Beyond Divestment: Moving from Fossil Free to Funding Our New Economy

Sunday, June 8th, 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM
Room 444

As institutions across the United States and the world increasingly feel pressure to stop investing in fossil fuel industries, the question remains of where these funds should be? In response, a fledgling reinvestment movement has come into being, calling on investors to switch to green mutual funds, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and projects in renewable energy and efficiency infrastructure. This workshop seeks to prod and develop this conversation by posing the question of how reinvestment can transform the relationship between institutions and their constituencies, broadly conceived.

With many educational, religious, and city-based institutions situated amidst communities experiencing social, economic, and environmental stress—often as a consequence of climate change or industrial excess—and lacking the resources to power real, sustainable, and equitable solutions, a paradigm shift is in order. Rather than viewing communities as pools of resources such as labor, or as an empty stage for rampant development, colleges, religious institutions, and local governments must be pushed to redefine their institutional citizenship. Possibilities include exploring the complementary roles of local investment and local purchasing--whereby institutional investment in New Economy solutions is supported by sourcing commitments that can help nurture new ventures--as well as mobilizing the resources of local institutions to support community-based research and projects.

Collaborative live notes: