A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing This article is about a Palestinian little girl and an Israeli little boy both recovering from injuries inflicted by their respective enemies. Amazingly beautiful lesson on humanity.
A mindshare mountain for the Uber Alpine Communal Capitalist
See how inclusive altruism blooms as millennials are launching ski towns and this alpine utopia is a poster child for how dreams become things like ski enlightened ski resorts.
Here is what they have to say about themselves:
Summit is building a mountain town around the spirit of innovation in the heart of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. Summit Powder Mountain aims to rethink the great American mountain town around a community focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, arts, and altruism. Tucked on the southern side of Powder Mountain, in the town of Eden, Utah, it’s a new kind of neighborhood, where friends, family, and the change makers of today and tomorrow gather in an environment created to catalyze personal and collective growth.
I consider this idea the anti Yellowstone Club - A former nest of greed, luxury and exclusivity that imploded in the mid 200's and now is a high end private ski resort with a wicked past.
After writing about and going to the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky Montana and visiting, the experience felt more exclusive if you weren't part of their inner circle. Summit? Ok, get me a guitar a maker shack, some telemark skis, a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Jack Russell, a frisbee, a bunch of brainiacs, lots of good California wine, and great Mexican Tequila. Oh and let's not forget the pine cone to table food, the owl's nest to bed handmade luxury and Dwell Magazine design ethos. Most importantly, there better be a climate that behaves. Good snow, environmental stewardship, manners, self expression, diversity and peace and love. And what about a few people with gray hair, the sages and the proven warriors in this "space.?" Bring it on.
Excerpt from New York Times Profile by Andy Isaacson
“What Tesla did to cars,” Elliott Bisnow, a Powder Mountain owner, explained, wide-eyed, to the group visiting in January, “we’re going to do with towns!”
Other than being idealistic and unabashedly earnest, Powder’s young owners are also savvy connectors. In 2008, Mr. Bisnow, then 23 and a founder of a successful real estate industry e-newsletter company (Bisnow Media), gathered 19 entrepreneurs at the Alta Mountain ski area in Utah. A bonding ski trip turned into another company called Summit Series, which has hosted annual conferences in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and Washington. In April 2011, Summit chartered a cruise ship around the Bahamas for 1,500 attendees, while also raising nearly $1 million with the Nature Conservancy to support a marine protected area there. The next winter, the company took over much of the Squaw Valley resort in California for a weekend.
Summit's mission is to build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, address global issues, and support artistic achievement, in an effort to make our world a more joyful place.
On Slow Life has an affinity for the mountain resort. Highlights of the high life will always have a home here. See other articles on winter wonderlands
Long term investing in conservation is the approach to sustainable tourism while protecting, engaging, inspiring and learning as climate changes, people evolve, economies ebb and flow and life continues.
Long term investing & nurturing in the future of place and environment = a realistic approach by taking the long view
Leaders with a specific vision and talent for stimulating investment, philanthropy, social impact and profit are creating another layer of tourism that engages the traveler beyond their own private journey. Tourism is a holistic venture where collaboration, capital, innovation, community, patience and heritage will support the benefits that only travel can provide. Capital and vision will help preserve some of the most sensitive and breathtaking corners of the planet and this post highlights a few visionaries making an impact on tourism from New Mexico to South Africa. This post has a few snapshots of Luke Bailes, CEO Singita, Sonu Shavdasini, CEO & Chairman Soneva Group, Louis Bacon, Moore Capital Management, Ted Turner, Turner Enterprises and Richard Branson have taken corners of the globe under their wing to share, preserve and sustain through passion, capital and taking the long view. I will be taking my first trip to Africa where I will learn about other visionaries on a smaller scale in South Africa and Botswana and look forward to bringing their legacies, journeys, experiences into my own narrative.
The Take Away Tourism + Saving The World Through investing in place, people, time and experience
= A Long Term Strategy with a lot of vision
South Africa - Luke Bailes CEO Singita
As the world’s human population continues its exponential growth, the loss of pristine wilderness is taking place at an ever-accelerating rate, to counteract this Singita is making a profound difference in many parts of Africa.
Orchestrating an interdependent relationship between communities, wildlife and tourism that ensures true sustainability, Singita is blazing a trail which is seldom achieved on this scale anywhere else on the continent.
Courtesy of Blue Marble - UK
Here, Luke shares his thoughts on falling in love with Africa, the benefits of a long-term plan and helpful billionaires...
Q: What was the genesis for Singita and what propelled you to commit to such an ambitious concept?
In the early days there were fantastic wildlife experiences on offer but very few complimentary hospitality experiences. Matching the two was our goal when we started Singita. We quickly realised over the years, that wildlife and pristine wilderness was under threat due to increased population growth and so over time the emphasis has completely shifted to preserving at-risk areas and working in partnership with local communities.
Singita is unusual in that you consider a very long term horizon when setting strategy and objectives. Can you explain the approach behind your "100 year plan”?
"One of our concerns is that businesses have become so driven by greed and short-term profit that it impacts on strategy and decision-making, which ultimately impacts on the health of the business. Our approach is totally opposite – we don’t look at the short-term. Our primary objective is to preserve and protect large tracts of land in Africa for future generations and everything we do supports that. Ironically when you do things properly and well, profits take care of themselves and this gives us the wherewithal to do what we do.
Louis Bacon is a conservation philanthropist who has spent more than two decades supporting efforts to protect natural resources in the United States and abroad. Louis Bacon is a conservation philanthropist who has spent more than two decades supporting efforts to protect natural resources in the United States and abroad.
Bacon is the Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation, Inc. (“MCF”) and its affiliate foundations across North America, spanning southern Colorado, northern New Mexico, eastern North Carolina, The Bahamas, Panama and Long Island, New York. Mr. Bacon founded The Moore Charitable Foundation in 1992. The Foundation works with conservation experts and leaders and has provided significant funding to more than 200 local, national and international environmental organizations.
In 2012, he gave 90,000 acres to the federal government as a conservation easement, and created the Trinchera Blanca Foundation to permanently protect 167,000 of the 171,400 acres of his Trinchera Blanca Ranch, expanding the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area bordering the San Luis Valley in Colorado, and placed his 20,000 acre Tercio Ranch in a conservation easement as well. Prior to that, he’d also made significant contributions to conservation projects in his childhood home of North Carolina, on Long Island, New York, and in the Bahamas.
Taos Ski Valley - Bacon Regenerates a Slow Tough Mountain and delicately handles the locals and the essence of the place.
Now, it appears as though Bacon has turned his eyes toward Taos, New Mexico. Having owned property there since 1996, Bacon had worked with the previous owners of the Taos Ski Valley, the Blake Family, to develop a master plan for renovating the aging ski resort that was ultimately approved by the forest service in 2012. The family, which had been seeing tourism decline, had wanted to make improvements for a long time, but could not afford them without risking the ability to pay their employees.
It was Bacon’s conservation ethic, as well as his willingness to work with the family, that Led the Blakes to offer to sell him the property. "We believe Louis is the right person to ensure a viable future for the ski valley and that his ownership will be beneficial to our employees, Taos' residents and guests," said Mickey Blake in a statement. "I'm in mourning a little bit but I realize this is really a good thing for the ski area," said Adriana Blake.
Bacon is dedicated to “advancing the Blake family vision and legacy of Taos Ski Valley by continuing to provide an unmatched skiing experience while serving as an economic driver for northern New Mexico,” according to his spokesman Peter Talty. And his commitment to conservation also has environmental protection groups in New Mexico looking to him to help further local conservation efforts. If history is any indicator, these groups may not have to wait long—his deal with the federal government for conservation easements in Colorado took just two years from genesis to completion.
" Our theory is that a new luxury is emerging based on what is now missing in everyday life: nature, sustainability and good health. This is why our resorts win so many awards and have been so successful, as we try to inspire a lifetime of rare experiences."
Sonu Shivdasani is one of the founders of The Soneva Foundation and is Chairman and CEO of Soneva Resorts & Residences and founded Six Senses Resorts & Spas. For nearly 20 years Sonu and his wife, Eva, have created the template for sustainable tourism, coining the concepts of SLOW LIFE and intelligent luxury which recognises the ability for luxury holiday making and care for the environment to co-exist with perfect ease.
Sonu Shivdasani: We question and challenge what luxury is for the wealthy today. In the past, the wealthy were rural landed gentry and the language of luxury was that which was rare for them: dressing up, four piece bands, gold, crystal chandeliers… because that offered them a change from their daily life which was about nature and space.
