The Investment Turnaround is our Moonshot

Our moonshot is the specific application of exponential technologies toward achieving Integral Investing, the next paradigm in investing, namely integral sustainability. It aims at implementing an investing paradigm rooted in the essence of all existence, the exterior reality, the material world, as well as interior realities such as culture, values, ethics, and morals. It is a reality in which financial returns are inseparable from environmental, social, cultural, and ethical impact, including individual joy and happiness. Our first goal is the integrally sustainable implementation of the UN SDGs within planetary boundaries by 2050. (The Investment Turnaround was launched in 2012 with a positioning paper by Mariana Bozesan sent to German Chancellor Merkel. Download the letter here in German or English).

The de' Medici of today are paving the way toward integral sustainability across all asset classes. Today’s avant-garde investors have a world-centric view of the world that enables them to use their wealth to self-actualize and find their true life’s purpose by serving humanity through their investments. Like Lorenzo Di Medici who sparked the Italian Renaissance Enlightenment, today’s enlightened investors are leading the field of investing by implementing the parity between people, planet, profit, with passion and purpose rather than preferring one aspect at the expense of the others.These investors view themselves as the co-creators of the next paradigm in investing.

The Investment Turnaround Manifesto

We acknowledge humanity’s global grand challenges (GGCs), particularly the existential threats such as climate emergency, nuclear capacity, and unsafe exponentially growing technologies. Current systems, including political, economic, financial, and educational systems, are not contrived to handle the GGCs. Nevertheless, we are convinced that transformation is feasible, and the necessary resources, knowledge, technology, and capital exist to safeguard humanity and our planet. A mind shift toward world-centric levels of consciousness is a mandatory requirement and a premise for immediate, united, and adequate global action. We are totally committed to doing our part to ensure the future of life. This is our manifesto:

