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It’s long been said that children are the future. That feels especially true right now: despite the national and global upheavals of the last few years, or perhaps because of them, the data shows that Gen Z is more ready than ever to lead. Their optimism and innovation is evident in their entrepreneurial ideas for addressing climate change and the future of work. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and they want to stand up for people more vulnerable than themselves. And that should give us all permission to relax and enjoy our summer. 


A new report from the Walton Family Foundation and Murmuration, based on extensive interviews with young people between the ages of 15 and 25, shows that “Zoomers” are a creative, thoughtful, and values-driven cohort. Above all else, they value the health and happiness of their family, their community, and themselves. They want to lead balanced lives of giving back, indulging in passions, and caring for the people around them. They believe that institutions should exist to serve the public — including around mental health and financial literacy — and will seek to remake ones they see as falling short of that lofty ideal. For some context, here is a link to the results of the Case Foundation’s decade-long Millennial Impact research effort that focused on understanding how millennials engaged with causes and social issues in ways that were distinct from the generations that preceded them. 


In short? As you encounter young people on your summer travels or poolside escapades, remember that they are not just the next generation. They are set to remake the world in a more compassionate and innovative image.

Like your regular dose of good news? We’re shifting to a monthly newsletter to bring you a more in-depth look at the catalysts for optimism we’re seeing in impact investing and inclusive entrepreneurship. Look for Breaking Good on the second Friday of each month.


For Mónica Guzmán, fearless conversations happen when we tell the story of our "how." 

Guzmán emigrated to Seattle from Mexico as a child and has spent most of her life using the power of story to build bridges between many different worlds. Her first book, I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, explores how storytelling can take on the challenge of toxic partisanship.

According to Guzmán, the key often lies in asking people how they came to believe something, not just why. “We don’t change each other’s minds on big questions when we talk, but we often see each other’s views as less threatening — and less divided than we thought,” she recently explained.

The book builds on Guzmán’s day job at Braver Angels, a nonprofit that embraces Abraham Lincoln’s famous appeal to “the better angels of our nature” to heal a polarized America.


Just Transparency

A progress report from the Impact Task Force — the G7 group convened in 2021 to expand and support the ecosystem needed for impact investing — says that the biggest progress observed since they inaugurated their work has been in impact transparency. The latest SEC rules under consideration are a prominent example, but so is the innovation that compliance can engender (one new environmental compliance software platform recently closed a $30 million raise). Coupled with new corporate sustainability reporting directives out of Europe, sunlight could continue to be a green disinfectant.
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Financing a Better Global South

Two funders in the Global South are making their impact felt. Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned bank, recently announced that it had committed $3.2 billion to GenZero, a platform to provide flexible, long-term capital towards decarbonization efforts. Meanwhile, Australia-based LeapFrog Investments, which makes investments in tech-driven impact startups in Asia and Africa, found in its 2021 impact report that portfolio companies in its funds reached 5% of the world’s low-income population. And a final piece of news from the region: at the recent AVPN conference in Bali, Google announced a new fund to back green tech nonprofits in southeast Asia.
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Slack’s Second Chance

Many people who have been incarcerated return to society determined to make a difference — and Slack wants to help. The workplace messaging giant is partnering with the Aspen Institute and 14 other tech companies to expand its programs that hire and train formerly incarcerated people to become software engineers and other essential tech workers. These higher-paying jobs help break the cycle of poverty that often precedes incarceration. Maybe the next game-changing app will come from someone’s second chance.
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When Being Gender Smart Pays Off

A 100% success rate is pretty rare — especially in venture capital. But that’s exactly what happened with True Wealth Ventures, a Texas-based early-stage venture fund: despite the pandemic, all of the companies funded by their first $19.1 million fund are still in business. It gets even more impressive (and inspirational) when context is added: all of its companies are women-led startups working on social and environmental issues, like mental health and sustainable harvesting. 

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Resale is the New Brand-New

Rugged retailer REI has pioneered resale options for its outdoors wear over the last 60 years; most recently, the company increased sales by 86% by expanding resale options in its brick-and-mortar stores. As clothing companies seek to become more sustainable, the brand’s model could be a useful blueprint.
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Robot Wind Energy

The speedy secret to getting a wind farm up-and-running? Robots. No, this is not a plot point from season 4 of Stranger Things. With precision at a premium, and wind farms needing to be further out in the ocean (where it can be tricky for humans to safely install and repair turbines), wind power is getting an AI boost.
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