It’s estimated that the hospitality industry benefits the richest 20-30% of the planet, at the expense of the poorest 70-80%. We as an industry consume more than our fair share of resources. However, resorts and hotels are often central to a community, so we have the ability to raise awareness and change consciousness. We are in a position to encourage, utilise, and even mobilise our wealthy and collectively powerful patrons.
What motivates Soneva's sustainability efforts, which focus not just on reducing your impacts, but on also ensuring you make a positive contribution to society and to environmental restoration?
Hoteliers must continue to work together to find ways to cause less “harm” and do more “good”. Companies must become ‘solutions’ rather than ‘problems’. I believe that in all our businesses we can make small changes to our business model, which has no negative impacts on our profitability or our guests’ perception of our products.Today it is the other way around: the wealthy live in their air-conditioned urban boxes, get around in their German car boxes, eat in designer restaurants with signature imported foods cooked by celebrity chefs, etc. Those things are no longer rare. They have become common place for the wealthy, global citizen.
The foundation has so far raised almost US$ 6 million from the environmental levy, which is fantastic considering we are a small group of resorts. What is noteworthy is that this amount of capital for good causes has not been raised by blind donations but as a result of tweaking our business model.
We have used this money to fund a forest restoration programme in northern Thailand where we have planted around half a million trees to mitigate 255,000 tonnes of CO2. The money has also funded a windmill in South India. The foundation is also using the money we raise to provide heavily subsidised cooking stoves in Myanmar and Darfur benefiting around 180,000 people to date. You can see that with the most incremental of changes, a company can do an extraordinary amount of good without negatively affecting business aims.
We see that our guests respond very well to our sustainable initiatives. In terms of communicating about sustainability, we have taken the approach that we minimize information on what you cannot do and focus on what positive steps we are doing. It is important to focus on the opportunities sustainability gives and that often the most luxurious experience is the most sustainable. Our guests love to visit our vegetable garden and to see that the food they eat comes straight from the ground the same day. The Fresh in the Garden restaurant, which is the only restaurant at Soneva Fushi not near the beach, is the favourite for many of our guests.
Having said that, we also show guests who are interested the less glamorous sides, but important practices we do at our Eco Centro ‘Waste-to-Wealth’ facility. What we find is that they truly appreciate our efforts and are impressed that through innovative thinking we are able to see value and turn waste into an asset rather than a liability. That is exactly what sustainability is about – seeing the opportunities rather than focusing on the restrictions.
Ted Turner - Media Mogul, Environmentalist, Eco Tour Expeditions, Philanthropist
Turner’s appreciation for our beautiful Earth and its creatures runs deep, compelling him to work tirelessly to protect and conserve our environment, as well as its animal and plant species. It is through his numerous foundations, including the United Nations Foundation, Turner Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative and Turner Endangered Species Fund, that Turner has advanced his conservation and philanthropic efforts. Among Turner’s various and considerable contributions, including his historic $1 billion gift to the United Nations, he has given over $374 million to programs for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect our climate, safeguarding environmental health and protecting wildlife and habitats to maintain biodiversity.
Turner wishes to share his complete love of nature, wildlife and discovery in order to help all generations develop a keen appreciation for and awareness of what our Earth has to offer and just as importantly, a shared responsibility for the well-being of our environment. After much thoughtful consideration, Turner has established a way in which to achieve this through the launch of Ted Turner Expeditions
“WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION AND A PRIVILEGE TO PRESERVE AND MAINTAIN OUR PLANET AND THE SPECIES WE SHARE THE PLANET WITH.” TED TURNER
Richard Branson The B Team |Virgin Group - Morocco - South Africa - Necker Island
Richard Branson - Necker Island B Team and Virgin Group
Agreement at summit hosted by Sir Richard Branson will see islands switch from expensive diesel to renewables
Sir Richard Branson is continuing his push for sustainable energy in the Caribbean, and the Caribbean resident is putting his money where his mouth is.
Branson has been on a drive to make his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands more green, following his regional call for sustainable energy development.
Branson has been perhaps the region’s most high-profile advocate for green energy, working with the Carbon War Room and the Rocky Mountain Institute to help regional stakeholders identify the region’s optimal energy future.
Last year, he convened a high-level regional conference on Necker that launched the “Ten Island Challenge,” which called for massive investment in green energy development in signatory countries, which ranged from Aruba to Colombia.