  1. Have a Massively Transformative Purpose: Our massively transformative purpose (MTP) is to inspire and empower investors and company builders to ensure the future of life and wellbeing. We take a world-centric view of the world and address the GGCs through integral sustainability investing. We believe that the development and deployment of safe and ethically sound exponentially growing technologies are crucial for the future of humanity.
  2. Have a Moonshot: Our moonshot is the investment turnaround. We believe in the critical role of investing and company building in solving the GGCs. To reverse it, we unleashed the investment turnaround to achieve the next paradigm in investing. This paradigm is rooted in the essence of all existence, the exterior reality, the material world, as well as the interior reality, such as culture, values, psychology, ethics, and morals. It is a reality in which financial returns are inseparable from environmental, social, cultural, and ethical impact, including individual joy and happiness.
  3. Make Transformation Feasible: We believe that transformation is feasible. We are confident that humanity will muster the necessary mind shift, political will, capital, and resources in time to implement the Smart scenario outlined by Randers et al. in their 2018 Transformation is Feasiblereport to the Club of Rome. The implementation of the UN SDGs must occur within planetary boundaries. We continue to contribute our share of this transformation through our integral investments in early-stage, exponential-tech companies, as well as smart grids, ultra-energy efficient, sustainable NDC datacenters, and our efforts toward climate endowments.
  4. Follow an Investment Strategy: We have an investment strategy and a profound tactical implementation plan based on three decades of hands-on expertise. We know what we do and do what we know. We have a stellar track record in direct investments and company building.
  5. Have an Investment Philosophy: Our investment philosophy is based on Integral Theory, AQAL (pronounced ah-qwul), by philosopher Ken Wilber, which has been applied in more than 50 disciplines from medicine to economics and business. It is rooted in evolutionary theory and helps us integrate all of reality, its exterior as well as interior dimensions, in our investment decisions. It is a map that helps us simplify and navigate the complexity of reality while maintaining multiple world views and honoring the evolution of human consciousness from pre-modern to modern, postmodern, and post-postmodern structures of consciousness.
  6. Have a Proven Investment Framework: Our proven investment framework is called Integral Investing, a framework that both transcends and includes traditional and impact investing. Integral investing is a meta-theory and practice of investing based on consciousness evolution as described in Wilber’s Integral Theory.
  7. Communicate Your Ideals: We communicate our ideals via our motto, the 6Ps: The Parity of People, Planet and Prosperity with Passion and Purpose. Doing good and doing well are not contradictory aims but are indicative of an indispensable mindset that ensures the future of life and wellbeing; in short, integral sustainability. The equality of all 6Ps is the key to our future.
  8. Be Smart about De-Risking: We de-risk our investments using our proprietary Theta Model, the due diligence process of Integral Investing that applies the tools and methodologies of Integral Theory to de-risk investments with the intention to build integrally sustainable companies from the very beginning. We use proven financial due diligence and methods, structures, tools, and metrics to lead the way toward the implementation of the next paradigm in investing. The Theta Model has been developed, refined, and successfully applied since 1995.
  9. Investing in Scientific Proof and Technology Advancement within Planetary Boundaries: We believe in scientific proof. We invest in scientifically proven solutions to real-world problems. We never invest in “shoulds,” but in hard and proven ideas and in highly qualified and integrally informed people. We believe in the ingenuity of the human mind to solve critical problems, even if it takes time. Humanity has arrived at this point in time and space through an evolutionary process that initially looked linear and local. Now it has become obvious that we are subject to an exponentially growing function of evolution that has a global impact. Thus, smart and wise action is required.
  10. Act Boldly Now: We act boldly now and believe that we are living through some of the most exciting times in human history. We are very privileged to be alive in this day and age, but with privilege comes responsibility. Subsequently, there has never been a better time to act than now, and neither has there ever been a greater necessity or obligation to act.
  11. Never, Never, Never Give In: During a 20-minute speech at Harrow School on October 29, 1941, Churchill encouraged his audience to “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The enemy Churchill was referring to was Nazi Germany, but we think that his advice applies in general to a life well lived. This is why we have adopted it.
  12. Provide Certainty Where There Is Doubt: We provide certainty where there is doubt and hope where there is despair. We are mindful optimists, and we use scientific research and lifelong investment and company-building expertise to clear a path to a sustainable and abundant future for us all. We put our money where our mouth is.
  13. Recognize the Critical Role of Capital in Transformation: We believe in the critical role of capital to solve the GGCs. However, to achieve that, our systems must move beyond the current understanding of capital as being money and the single measurement of success. We work with and have an extended understanding and definition of capital that transcends the traditional financial capital and includes natural capital, human capital, as well as social and cultural capital, but also, for example, cognitive and psycho-spiritual capital.
  14. Invest in People, not in Ideas: We invest passionately and compassionately in people, not in ideas. Our experience has reinforced the old adage that “ideas are a dime a dozen” and taught us that 80 percent of the risk in any endeavor lies with the people involved. Therefore, we invest first and foremost in people, because people at later stages of consciousness are more likely to succeed at implementing a good idea whose time has come.
  15. Build Integrally Sustainable Organizations: We believe that trust and wisdom are the foundation for the future of life. We walk the talk and work tirelessly toward building a culture of trust in our organizations. We focus on building integrally sustainable companies that are led by integrally informed management teams.
  16. Take Pride in Long-Term Investments: We choose long-term, sustainable investments over short-term profit at the expense of people and the planet. We take pride in making meaningful investments that generate abundance for all and ensure the future of work and the future of life and wellbeing.
  17. You Can Only Achieve What You Measure: We believe that we can only achieve what we measure. To fulfill our self-imposed Integral Investing mandate, we measure the activities and outcomes of our investments. We use existing measurement criteria for success by applying standards and quasi-standards where they exist and develop our own metrics where needed.
  18. You Cannot Not Invest. We believe that the market has no intentions, only people do. We think that everybody is an investor, because we all influence the economy through, for example, our purchases, votes, work, commitments, knowledge, preferences, love, and caring. Like money, the market and our economic systems are constructs made by people to serve people. We believe that our current GGCs are the result of outdated systems created by outdated mindsets that no longer serve humanity. Earth needs world-centric mindsets. We are committed to paving the way toward integrally sustainable investment and business systems that are driven by people rooted in world-centric mindsets to ensure the future of life.
  19. With Privilege Comes Responsibility: We believe in higher ethics, morals, and unity consciousness. Through our actions we contribute to unleashing the next level of consciousness in human evolution and believe that higher ethics and morals pave the way.
  20. Self-actualize through Investing: We self-actualize through investing. Investing is not a profession but a way of life for us. We actively seek out the good in everything. We live an integrally informed life guided by an integral life practice and believe that there is always a solution to a problem when you are committed to a positive outcome. We seek short-term flow and long-term meaning through our activities. We think globally and exponentially. We act locally with integral impact to ensure the future of life on earth.
  21. Practice Humility: We practice humility and seek harmony between head and heart. Chinese sage Lao Tsu wrote in the Tao Te Ching that “the more you know the less you understand… [and] not knowing is true knowledge.” We take those words to heart. While we trust scientific research and allow ourselves to be guided by progressive models of the world, we do not follow anyone or anything but truth. Moving forward, we practice humility, embrace the unknown, and practice flexibility with the intention to grow, to shift our beliefs and our activities at any time, should the Universe reveal better ways of serving the future of life.

The Investment Turnaround Podcast

On October 16th, 2017 the AQAL Group together with more than 100 progressive investors joined forces with members and the Co-presidents of the International Club of Rome and launched the Investment Turnaround Moonshot.

In this podcast series, you can listen to and get inspired by some of the world’s most renowned investors, climate scientists, economists, and experts on how to make transformation feasible. Enjoy and keep making your life a masterpiece!