Cooperative Economics | "Impact-First" Investing | Transformative Leadership

Investing Peer Group: You’re Invited

I’m excited to be gathering a group of friends and colleagues this Friday, Dec. 4th — to help transform our relationship with money. I have a number of conversations with friends that are just starting out on their values-aligned investing journey — and some that are more my mentors and teachers. I am excited to create a highly interactive space for us to share resources and learn together.

The context for the conversation is this 3 minute video on the front of the website. Please consider taking the 3 minutes right now to watch it. It’s really good.

The dialogue between the two main characters finishes something like this: “There are many ways to activate money for good…” 

“This feels great…”    “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out…”  

  “We never hear about these kinds of returns… ”   

“Change can happen fast when more of us taken action.” 

“An economy where real wealth and security comes from connection and community…”

My hope for the conversation at 12 noon ET on Friday (12/4) is that we can cover a range of topics from:

  • First steps…. putting some of your savings money into RSF Social Finance, CNote (both are highly liquid alternatives to savings accounts and CDs)
  • To moving your retirement money (401k or IRAs) and putting it into self-directed IRAs and invest in more socially and environmentally transformative investments — or local, direct investments.
  • To the networks, communities, and resources out there like Next Egg, Resource Generation… and the new monthly Co-op Investing Roundtable series I plan to launch in January.

Folks that have RSVP’d So Far include

  1. Quinn Holmquist Reality Ministries — an intentional community where people of all abilities share life in Durham – has organized a modest Fund of the neighbors and community members and they’re excited to be making their first patient (angel / redemptive) loans / investments in Durham. Quinn was one of the core inspirations for me to call this gathering…. bringing his faith and that of his community into seeking counsel and advice for small, impactful, justice focused ways they could invest their “common fund” of their community’s money. 
  2. Paul Mitchell – Recently wrote a couple children’s books – Audacius Ignatius and Sorin Starts a School (about the founding of the University of Notre Dame) — and last month asked me about putting his money into Solar Energy ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) — and I tried to tell him I thought community owned / controlled energy, and solar co-ops like Namaste and Kachuwa would be better investments for him… he wasn’t convinced, but wanted to continue the conversation with other peers… (that’s why I wanted to gather us together…) to learn from each other
  3. Jonathan Welle, founded Cleveland Owns — focused on democratic community ownership. encouraged me to set up my self-directed IRA through AltoIRA — and invested in Kachuwa Impact Fund before I did
  4. Marco Vangelisti – Co-founder of Slow Money, 100% Impact Investor, Gave me my first real education in a “Livable Future Insurance” framework – (offers a bunch of great educational resources)
  5. Lauren Greenspan — CPA Co-op colleague – encouraged me to launch my new investing focused YouTube Channel where I know have a few videos and hope to be adding a couple more each week this month…
  6. Boris Sigal — CPA Co-op colleague — we invested in Boston UJIMA Project note together — and also in a black durham entrepreneur – spent 10 years between Yale and City of New Haven and Labor Unions (New Haven Works) doing community wealth building, local hire, local economic development
  7. Michael Baxter — theology professor, co-founder of South Bend Catholic Worker —  I met at Notre Dame, now in Colorado — has been asking me about investing recently
  8. Bert Fitzgerald — started a Catholic Worker house in Portland Oregon, now in the middle of setting up a pilot cooperative banking community with Notre Dame Federal credit Union — very involved in US Economy of Francesco.
  9. Tobias — from Lund, Sweeden – “I’m curious how I can apply this knowledge [markets and financial instruments] in sustainable and socially responsible investing”
  10. … I know there are a few others of you that I might have missed / haven’t heard from yet… but I hope you’ll be joining us…

I got particularly excited and inspired today when I was at a RSF Social Finance Community Pricing Gathering — where they get input from Borrows and Investors together about potentially changing the return to investors… and in the process build connection and community — and authentic relationships. It was really something quite special. I hope we can emulate part of what I experienced today over time with our group.

If you would like to join for this or a future session like this, please just email me and/or fill out this 4 question impact investing survey and I’ll send you the link to join.


  • Quick Introductions – 10 min – (I’m expecting 10-20 people will join)
  • Framing – 3 min
  • Small Groups – Two Questions for sharing:   (10 min)
    • Where is your money most aligned with your values & desires? 
    • Where is it least aligned?  
  • Report back / highlights – in Big group – 5 min
  • Small Groups — What questions are you wrestling with right now?  (10min)
    • as folks share, open this google doc, write down all the questions… identify connections & which questions are shared
    • Group prioritizes top 2 questions to go back to large group with
  • Share Current Questions with large group (5 min)
  • Where do we go from here? 
    • Resource Sharing Blitz – ( in 5 min of typing in this google doc here), let’s share all the resources we’ve found helpful on our money transformation journeys — from to Ramit Sethi to Next Egg, To Angels of Mainstreet, to CNote, to Marco Vangelisti to Slow Money NC, to….)
  • Gather again? (If so, when? — February? March?)
  • Thank you & close

Framing for Gathering: Livable Future Investing 

My hope with this space is that it can be open, encouraging and enlightening to the possibilities…
Don’t hesitate to invite others — share this invitation or this blog post (12 nodes of influence that I see emerging from Neighborhood Economics to Zebras Unite)…. 

The aim is to make it easier to do good with our money… particularly our retirement investing money — and the money we hope to be patient with and have it bring about a livable future for our kids and grandchildren and those 7 generations down the road.

If you would like to join for this or a future session like this, please just email me and/or fill out this 4 question impact investing survey and I’ll send you the link to join.

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