Future Capital - Founders' Report
Inaugural Meeting, September 12–13, 2019
United Nations Headquarters, New York
Author: Future Capital Design Team
1. The Promise of Future Capital
Our consciousness determines our perspectives, our values, and how we engage in the world. We believe the power of a new perspective guided by higher consciousness will radically accelerate progress toward a new paradigm for human development.
The initial objective of this founding members’ meeting was to first establish a culture and community that reflects the values at the heart of what we propose to initiate: a conscious economic system based on the deep recognition of our fundamental interconnectedness, reciprocity, commitment to future generations and our individual responsibility to support and nourish the planet and the global commons.
Future Capital asserts that capital in all its forms, guided by higher consciousness, is the most effective force for addressing the urgent challenges facing humanity. Humanity has the capability to shape the flow of capital and create a future that delivers health, well-being, and prosperity in support of the mutual connectedness among all members of the earth’s community.
Lawrence Ford, founder of Future Capital, describes it this way: “Consciousness drives each person’s actions, and capital fuels those actions. If we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the collective efforts and impacts of consciousness and capitalism need to be recognized, merged, and intelligently transformed.”
What is needed is a profound change in worldview — a shift from ‘what’s in it for me’ to ‘what’s best for the common good.’ We need to return to the shared community values that have been held in trust by many wisdom societies around the world. We need to embrace reciprocity, mutual respect, and commitment to future generations, while recognizing our inherent interdependence and individual responsibility to nourish the planet and support the global commons.
When a new worldview emerges based on these values, it will affect every aspect of people’s lives — gender relations, governance systems, social hierarchies, justice systems, child rearing practices, education systems, health care, care for the environment, and economic systems.
2. Recognizing the Challenge
The promise of peace and prosperity for all humanity that emerged at the end of the Cold War has all but vanished in the face of persistent economic insecurity, political polarization, intercultural conflicts, environmental pollution, and the existential threat of climate change. The global span of these challenges, the increasing complexity of technological and social change, and the inertia of entrenched powers defy remedy by the fragmented, incremental, uncoordinated efforts of individuals, organizations, and even nations.
Yet, we collectively and substantially possess all the means required to meet everyone’s material needs and foster wellbeing. This paradox of unmet needs and underutilized resources is at the crux of why the current global economic system is in need of fundamental transformation.
Money is a remarkable human invention. It is a vital tool that facilitates transactions and fosters mutually beneficial human relationships over great expanses in space and time. It is also a form of social energy and a uniquely powerful instrument for promoting sustainable development and well-being.
Like all human instruments, the impact of capital depends on the consciousness and the intention for which it is employed and utilized. The present global financial system misconstrues the fundamental purpose and role of capital. Rather than promoting universal welfare and wellbeing, it is generating increasing instability and insecurity, widening disparities, and undermining the carrying capacity of the planet. The current financial system is a ‘Gordian Knot’ inhibiting the achievement of full human and planetary potential.
A reductionist world view has created a culture of disparity and possessiveness that threatens the future of humanity. The attempt to divide social reality into tiny manageable pieces in order to master them one by one defies the complexity and interconnectedness of that reality. A new financial paradigm is needed based on a fundamental change in consciousness and values.
Future Capital recognizes the need for transformative change. Fortunately, many reform efforts are underway focused on redirecting capital to more effectively address our global challenges. Most of these efforts involve incremental changes within the present system, which confront the resistance and obstruction of entrenched forces, vested interests, and centers of privilege and power. Unfortunately, they are insufficient to generate the magnitude of the changes needed at the speed required.
Something more is needed — something more rapid and radical. The long slow process of natural social evolution needs to be accelerated by a conscious process of social transformation.
That transformation must be comprehensive and systemic. It must be multi-sector and multi-stakeholder, rather than fragmented and limited to silo-based approaches of specialized actors. It must be multidimensional and integrated, taking into account not only physical but also organizational, technological, social, mental, cultural, and psychological factors and their complex interactions and interdependencies. At its heart, the needed transformation must be characterized by peaceful coexistence among and between all people and between human beings and the rest of the planet.
