I just posted my report from the SRI in the Rockies conference at as my ‘Sustainability Sundays’ column at WorldChanging. Here’s an excerpt.
Perception is key to the investment game, of course. The profit opportunity lives in the value gradients between how different people evaluate risk and opportunity, and hence the value of securities. If I think global warming, toxic products and human rights are likely to be big deals, and you don’t, we’re going to place very different financial bets. Because SRI is a movement as well as an industry, the investors want to move markets — like LEED has done in the building industry — as well as profit from them.
The posting includes a long summary of Gar Alperovitz‘s keynote — worth reading.
‘The hopeful assumption, during dark political times, that ultimately the pendulum will swing back — that’s complacency.’ Believing that the best we can do, in the face of overwhelming trends against us, is help make things a bit less bad — ‘I don’t believe that either,’ he said.
His challenge: the possibility of slowly developing alternative paradigm that’s beyond capitalism in its traditional form: significantly broadening ownership of capital — ‘not socialism or capitalism, but a new form.’
‘Just possibly,’ he suggested, ‘we’re living at time when the beginning ground work for something very different, very positive, might begin to transcend traditional models.’