ReGen was born from conversations between members of Resource Generation and movement organizers, who asked:
How are our investments fueling an economy that stands against our stated values? Are currently available Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) and Impact Investing options creating the society that we envision? How can we push the discourse around investing to a more impactful place? How can the Divestment Movement be more effective through strategic reinvestment that tilts the balance of power? How do we move our investments away from an economy that exploits people and the planet and instead regenerates that which was destroyed by centuries of extraction? How can communities that are creating regenerative economies gain access to values-aligned capital? What is our role?
As young people with access to wealth and class privilege who believe in a more just world, we are strategically positioned to demonstrate what truly socially responsible, non-extractive investing looks like. We are excited to develop ways to leverage our unique access to capital – whether individually, through our families, or through foundations and institutions we are connected to – to help movements build a world beyond an extractive capitalist economy. Through this, we hope to model that investing in a just transition to the next economy is possible and in our collective self interest.
We are represented by the image of a hydra, a tiny water creature that has the ability to regenerate its limbs and itself and is responsive to its environment. Our header is placed over a photo of a field of fireweed, a temperate plant that emerges en masse after a fire or disturbance, covering the landscape with its magenta flowers and preparing the ground for revegetation. (Photo of fireweed courtesy of mycoolbackgrounds.com)
We are inspired by the following current events in our world:
Social Movements – We believe that the Next Economy will not happen without building political power, especially for those communities most affected by the oppressions of our times. Furthermore, the Next Economy must further develop social movements for a more liberated society. ReGenerative Finance thus follows the leadership of grassroots social movements.
Ecology and Permaculture – The roots of the word eco comes from the Greek word oikos, meaning house or home. Therefore, the word economy means “management of home” and ecology is the “knowledge of home.” If we are to understand how to manage and care for our home, and all of the relationships between animals, plants, minerals, air, land, and water that comprise our home, then we must have an intimate knowledge of our ecosystem.
We borrow from Permaculture, which is a practice of human activity based on the foundational principles of nature. Instead of simply sustaining our already damaged planet, permaculture seeks to regenerate that which has been damaged. ReGenerative Finance seeks to emulate these principles in our work.
Adapted from our friends at Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project, check them out at www.movementgeneration.org and download the original document here.
Divestment and Impact Investing – There is growing interest in divesting, as people and institutions seek to align their investments with their values. There are movements to divest from fossil fuels, war, apartheid, big banks, prisons, labor exploitation and other corporations that are not doing right by our money. In order for divestment to be a truly powerful action, the money that is divested must be reinvested in a way that tips the balance of power. Impact investing seeks to create positive change through investing, but too often is missing a political analysis of oppression and injustice. ReGenerative Finance is situated in these conversations and actions, and seeks to push the discourse by creating radical opportunities for investment.
What we’ve done
The image below showcases what we celebrated at our retreat in September 2015, we’ve come a long way baby!