The transformation must encompass not only changes in policies and institutions but also the underlying theoretical premises and reductionist approaches on which they are based. Society is human-made and the laws governing it are formulated by human beings capable of continuous improvement and evolution.
Our opportunity is to consciously transform laws and systems around universal values that represent the quintessence of human wisdom gathered over millennia as the fundamental principles for harmonious existence and continuous evolutionary progress.
2.1 Offering a Response
Millions of people are endeavoring to create a better world for current and future generations. Despite all these efforts, we are struggling to keep pace with our human and planetary needs. This is especially true at this time, when the earth’s human population is expected to rise from 6.3 billion to nearly 10 billion by 2050.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent an unprecedented and heartening response of global society to these challenges. Never before has the global community (193 nations) agreed upon and embraced goals focused on solving the most pernicious and perplexing problems confronting modern society. But the clock is ticking and time passes more quickly than progress toward achievement.
A root cause for this failure is the human tendency to divide our lives into countless fragments and deal with each as a separate and independent reality, missing out on the rich potential of the relationships and interdependencies. Thus, we separate finance from the real economy, economy from ecology, and all of them from the welfare of society and human well-being. This division results in the many contradictions we see in the world today where a superabundance of social resources co-exist with an unconscionable deficit in our ability to meet human needs.
The right relationship between consciousness and capital is the basis for all wealth creation and human development. Future Capital was activated to develop a fully operational, conscious global economy and to re-direct all forms of capital toward social transformation for collective wellbeing.
Restoring this right relationship can provide a solid foundation for addressing all the development challenges reflected in the SDGs.
3. Future Capital Initiative
Future Capital was launched at a meeting at the United Nations in New York September 11–13, 2019. This gathering of founding members was convened by The Design Team and the Chairman of Future Capital, Lawrence Ford. Co-conveners included the UN Office of Partnerships, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)1.
The inaugural event was followed on September 16–17, 2019 by a meeting at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. This meeting was designed to deepen the focus on proposed solutions.
The meetings at the UN and World Bank brought together a diverse and richly experienced group drawn from the business and financial community, academia, and civil society organizations from around the world. With a common conviction that transformational change is both urgently needed and imminently possible, the group committed to serving as a catalytic force for that transformation.
The aim was to tap the field of collective intelligence, welcome new ideas, and ground actions that serve the common good.
Future Capital embraces the opportunity to transform human and economic systems in ways that will produce unprecedented levels of long-term, widespread prosperity. Nature produces nearly infinite coordination, sophistication, and mutual benefit. Human beings can operate within the laws of nature and produce the same results.
A conscious economy is one in which actions are undertaken with an awareness of the flow of resources — whether they be financial, human, or planetary — based on the core principle of interdependence of all beings.
Policies and incentives must be designed to be mutually beneficial and regenerative, fostering abundance, and nourishing for all.
Together we seek to engender multilevel and multilateral outcomes:
Individual. To learn, support, and gain inspiration from current state-of-the-art practices.
Bilateral. To align and collaborate with others who share the same interests around a common purpose.
Collective. To reach an overarching understanding as a group and together to define necessary actions to transform capital and the global financial system.
3.1 The Intersection of Consciousness and Capital Initiative
Future Capital is working to restore the right relationship between consciousness and capital, as creative force and constructive resource. The projects and working groups embody the core values of operating from higher consciousness and we seek to embed those values in every project, policy, and economic model that emerges.
Some collective themes emerged from the UN Working Group Sessions and a number of related projects have been identified and are under active consideration Including:
- Delivering Global Systems Change by Investing for the Common Good.
- Transforming Global Food and Energy Systems.
- Transforming Collective Consciousness and Global Education.
- Seeing the Forest for the Trees. Moonshot to plant one trillion trees by 2030.
4. Activating Conscious Capital
Future Capital recognizes that global transformation requires a new socio-economic architecture and a system re-design to develop and activate a ‘conscious capital’ framework in service to the common good.
