SFIP’s Place Sourced Impact Investing project is now moving into implementation; and given the problems plaguing the financial sector, and its apparent inability to create true prosperity, this partnership with the Story of Place Institute may come at an opportune time. To quote Pavan Sukhdev of Corporation 2020, the market-centric economic model “…is recession-prone, leaves too many people unemployed, widens the gap between the rich and the poor, creates ecological scarcities that affect water and food, and generates envrironmental risks such as climate change.” We can do better.

Building on last Spring’s preparatory work, the PSII implementation strategy has two major components. First, it calls for the selection of a small group of pilot projects and social entrepreneurs, with whom we’ll work very closely to maximize their ventures’ potential returns across a broad range of capitals (e.g., financial, social, human, built, and natural), at the community scale. 

This community scale is more than just a demographic or geographical construct, as it also involves a deep and historical understanding of what makes the Santa Fe community unique, what its assets and resources are, and what are the most severe needs and challenges that can be systemically addressed in this fashion.

The systemic component is the other key aspect of the implementation strategy: while working with the entrepreneurs, we will also endeavor to develop all the necessary resources to support them when they launch the ventures. This will include an organizing structure for the overall effort; engaging financial investors from the private, public, and philanthropic sectors; a set of metrics for consistently assessing impact across multiple capitals; and community engagement, with a web platform for other relevant projects, events, information, and resources.

Ultimately, this should yield an infrastructure capable of sustaining systemic social enterprise in Santa Fe; and PSII will also make available its design and process, experiences, and outcomes to other communities that may want to undertake a similar investment ecosystem effort, so that the potential for enduring and broad-scale change is built into the effort.

We’ll be sharing news on the progress of this work throughout 2014. So watch this space, and SFIP’s newsletter and Twitter feed. And we welcome inquiries from potential stakeholders who want to be involved in any aspect of the process, or from interested communities elsewhere.