New Year Paradigm Shift and TBLI Super Heroes

Well we made it. 2015 is nearly over and a climate deal was signed in December. Very historic and potentially the paradigm shift that we all wanted. It was not the deal that many fought so hard to achieve, but it is a major signal to the financial sector and thus the economy. Carbon will be a cost. Those in the carbon intensive industry will face major challenges to their business models, that they might not be able to handle. Those involved in zero to low carbon industries should find a great deal of interest for investment. At least long term.

What I missed most in Paris on the podium is all the faces of all the thousands of carbon warriors, or as my wife pronounces “carbon worriers” from the non-profit, for profit and not for loss who worked for years to make this agreement a reality. There were many photo ops with billionaires, and vips, during the Paris talks,  who had not been investing their money into low carbon industries, but they had a big announcement so the cameras were working overtime. To all those thousands and tens of thousands who were not part of the photo op and should have been, I salute your determination, to push this through.  You all know who you are, as I do. Thank you.

For the cynics who want to focus on what was not achieved please read this editorial, Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments in the Guardian by George Monbiot

TBLI Super Heroes

I regularly write about people who I felt were TBLI Heros because they worked in creating an economy based upon well being. Two TBLI Heroes who should be classified as TBLI Super Heroes are Iris Bune and Stephanie Gerteiser. There is no one who has worked harder, with fewer resources, and achieved more than Iris and Stephanie. In case you don’t know them, Iris and Stephanie both work at TBLI. Iris has been head of operations  and Stephanie has been  conference curator.

If you have ever tried to organise an international conference you know how challenging that can be. Now try to organise an international conference in Chicago, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Singapore and Zurich in 12 months, when you are only two people working part time. Through it all Iris and Stephanie maintain a great sense of humour and passion for the mission.

Iris and Stephanie don’t get much attention or praise, other than from me, but they make TBLI Conference seem effortless and running like a Swiss Watch. When I go and make my opening remarks and everything is running perfectly, people look at me in awe. They should be admiring  Iris and Stephanie. Thank you very much for making my job seem so easy and being such brilliant, authentic human beings. We all benefit from your tireless commitment. Enjoy your holidays. Well deserved.

Holiday Thoughts post Paris

“ The gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and, jails for the people who break them. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads…And if the gross national product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not account for the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our love for each other, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning. The gross national product measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile, and itcan tell us everything about us– except whether we are a good people. . . .“

Robert F. Kennedy, May 1968, Chicago

Maybe Paris Climate Agreement will be the start of measuring what matters most. I hope so.

For all of you I wish you a peaceful holiday, and an exciting 2016. Let us hope that all of our dreams come true. Maybe even some nightmares (President Trump?)

 

Women Sherpas

Did you ever notice how financial institutions start their path towards ESG and Impact Integration through female leadership. I meet so many women who’s job is to get ESG and Impact Investing (Sustainability) anchored within a bank, insurance company, family office, pension fund, or asset managers. Often those women are understaffed, over stretched, insufficiently funded, always a small office hidden somewhere, etc. However, they all seem to rise up to the task. They are the sherpas who are given a load and as they are able to schlep things up the hill, more load is added. No extra mule, just more baggage for the heavy journey.

I thought that there is a cultural bias. It is only Americans, Europeans, or Asians from certain countries who give mission impossible projects to  their female colleagues. WRONG! Nearly every single woman that I spoke to about their work all complained that they are not given the resources to do the job. As they persevere in spite of the load, more is added. I told them, management sees you can carry the load so they increase the load. “Do more with the same or less.” “You can manage. You have four kids. You are superwoman” “Oh and by the way, in spite of all your efforts we still are not convinced about ESG and Impact.” I spoke to women at international private banks in USA, Europe, major family offices  (single and multi family), insurance companies, commercial and retail banks. The same story repeats itself.

The “sherpas” are all frustrated, but determined to make sustainable investing a reality, within their organization. I told them by being the uber sherpa, you only get more challenges, work and baggage. You don’t get more sherpas. It is a vicious circle. The worse part is that historically, when the women finally breakthrough or breakdown, depending upon how you see it, a male takes over and cuts the ribbon. My advice is do less. Stop with the super woman feats of strength. Make it clear that the rubber band is stretched to its limits. The momentum of the competitors and self -interest realisation will get you more sherpas, ultimately.

TBLI Hero of the Month.

The TBLI hero of the month goes to all women sherpas who are creating a values based economy by anchoring sustainability within the financial system, in spite of all the challenges. Karianne, Eleonore, Julie, Antje,  Bettina, Rhea, Soulange, Audrey, Thien, and hundreds more. I embrace you all.

Please replace man for woman if more appropriate.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt THE (WO)MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

TBLI CONFERENCE

TBLI EUROPE 2015 in Zurich was a great inspiration to us all. Thank you to all of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, and staff. You made the event extremely fulfilling. Presentations and Photos will be placed on our website shortly.

TBLI Foundation:

I want to thank Enclude and Laurie Spengler for supporting TBLI Foundation to help further our educational outreach by becoming a TBLI FRIEND. Thank you.

Media

Take a look at this Unep Report Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development 

Very good Planet Money podcasts on refugees. Listen to it.  When the Boats Arrive.

Conference

 

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

Exercise, Social Enterprise and Special Offer

I finally got out and started running again. Felt terrible for the first few days. Then tonight, I was flying. It felt great and came back energised and clear headed. Don’t know why it took so long and many reminders from friend runners, like Irene and Karianne, to finally go running. I think the balloon hanging over my pants did play a role in convincing me. The plan is to keep it up every day and try to regain my stamina that I used to have. It certainly does improve your mood. Also a great way of catching up with podcasts. While I was running along the canal heard very good joke on Car Talk. I know I shouldn’t be listening to podcasts while running. Bad habit.

Relationship Tips for a woman and her partner

It is important that a man has a job and helps her around the house
It is important that a man makes you laugh.
It is important that you find a man that you can count on and doesn’t lie to you.
It is important that a man loves you and spoils you

It is important that these 4 men don’t know each other.

TBLI Europe Nov 19-20:

Come learn and network with ESG and Impact Investing Thought Leaders and Investors at TBLI CONFERENCE Europe 2015, Zurich Nov. 19-20.

“TBLI Conference stands out from other conferences in the standard of value I received during my attendance. The topics covered, quality of contacts made, deals executed and community generated are noticeably better than other conferences I’ve attended. Thank you Mr. Rubinstein for your vision & execution”

Ibrahim AlHusseini The Husseini Group LLC Managing Member

TBLI Social Enterprise of the week

I recently met one of the found of a fantastic social enterprise called Tiko, providing basic health care  with incentives, in India, through a pre paid insurance plan via a mobile phone. The organization that started is called Trigerrise that is a punch-above-its-weight foundation working primarily in front-line, fragmented, informal economies. They use technology to power entire eco-systems that trigger growth and unlock entirely new categories of opportunities in markets that are bypassed by traditional development or commerce.

Very cool. I really was inspired by Tiko, and the larger ambitions of  Julian Circo. Congrats.