from various NGO’s but the education, and thus diploma, are not recognized by Myanmar and Thailand. These kids are stuck!

Tourism is booming in Myanmar and there is a huge demand for skilled hotel people. Her hybrid hotelschool ( hotel and school) is ideally placed to address the challenges and needs of the Karen people living in these refugee camps.

Please support this important initiative that is working to create a livelihood for 100.000 refugees stuck in these camps .

Karen Hotel Project needs to raise US $ 100.000. 

If you would like to have more information, please contact rieki

Thank you.

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It’s a Wonderful Life.

We all feel that we are failures, at sometime in our lives. Things don’t work out, ideas or projects seem to fail in our eyes, or they take a lifetime to come to fruition. During that dark, seemingly hopeless period, it is imperative to keep the faith, eyes on the ball and keep tilling the soil. Shoots ultimately will come out.

Recently, my wife, Rieki,  experienced the ultimate Frank Capra “It’s a wonderful life” moment. My wife started a Hotel School in Bhutan, called the Bongde Institute for Hospitality and Tourism about 2 years ago.  She struggled continuously trying to get the school off the ground in a frontier market, with no funding, no infrastructure, no income, with continuous challenges and obstacles that she needed to overcome. Recently, she finally saw what she had created and what Jimmy Stewart felt like in It’s a Wonderful Life (Experiencing what would have happen if we didn’t exist).

To reward one of her best students, Kinley, Rieki decided to bring her to Amsterdam for an internship at a four star hotel in Amsterdam. This was the first time that Kinley was ever outstide of Bhutan. Kinley started working at the hotel and her work was exceptional. So exceptional, that one day a gentleman who was having a meal there, called her over and inquired about her background. He said “why is it that you are so good at your work in comparison with the rest of the food and beverage staff”. She said “I studied at the Bongde Institute of Hospitality and Tourism in Bhutan”. He said “WHAT. I want to meet the person who started that school”. A hotel school that trained its staff well and was based in Bhutan was quite a shock. It turns out that this man was a very successful hotelier, entrepreneur and had a large enterprise owning and operating 5 star hotels in Asia.

Rieki and the Hotelier met and he was overwhelmed by what Rieki had done and was planning to do next. He offered to take interns from her school, send equipment if needed, and wants to discuss collaboration on her hotel school in Bhutan, and potential hotel development in Bhutan. In addition, he was particularly interested in her next project. Building a working hotel school for the Governor of the Karen State in Myanmar to help the 100.000 refugees, and developing a culturally authentic and carbon neutral hospitality sector.

We are all an overnight success when we least expect it. Congrats Rieki and your Learning Exchange Foundation.

Sweden sets goal to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

Stockholm is the setting for our next TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2017, Sept. 28-29. Come join us.

Support TBLI Foundation in building a Global Value(s) based Investment Community.

Day off to Reflect

Every year on Feb. 9th, my birthday, I take a day off to reflect on the past year and the coming year and just chill.  I will be doing that tomorrow. Thanks to those who have already sent me birthday wishes. 2016 will be a year of great transition. Looking forward to each moment.

If you want to do something special for my birthday, give a donation to TBLI Foundation

I hope you enjoy this speech I recently gave in Stockholm. My dear friend Karl-Henrik (Kalle) Robert of The Natural Step organised the StepWise Conference-The Future of Leadership is Now. It was particularly special because King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was in attendance. What was even more surprising is that he stayed to hear my talk, and enjoyed it. Thank you Kalle for the kind invitation and wonderful experience.

 

To Share or not To Share that is the Question

Due to TBLI Group’s unique network, we are often asked to “meet for coffee, catch up, share ideas, compare notes, etc”. This is code for I need to pick your brain to develop a strategy, find clients, find investors, find staff, find a job, or repackage my deck to get business. We were always happy to help educate others as this would ultimately create the inclusive values economy. That is our mission. Lately, I have been rethinking this. As more and more consultants, asset owners, fund managers and govt. agencies were contacting us, I started to look at what drives all of them. ROI (Return on Investment).

When I look at the ROI of what TBLI has done to build the community of ESG and Impact Investors, the industry has benefitted and the ROI is a big plus. My next question was has TBLI benefitted? What has been the ROI for TBLI? Have all these individuals who we have connected with strategic partners, investors, clients put something back. The jury is still out on that. Many have not.

Going forward should we not share? Should we not meet for the data dump, unless we are compensated? Should there be a clear donation to foundation, consulting jobs, sponsorship, conference attendance before assisting others.  Many have been extremely generous to TBLI and others working on an economy based upon well being.  How can one create a filter for those that feel by not sharing and closing their arms to have more will give them a leg up on others? I have often long conversations with other colleagues who’s work benefits the commons more than themselves. They all struggle on monetising their relationships.  I would be curious how you deal with this?

Not sharing would not be beneficial to us all. In the end, I am always amazed by the generosity of people, so I think this issue will resolve itself. People do surprise you. Even your teen age boys ultimately clean their room.

Let’s connect again at TBLI

For many of you, it has been a while since we last communicated. or some we still haven’t met or spoken. We traveled the world with our event this year and I’m happy to tell you we’ll be back in Zurich on Nov. 19-20 for TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2015.

Let’s connect again or for the first time! Don’t forget to register

TBLI News

I am quite honoured to have been asked to join the advisory board of Lifestyles Magazine. Lifestyles Magazine is a 44 year old subscription only publication for high philanthropy. Looking forward to help them expand their content around Impact Investing.

IE Business School’s Net Impact Chapter will hold its 10th Annual Social Responsibility Forum in Madrid, Spain.  I have been asked to give the keynote speech at IE Forum November 27-28. Looking forward to meeting the MBA’s who want to embrace a values based financial system.

TBLI Social Entrepreneur

A very dear friend of mine, Khun Thippaporn Chearavanont has been very active as social entrepreneur in community development and real estate. She has been doing amazing projects taking the Green Building concept to new heights, by integrating health in her projects. Her company MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation) part of the DT Group  is very innovative in that they have been developing low carbon properties, where health is integral part of the experience. Congratulations.

Whizdom 101 is her latest project