Future Capital seeks to support, enhance, and accelerate initiatives for financial transformation that are already underway while also seeking to identify and promote the wider and deeper changes needed to achieve deep impact on a global scale.
Societal transformation is only possible through cultural transformation. Future Capital will work to affect cultural transformation by facilitating support for individual recognition and courageous collaborations through a ripple effect into the wider financial community and beyond that, into the global financial system.
A new cultural consciousness that embraces and reflects inclusivity, trust, equality, reciprocity, respect, love, and reverence for all life creates trust in multi-stakeholder settings and new economic models for business and investing.
Systems thinking is a holistic understanding that a ‘systems lens’ must be used to see the vital interdependencies of all of our actions (and inactions). As we engage in socioeconomic exchanges through philanthropy, investment, building, growing, trading, or purchasing we will work to transform existing systems through higher levels of consciousness aimed at enhancing wellbeing.
4.1 Future Capital UN 2020 Summit
In 2020, Future Capital is planning to convene a global Future Capital Summit at the United Nations in collaboration with the World Academy of Art and Science, the UN Office of Partnerships, UNCTAD, and other partner institutions.
The aim of the Summit is to rapidly broaden the network of participating individuals and organizations to maximize impact and build momentum for accelerated change. The target date for the summit is the fall of 2020.
The Future Capital Summit is intended to articulate and transmit our purpose, vision, and values to a broader audience. We will convene leading individuals and organizations from diverse regions, disciplines, and domains to collaborate in mobilizing transformational action in all capital realms (natural, human, intellectual, material, financial, relational, experiential, cultural, and spiritual).
We need a new narrative for an economy based on common values and principles that promote the common good.
As ‘meta-connector’, Future Capital will establish relationships across a broad spectrum of financial, institutional, academic, governmental, NGO, entrepreneurs, and grassroots networks. The objective will be to raise consciousness, spotlight shared values, and amplify current and future projects by linking them up across systems.
The original Future Capital Design Team consists of 13 members who co-created and curated the inaugural gathering. Fifty people gathered at the UN September 11–13,2019, including the core Design Team. An additional twenty individuals attended the subsequent World Bank meetings in Washington, DC. [See below for the Participant List.] Many more were interested but unable to attend the September meetings. Each member has a substantial network. By harnessing energy across many individuals and organizations, Future Capital will amplify aligned missions in common cause.
Future Capital has established a platform to connect and leverage the combined efforts of multiple individuals and organizations generating maximum impact and rapid transformation.
We intend to embed the shared values and culture created by the founding circle by serving as a network of networks to synthesize and synergize the many efforts that have been identified and brought forward through coordination and courageous collaboration.
5. Alignment and Action
Future Capital aims to operate at the intersection of multiple stakeholders and networks by providing a strong foundation in guiding values, principles, and purpose. Those who are the founding members will be asked to hold these principles as the foundation for all programs, partnerships, and engagements, and disseminate this value system to other organizations.
Our goal is to amplify, cross-pollinate, and promote a unifying narrative that will resonate across cultures, demographics, and stakeholders.
Proposed key actions in the short-term include:
- Organizing the Future Capital Summit at the UN Headquarters in the fall of 2020 to bring together leading individuals and organizations representing diverse domains of human activity to activate and build partnerships with long term commitments.
- Establishing the Future Capital Secretariat to anchor support for the enhancement and expansion of the Future Capital meta-network and work at the meta-policy level bridging diverse regions, agencies, and institutions.
- Serving as a bridge among highest ranking policy making institutions and global development funds to open and sustain partnerships to direct, empower, and accelerate social transformation.
- Using our meta-network to collaborate on fostering a global movement by supporting informed and conscious networks, organizations, and individuals, especially youth, in the forefront of leadership for socio-economic transformation.
- Building a portfolio of business success cases to exemplify the transformation and connect a network of exemplary companies to further accelerate the application of the new model and the consequent socio-economic transformation.
- Organizing a series of worldwide forums to explore conscious capital and to garner input on challenges and opportunities from among diverse socio-economic settings to support collaboration, awareness, and further engaged action.
The Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September of 2015 initiated a collective journey to end poverty, transform lives, and protect the planet in the years to come.
With the SDGs as guideposts, Future Capital will coordinate and amplify the transformative work of many individuals and organizations around the world catalyzing, cross-pollinating, and accelerating leading-edge projects and initiatives, tapping the field of collective intelligence, welcoming new ideas, and grounding actions that serve the common good. More specifically, we are working to:
A. Build relationships and partnerships across sectors, organizations, cultures, industries, communities, and nations to encourage systems change for lasting, fundamental change.
B. Engage civil society on specific methods by which to achieve organized acceleration of social transformation.
C. Partner with and support those who are working to promote systems change for the common good.
Leveraging mission-aligned mobilization, convening expertise, partnerships, capital, and policy.
We seek to mobilize investors, the largest investment funds, and related financial institutions to act as the champions of change — working with these investors and institutions to make the case for change based on their ability to generate returns that meet their core mandate by making a broad positive impact on society and the world at large while avoiding the negative impacts that are currently threatening economic and political systems.
We seek to mobilize the broadest public base for the shift by social movements, ethical marketing and media campaigns, and wide economic inclusion via technologies and education.
There is an increasingly global, inter-spiritual, and multicultural convergence of the world’s seven billion people.
Sustainable development requires a spiritual transformation of ourselves and the organizations we are linked with that actively extends to the societal, global, and ecological levels.
By spiritual transformation we mean applying our deep comprehension and appreciation of the higher, universal laws that govern and sustain our existence to consciously evolve ourselves, individually and collectively, to our higher purpose with a more dignified sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
Global transformation is the product of personal and organizational reflection as well as discernment on what it takes to improve quality of life around the world. This requires spiritual growth toward the ideal of a love for all humanity that affirms inherent human dignity, innate rights, and the integrity of the natural environment.
The question that fuels these efforts is how — as investment and financial professionals, political leaders and policy makers, businessmen and women, researchers, thought-leaders, social entrepreneurs, activists, community leaders, philanthropists, and wisdom keepers — can we work together to operationalize this goal?
We can bring higher levels of consciousness to capital decision-making. A practical focus will be on how conscious capital can contribute to societal transformation.
Underlying such conscious capital there must be an embrace of shared values and recognition of our mutual interconnectedness on every level and the consciousness that connects us all.
It is impossible to separate individual spiritual transformation from implicit moral, cultural, economic, ecological, and, ultimately political transformations. A profound transformation in consciousness is our remaining pathway to sustainability as a species living on Earth.
 World Academy of Art and Science is a non-governmental, independent, international think tank with over 750 distinguished fellows from more than 80 countries founded in 1960 by eminent intellectuals to address pressing global challenges. It is registered in Napa, California and recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3). The Academy has also been accorded special consultative status by UN ECOSOC and consultative status by UNESCO.
- Lawrence Ford: Author, Advisor; “Shaman of Wall Street”; CEO, Conscious Capital Wealth Management; Founder, Future Capital
- Richard Barrett: Internationally Recognized Thought Leader on Human Values; Founder, Barrett Values Center
- Nilima Bhat: Author, Founder – Shakti Fellowship for Women Changemakers, Spirituality and Wellbeing expert
- Susan Davis: Social Venture Entrepreneur; Creator of KINS Innovation Networks; Founder, Investors Circle
