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Livable Future Investing

Author: Felipe Witchger & Elizabeth Garlow

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Investing in a Livable Future isn't easy. Seeking to embody your faith and values in your investing is hard work. Our aim is to share stories of some of the leading practitioners, investors, and thinkers striving towards a just and regenerative future. Francesco Collaborative is a U.S.-based network of entrepreneurs, capital stewards, scholars and social movement leaders seeking to draw upon the wisdom of our Catholic lineage to transform the economy to support our shared human and planetary flourishing.
14 Episodes
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I learned a new word last week from Luke: pleonexia. So I thought I would share the discussion that ensued.In philanthropy and investing, I often hear family/board members carry the weight of:"I need to invest our assets so the mission (grant-making) can continue into perpetuity."Too often, what’s crouching right alongside that desire to evaluate the investment manager based on whether they’re getting that 8% percent return or not is what Luke Bretherton helps us see as pleonexia (greed).&nbs...
Mark Watson spent 30 years in corporate and public finance. Several years ago, he started consulting for the Fair Food Network and Boston Impact Initiative and started seeing significant gaps in how most impact investing wasn't moving the needle on the impact they claimed they wanted to see. For example only one Black Farmer amongst many -- despite the program being about racial equity. In response, Mark started Potlikker Capital - https://www.potlikkercapital.com/ - as an integrator. Where o...
Taj James offers a re-conceptualization of how we think about the financial resources we steward. And the ecosystems around us. And the choices we have. There is so much to be shifted. There is so much to acknowledge. To reconnect to wisdom, we need to listen to each other and to the Spirit. We need to bring our wisdom to all domains. We cut off the sacred from our business and investing domains -- unless we see how much fear is embedded. Can we move away from t...
What do you want to go do? Have you taken a moment to take stock of who is here in the workshop alongside you? Together, the participants in this workshop steward more than $125 billion in assets. We also bring a diversity of capabilities and other resource types. Some of us might feel quite small in light of that big number, but might be able to lend our leadership, confidence, conviction. Even a small grant (a -100% investment), can be leveraged to de-risk much larger sums o...
"What excites you?" is the question Dr. Steph advises folks to start with when recognizing an "impact investing" journey can often feel overwhelming: the governance, philanthropy, public and direct investing implications. In this interview, Dr. Steph tells a couple powerful stories about a small foundation and a division of the Walton foundation and how through their work with her and the Impact Finance Center, they began to find new ways around the blockages that often hold us back. The...
Tom Marthaler currently serves on the impact investing committee with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Tom spent 40 years in investment management. Most recently he spent 13 years at Neuberger Berman and was a named manager on several US-domiciled funds, including the $2.6 billion Neuberger Berman Strategic Income fund.In this conversation, Tom gives an overview of the different bond market segments and opportunities for impact. He starts with some distinctions in corporate bond...
Zoe is one of the most talented leaders re-imagining the shared ownership landscape -- a vital part of non-extractive finance & the solidarity economy. She's currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Schmidt Futures. She spent the past 10 years in impact investing after leading TechStars first impact fund. She's offers a remarkably helpful overviews of this growing landscape and provides significant encouragement for what we can all do to contribute.Topics include: Shared ownership l...
How can co-ops review our history in a way that acknowledges our mistakes, and boldly affirms resolve to step more intentionally towards Diversity Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEI&J) goals as a way of living more deeply into cooperative principles?As part of a DEI peer group organized by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA), we organized a conversation with John Holdsclaw IV, who just founded an emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) called Roc...
As a way of kicking off Module 1: (Re)Awakening -- of our Livable Future Investing Workshop, Elizabeth begins by anchoring us in Catholic Social teaching (CST) and some key principles. Felipe then shares three principles for Bold CST embodiment in our impact investing along with 12 questions for diligence. After some discussion of Risk, Returns, and Impact (an essential 3rd dimension for faith-first investors / mission-driven investors), Elizabeth shares some proposed markers on the journey t...
This episode is the first of three scriptural reflections that will anchor the biblical part of this workshop. Sarah Jobe (from Duke University & Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women) helps us unpack Zaccheaus as a potential model. Zaccheaus is curious about Jesus – he wants to see him – but as a tax collectors he seeks a safer, more comfortable space in the tree. Jesus looks straight up at him and says “come down!” We worship and believe in a God that doesn’t let us stay in the trees of ...
God tells Jeremiah to buy a garden at Anathoth – to do something that sounds crazy. Jeremiah responds with this long story about God’s goodness. The first thing we learn about investing in Jeremiah 32 is that we’re not called to invest in those things that seem wise. Given the facts on the ground as they stand – we’re called to invest in the futures that we believe are possible. We are called to invest in the futures we hope for. Jeremiahs’ investment even when he knows the city is ...
Sarah Jobe teaches, studies, and ministers at the intersection of prisons, Practical Theology, and Biblical Studies. She is particularly interested in the theologies that emerge from within incarcerated life and the theologies that support mass incarceration from the outside. Utilizing Christian theology, black feminist theory, collaborative ethnography, biblical studies, clinical psychology, trauma theory, gender studies, and queer theory, Jobe seeks bodied forms of thinking that have the po...
What is a Christian to do with their investments? Luke weaves theology and political economy into an analysis of our moment — making intelligible the mega-trends of how we’ve gotten here. A Christian view on capitalism — “can’t accept it’s terms and conditions as good”. Drawing on Jeremiah 29:7 — Luke says we’re “called to bear faithful witness within it and transform and convert it”.Starting with his background in a merchant bank to his professorship in Ethics at Duke University, ...
Morgan Simon, Funding Partner of Candide Group offers a beautiful look at what her 20 years as an impact investor has been like and what she's learned. She summarizes the key principles from her book "Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change" -- and which she's gleaned from her time starting as student activist at Dartmouth, to her stewardship of Candide, which done more than 100 deals and deployed more than $170 million in transformative impact investments. Most powerful for me w...
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