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First Green Bank Goes on a “Regenerative Journey”

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ncAhC_B6UsC1yb070LVqJpDU8Xpmr0HJfgAeS9tsC2gU.S. Green Chamber of Commerce Member First Green Bank was selected by the Greenwich-CT based sustainable finance think tank, Capital Institute, to be its partner in an exciting project called “The Year in the Life of a Regenerative Bank.”  The project has received special grant funding from the Kendeda Fund and the Compton Foundation.

Over the course of the year ending April 2016, Capital Institute is partnering with First Green Bank CEO Ken LaRoe and his staff to explore these critical questions: Can the tools of finance and banking be used, not just for short-term financial gain, but to support the regeneration of our human communities and economies, and the stressed ecological systems upon which they depend for their very survival? Can a bank be profitable over the long term, and also serve as a regenerative change agent? And if it can, why can’t all banks operate like First Green Bank?

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So what exactly is a “regenerative bank?” “Regeneration is the process that all living and non-living systems, including our financial system, must undergo as they adapt to changes happening around them,” says Project Director Susan Arterian Chang. “All systems can sustain themselves over the long-term only if they continuously reinvent themselves. That’s what First Green Bank is trying to do with the banking system.”

First Green Bank CEO Ken LaRoe was immediately inspired by the “regenerative” framework and was eager to apply it to the day-to-day operations of his bank. “I am super-excited to be involved with ‘The Year in the Life Project’ and to be introduced to the regenerative concept,” says Ken. He sees the word regenerative as being “so much more impactful” than the word sustainable.  “It takes it to the realm of not just status quo or maintenance, but all the way to something that actually revitalizes or cures or heals.”

FGBslideshow3First Green Bank’s regenerative journey is being documented using a variety of creative digital storytelling techniques.  Capital Institute’s “Year in the Life” team is inviting mentors to engage with First Green Bank as together they explore the regenerative potential of this pioneering bank as it attempts to operate truly sustainably in the challenging cultural and economic environment of Central Florida.

You can follow “The Year in the Life” at http://regenerativebankproject.capitalinstitute.org/.  And if you want to join the mailing list so you don’t miss any updates to the continuing story, contact Emily Walsh at ewalsh@capitalinstitute.org.

Click the image below to watch the full recording of author John Fullerton’s presentation. 

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