Align Your Investments with Your Values – webinar series

In 2016 Essential Knowledge for Transition launched and offered 11 local investing workshops called Align Your Investments with Your Values around the country attended by more than 90 people.

In 2017 EK4T launched a 6-part webinar series covering the content of the daylong local investing workshop. The next live webinar will be on Tuesday February 7th at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET.


Webinar 2: Understanding Money Creation and Ecological Limits – Tue 2/7 4:30pm PT

  • The carbon math
  • The virtual and the real
  • Money creation and the origin of investment capital
  • The source of financial returns
  • Bringing money down to Earth

In the second webinar we will expand on the intuition gained in the first webinar and look specifically at the carbon math and its implications for the market valuation of oil companies. We will also look at the concept of financial intensity and realize the disconnect between the amount of investment capital around the world and the finite limits of our biosphere. We will discover the unlikely origin of investment capital by understanding the basics of the money and banking system, and the impact of money creation on the business cycle and asset bubbles. As we recognize the virtual and constructed nature of money and investment capital we will realize the importance of moving beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance and considering the true impact of our investments.

Register here

Webinar 1 – Awakening to the problems of conventional finance 

  • From abstract math to finance
  • Awakening to the problem – the story of a forest
  • Natural capital at risk
  • Slow Money
  • From greed and fear to biophilia and empathy
  • Examples of aligned investments

In this first webinar  Marco tells his personal journey from global finance to Slow Money which began when the story of a forest awoke him to the problems of conventional finance. We will look at an important 15-year study by the UN called “Natural Capital at Risk” showing how we have been using natural capital to subsidize our global economic activity and financial returns. We will then explore the themes and ethos of Slow Money which urges us to “bring money down to Earth” and invest with the ultimate goal of restoring soil fertility. We will then look at the psychology of investing and imagine a portfolio inspired by biophilia and empathy instead of by greed and fear.

View recording of first webinar

Here are the additional webinars being offered in the next five months:

Webinar 3: Beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance
Webinar 4: Portfolio Management
Webinar 5: Direct Investing 101 
Webinar 6: Due Diligence 101

You can sign up for the series at this link.

To be notified of future webinars and events please join my mailing list.

How to Make the Debt Ceiling Obsolete

Money creation is a government function. Reversing the privatization of money creation will render the debt ceiling and government borrowing obsolete.

As I write, the US Congress is locked into a stalemate over the issue of raising the debt ceiling of the US Government. The issue of an ever increasing government debt forces us to lurch from one political crisis to the next. The current government shutdown and the looming default on US government debt are the handiwork of an irresponsible minority of ideologues in the House of Representatives using Congress’ power of the purse to subvert the democratic legislative process. They are undermining the very foundation of our democracy and endangering our economy. But, even in the absence of saboteurs in the very halls of Congress, the problem of an increasing level of government debt combined with a weak economy presents a very hard problem to solve, at least within the confines of conventional thinking.

First let’s look at the problem and then at the solution made available by some thinking outside the box.

What Would a Compassionate Society Look Like?

Compassion is an essentially human quality. If you doubt it, read the story below and see if you are able to remain unmoved by it[1].

“I rode to the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be the last ride of my shift, I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the front door. ‘Just a minute’ answered the frail elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause the door opened. A small woman in her nineties stood in front of me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillow-box hat. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked like no one had lived in it for years. The furniture were covered with sheets, there was no clock on the wall, no knickknacks or utensils anywhere. ‘Would you carry my bag to the car’ she said. I took her suitcase to the car and then return to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly across the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘Oh, it’s nothing’ I told her ‘I just try to treat my passenger as I wish my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you are such a good man’ she responded. When we got to the cab she gave me an address and asked ‘Could you drive me through downtown?’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘it’s not the shortest way to go’ and she answered quickly ‘I don’t mind,’ she said, ‘I am in no hurry. I am on my way to a hospice.’ I looked in the rear view mirror and her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left.’ she continued in a soft voice ‘The doctor said I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she once worked as an elevator operator. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she danced as a girl. Sometimes she would ask me to slow down in front of a building or a corner and we would just sit staring into the darkness. At the first hint of the sun creasing the horizon she suddenly said ‘I am tired now. Let’s go.’ So we drove to the address she gave me. It was a low building – a convalescent home. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do you owe you?’ she asked reaching into her purse. ‘Oh, nothing.’ I said. ‘But you have to make a living’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers.’ I responded. Almost without thinking I bent and gave her a hug. She held on to me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy.’ She said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand and walked into the morning light. Behind me a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I did not pick up any more passengers that day. I drove aimlessly lost in thoughts. For the rest of the day I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the longer route or honked and drove away? On a quick review I don’t think I have done anything more important in my life.”

While compassion is a universal human quality it does not seem to be expressed in our culture and in the functioning of our modern societies.