In 2004, Richard established Virgin Unite, his non-profit foundation. It mobilises the talent and resources from across the Virgin Group and beyond, to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. It is built on the belief that, the only way we can address the scale of the challenges facing the world today is by revolutionising the way businesses and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good.
Richard has been working closely with Virgin Unite to bring together the right partners to help create new global leadership models to address conflict, climate change and disease.
In our fast-paced world, we’re always racing toward the next thing. This may make us feel productive, but when we live in chaos we sacrifice the blissful benefits of slowing down. This idea isn’t new to yogis. Most yogis carve out a few hours every week to find patience, take things slow, and relish the here and now. The ability to be truly present, to truly live in the moment, is something we strive for both on and off the mat, and this includes mealtime.
For thousands of years, food has been a form of communication between people—fulfilling both a physical necessity and an emotional activity. In the highlands of Ethiopia, friends and families would sit around a large table and eat from one large communal tray, using pieces of injera to scoop up a variation of flavorful stews. Traditional Hawaiian luaus are known for their celebration of food, music, and friendship. These time-honored traditions are more than just nourishment for the body—they feed the soul as well.
Feeding the Soul Through Process
But it’s not just the shared experience of communal eating that relates to the emotional aspect of mealtimes. There’s a reason that the Slow Food movement has gained traction in recent years: People are beginning to tire of racing from one thing to the next. Many people—not exclusively yogis—are seeking a more intentional lifestyle, and this pertains to the food we eat.
Intentional eating can seem a daunting task in a market saturated with confusing labels and delineations. In nearly all cases, it’s best to seek out the basics—to look for identifiable ingredients and proven methods. Oftentimes, food companies that have stood the test of time stand out… Even as the companies have grown and changed, craftsmanship has not. Maille is one of these companies.
In 18th-century Paris, marketeer Antoine-Claude Maille set out to get his line of mustards and vinegars into the hands of royals, knowing that if he had the monarch’s approval it wouldn’t be long before they were must-haves for civilians as well. To do so, his products had to be the finest in the world—so he pushed barriers until he had landed on the perfect recipes and hand-crafted processes. A lot has changed since 1747, but Maille’s methods have not. Ever since the king threw his support behind a bottle of Maille mustard, the company (specializing in mustard, cornichons, dressings, and vinegars) has consistently maintained a loving and mindful attitude towards their products.
Tradition, Not Stagnation
Despite its appreciation towards tradition, Maille remains one of the most innovative brands in the foodie world. They created the mustard-seed cutting method over 200 years ago, a technique that leads to superb and flavorful products. While the company remains loyal to a time-trusted process, the mustard base is continually evolving as Maille mustard experts play with different flavors to create a delicious portfolio of condiments. In other words, they paid respect to the tradition while still finding ways to evolve their products.
Many of us apply a similar mindset to yoga. Though we keep the “base,” the tradition of yoga, we also find ways to innovate and grow our practices. Acro yoga, for example, may not have existed hundreds of years ago, but its creation allows yogis the opportunity to develop new boundaries and connect with a partner. Though the poses may differ, the heart of yoga remains largely unchanged. It’s as alive as it always was, thriving and blossoming as more and more people garner a
Why Keep Traditions
But traditions aren’t just a way for us to pay respect to our heritage—they can literally make us happier. Maintaining tradition helps promote communication and connection. Research has shown that rituals, from annual camping trips to daily dinners, can help families bond and form a strong group identity. On a larger scale, this helps instill a sense of belonging and allows us to think of souls other than our own. We can welcome these traditions, whether it’s lighting the Menorah or going for ice cream before the first day of school, with a respectful and open mind, allowing them to grow along with their practitioners.
Rather than rush through your next meal, savor the many flavors of the moment. Focus on the soothing process of preparing a stew, or enjoy many sensations that come along with sharing a pot of coffee among your family members. Whether you’re making mustard or a Friday night dinner, tradition and mindful eating allow us all to relish the simplicity of the present moment. What could taste any better?
Where Meaning + Capital Markets Define The New Investor i(x) Investments Might Be In The Sweet Spot To Lead The Way
Impact Investors are surfing, climbing and skiing the planet, connecting the world via technology and personal or philanthropic global adventures and experiential connecting. Everything they do from work to choosing responsibly made clothes or how to invest in their world, is a direct extension of who they are or aspire to be.
