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As springtime weather sweeps across the US, it’s a great time to be grateful to the great outdoors. Though ESG is increasingly at the center of economic conversations — the European Union’s recent proposal to ramp up commitments to renewable sources of energy is just the latest geopolitical ripple effect — the motivation for climate consciousness is usually not about portfolio performance, but preserving the beauty and wonder of being in the natural world. 


Take fast fashion magnate Anders Povlsen, who turned his private love of Scotland’s terrain into an opportunity to pair conservation efforts with carbon capture — which some say may help mitigate the emissions from his industry. It’s a move reflective of Kristine McDivitt Tompkins’ work to turn her privately-preserved land in Patagonia over to Chile’s national park system, continuing the work she had started with her husband, North Face founder Doug Tompkins. Or tech entrepreneur Dan Berger, who pivoted from fast-paced city life to building and nurturing the innovation ecosystem in his new hometown of Boise, Idaho. Or even the tight-knit coastal community of Block Island, which has turned NIMBYism on its head by embracing the visual (and economic and environmental) impact of their offshore wind farm. And that’s before we even get to a whole new generation of up-and-coming explorers


In other words, a little fresh air is a great way to inflate commitments to caring for our shared planet. Whether in your own backyard or one of America’s many national parks, we hope you’re able to have your own motivating outdoor experiences this spring. 


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.


VC investor Kara Nortman and media entrepreneur Julie Uhrman are kicking women’s professional sports into high gear. Frustrated with the lack of pay equity in professional sports, the two partnered with actor (and soccer fan) Natalie Portman to found Angel City FC, Los Angeles’ new women’s professional soccer team. 


None of the founders had traditional sports executive experience — so instead, they leveraged their deep knowledge about building successful brands. "When we built Angel City, there was no rulebook for what we were doing," Uhrman said in a recent interview. "We didn't see ownership groups that were led by female founders." 

So far, they’re getting results on and off the field: Angel City FC has raised more than $14 million, secured sponsor commitments to a wide array of community projects, and won their first game in front of a star-studded audience.


Stakeholder Capitalism’s Other Stakeholders

This year’s shareholder meetings are already generating a record-breaking number of ESG-related resolutions, but they’re not the only ones pushing for a new approach. In an excerpt from his new book Tomorrow’s Capitalism, Fortune CEO Alan Murray explains how consumers and employees are increasingly finding ways to make their voices heard.
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Hang in There, ESG!

The last few months have been a wild ride for investors, but Morningstar analyst Jon Hale says that the bumpy financial ride does not dilute positive social and environmental impact — and that there are strategies for sustainability-minded investors to ride out the current stock market chaos.
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B Corp Milestone

There are now 5,000 certified B corporations around the world— an extraordinary trajectory from the 19 companies that the nonprofit B Lab originally certified in 2007, when they began their work to formally identify businesses committed to being a force for good. Leaders from B Lab’s global network are sharing reflections on the milestone and where the movement will go next.
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Expanding for Inclusion

How can the entrepreneurial ecosystem serve more people from underserved or marginalized communities? In some cases, by joining forces. That’s the story behind the rare nonprofit merger of fund designer Common Future and accelerator program Uncharted. The two organizations are officially combining their powers to make an even bigger impact on founders who are, in the words of Arlan Hamilton, “underestimated.”
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Forward-Facing Fed

Economist Lisa Cook is the first Black woman to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as a governor on the Federal Reserve Board. Her priority in her new role? Innovation through diversity, including closing the racial and gender funding gaps in venture capital: “If you rely on the same old people, you are going to get the same old ideas.”
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Equitable Lending for the Digital Age

After more than 40 years on the books, the Community Reinvestment Act — passed in 1977 to curb the racist practice of redlining — is getting a 21st century makeover. Proponents are hoping that updating key parts of the bill to include mobile and digital banking will lead to more lending to Black-owned small businesses. That’s important, since Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.
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