- Heather Desjardins: Chief Development Officer, Conscious Capital Wealth Management
- Frank Dixon: Author; Global Systems Change Expert; Formerly Managing Director of Innovest
- Garry Jacobs: Author; Consultant; CEO World Academy of Art and Science; Member Club of Rome
- William Kennedy: International Development Expert; UN Office of Partnerships
- Patricia Klauer, DC: Consultant, Entrepreneur; Information Architect; Co-founder, Social Fusion
- Björn Larsson: Economist; Author; Diplomat; The Foresight Group; Global Impact Investment Network
- Mila Popovich: Humanities Expert; Founder, EVOLving Leadership; World Academy of Art and Science
- Stephen G Post, PhD: Philosopher; Professor, Preventive Medicine; Stony Brook University School of Medicine
- Steve Schueth: Thrize Partners; Authority and Resource to the Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investment Industry
- Raj Sisodia: Professor, Babson College; Thought and Action Leader, Conscious Capitalism Movement
Founding Members: September 2019
- Mindahi Bastida: Original Caretakers Initiative, Center for Earth Ethics; Caretaker, Traditions of the Otomi People
- Hanna Branu: Economist; UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
- Stefan Brunnhuber: Socioeconomist; Psychiatrist; Professor; World Academy of Art & Science
- Rinaldo Brutoco: Entrepreneur; Author; Futurist; Radio Personality; Founder, World Business Academy
- Alejandro Calderon: founder of Mutual Empathy, co-founder ValueSkies, formerly JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley
- Chantal Line Carpenter: Chief of UNCTAD New York; UN Department of Economic Affairs
- Katherine Collins: Author; Head of Sustainable Investing at Putnam; Founder Honeybee Capital
- Michael Dorsey, PhD: Expert on Global Energy, Environment, Finance and Sustainability; Around the Corner & IberSun Solar
- Jed Emerson: Author; Coach; Professor; Deep Purpose Thinker; Blended Value; Impact Assets
- Gil Friend: CEO Natural Logic; First CSO City of Palo Alto; Sustainability Hall of Fame
- Russ Gaskin: Consultant; Facilitator; Capacity Builder; Strategist; Complex Problem Solver; CEO, CoCreative
- Jerome C. Glenn: Futures Researcher; Consultant to Governments; CEO of The Millennium Project
- Alisa Gravitz: Green America; CERES; Solar Circle; Positive Future Network
- Hazel Henderson: Author; Futurist; Evolutionary Economist; Ethical Markets; Ethic Mark Awards
- Lisa Hough-Stewart: Communications and Mobilization Head of WEALL (Wellbeing Economy Alliance)
- Tim Kelley: Author; Consultant; Trainer; Global Change Agent; Creator of ‘True Purpose’
- Dinah Koehler: Research Analyst Leading Deloitte’s Global Sustainable Equities Team
- Pavel Luksha, PhD: Professor, Moscow School of Management; Founder and Director, Global Education Futures Initiative
- Steven Lovink: Visioneer; Bridge-Builder; Philanthropreneur; Founder of Planet 2025 and Power of One
- Barnaby Marsh: Philanthropy Strategist; Saint Partners; Templeton Foundation
- DJ Martin: Founding Member of Astia Angels Global Investor Network; Early Stage Investor
- Peta Milan: Award Winning Writer, Director, Producer; Transcendent Media Capital
- Terry Mollner: Socially Responsible Investing Pioneer; Founder, Trusteeship Institute; Director, Ben & Jerry’s
- Ketan Patel: CEO of Greater Pacific Capital; Previously Managing Director Goldman Sachs
- Sally Ann Ranney: American Renewable Energy Institute; ARE Day Summit; GlobalChoice.org
- Inge Relph; Responsible Finance and Investment Foundation; G20 Sustainable Finance Innovation Inquiry
- Thomas Reuter, PhD: Professor, University of Melbourne; Expert Advisor to IPCC, IPBES, WSDR, UNESCO
- Judy Rogers: Author; Journalist; Founder of Images & Voices of Hope (media for good)
- Crystal Rose MD; PhD: OZY Multi-Media; Working to Inspire Educators and Elevate News Journalism
- Mark Sloss: Analyst; Portfolio Manager; Former Head of UBS ESG Group in New York
- Heitor Gurgulino de Souza: World Academy of Art & Science; World University Consortium; Club of Rome
- Patrick Somers Stephenson: Teacher; Advisor; Evolutionary Coaching Expert; Barrett Values Centre
- Alaina Tobin: Student of Life; Creative Director at Creative Day Design
- Carol Wainaina: COO Africa 50; former Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources United Nations
- Claudia Welss: Chairman, Institute of Noetic Sciences; Founding Chair, Invest In Yourself Working Group, NEXUS Global Summit and Network
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