A look at Trevor Neilson, Founding Partner from Los Angeles
Trevor Neilson & Howard Warren Buffett, the new faces of natural capitalism, social activism and financial credibility are prioritizing global health: Water, Food, Education, Health, Gender Issues, from the inside out by doing the math and inspiring new investors with creativity, meaning and solutions.
What is rising up and creating a financial platform for companies to have the incentives and the capital to invest and make sustainable returns on solving the world’s problems? Compound impact. Compound impact is the exponential, scaled growth of solutions to global problems, which can happen only when money is invested in a sustained and sustainable way and that = game changer. Trevor Neilson, Howard Warren Buffet, of i(x)Investments, a permanently capitalized holding company for investors that want to create long-term economic growth in combination with social impact are creating a new formula. They are cracking the code where altruism meets the capital markets enabling investors to deliver solutions and make meaningful investments from their abundance and early success.
What does impact investing mean? Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Neilson and Buffett found each other on their quest to help solve the world’s problems via the power of capitalism and creative fund structures attracting scientists, experts and thought leaders and a breed of young investors armed with tech assets and socially impactful ambition. They built a team of like minded partners including J.Todd Morley and Par Lindstrom and created I(x) Investments. To learn more go to their site I(x) Investments .
There is a crisis of meaning and spending that doesn’t fulfill our deeper need to make the world better and that is being echoed by a lot of thought leaders like Neilson in relation to how to evolve and solve critical problems. New investors in different pockets of the country, particularly the Silicon Valley, are conscious of their influence via their capital.“The vast majority of the “things” tech produces does not create meaningful social impact,” Neilson points out. See article What’s Eating Silicon Valley regarding themes that young highly compensated new investors are ruminating on regarding purpose, liquidity and path to helping solve global and local issues.
I(x) investments invest in early-stage and undervalued companies that are working on issues such as clean energy, sustainable agriculture and water scarcity. They are doing things differently and partner with issue experts around the world, which allows i(x) to measure the social impact of their investors with more rigor than any other impact investing firm.
Issue experts in human need and social change advise i(x) and build custom measurement systems into each portfolio along with systems for monitoring and evaluating rates of change. This effort will be led by co-founder Howard W. Buffett and will be based on his “social value investing” framework. A sample of a few areas of interest @ i(x) include solutions from harnessing humidity to create water or feed livestock protein in the form of crickets vs. plundering the earth’s natural resources to feed polluters and a host of other solution based opportunities.
The scientists and the experts in their fields and in the field inspire Neilson more than other players in impact investing. “We help give them momentum,” he states. Momentum and credibility resonate with the new investor looking to contribute and sustain profitability. Impact investing is now in our collective vernacular with roots in philanthropic philosophy, but it’s really conscious investing ramped up for formerly distracted types, hyper productive generators and deeply conscious leaders who want to contribute to solutions on a global scale. They are surfing, climbing and skiing the planet, connecting the world via technology and personal and global adventures. Everything they do from work, the clothes they wear and the investments made are an extension of who they are or aspire to be. There is a new breed of activist entrepreneur looking for the right vehicles. Urgency mixed with stillness and practicing mindfulness, choosing investments with a more honed intuition and wisely learning from the collective is power. There is clear evidence we are living on a very fragile planet and capitalism can solve our biggest problems. Neilson and his partners are keenly aware of all of this and doing something different.
It’s In Their DNA- Who Are These Guys?
Trevor Neilson helped define new philanthropy in the early days of tech philanthropy. He was instrumental in guiding Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the young tech billionaire was finding his voice on the world stage of giving. A pioneer in working with young technology assets and helping philanthropy morph into something relevant to the culture, Neilson helped shepherd new tech money and it’s impact revealing a new model. He began this journey in the late 90’s.
Neilson’s core values are the hub of the wheel by staying true to his conscience and doing the math with some brilliant minds and partners. He looks inside to thread the themes of the times that we are all in this together, and as the culture becomes more conscious, so too are the investments.
Neilson’s delivery is sincere and clear from his view of the world, a paired down stylish zen like office with the Pacific as the back drop both filled with beauty and challenges. “Profit in this new model will expose dinosaurs, such as fossil fuels ( which are not sustainable), and they will go extinct. More money will be generated by doing good.” A white board with company pitches, formulas, ideas and roadmaps ignite ideas and solutions from this satellite perch on the Pacific just one of the company’s locations on the planet riding the next wave of capitalism and shaping the board with a long view and a profitable lens.