Released: September 12, 2018 — San Francisco, California
Preamble: Measuring Hidden value
In any context, the word ‘value’ refers to a standard by which we can judge the quality of our work in the world. Financial and economic value should measure the health of a set of human activities, and their resilience over time. Our financial system—and so the human economy generally—selects among human activities those which most easily accumulate monetary value, in the current context. Built-in biases are reinforced, even as hidden costs accumulate. Throughout history, the hidden cost of unsustainable practices has eventually put every civilization at risk.
In today’s global civilization, our financial system selects for ready reward many kinds of industrial-scale enterprise that are not aligned with the health of natural systems. If we don’t measure the value of those natural systems, we are not able to accurately judge the quality of our work in the world. Values we don’t count in monetary terms are treated as invisible by market preference and trends.
The erosion of health and resilience in natural systems adds cost and risk across whole economies. A lack of resilience intelligence undermines real value in all areas.
We need to be able to measure the difference in value potential between practices that reinforce and protect natural systems and those that undermine and degrade them. Over time, these patterns show a clear advantage for investments that leave behind a wider foundation for the creation of value. Such investments generate external returns on investment (XROI). They are worth more to society, and so to banking and business, because they add value for all other kinds of investment.
We can describe this differentiation as ranging from low resilience value to high resilience value. By connecting Earth-systems science platforms to finance, we can measure not only climate resilience, but resilience intelligence across a wide array of macro-critical (economy-shaping) values.
‘Resilience intelligence’ is an overall term for the work of assessing how effectively we are future-proofing our businesses and our societies.
Resilience Intel: Principles, Aims & Mission
Resilience Intel is a coalition effort, intended to leverage economy-shaping insights from the fields of Earth-systems science, social sciences and economics, public and private finance, industry and community-level quality-of-life, to visualize overall resilience. By combining such diverse constellations of observation, data-tracking and insight-generation, Resilience Intel aims to:
- Show the resilience value of any kind of spending or financial instrument.
- Build science-based resilience intelligence, across whole economies, to provide actionable insight to financial and political decision-makers.
- Inform economy-wide national climate action plans (ENCAP), leveraging the catalytic value added from locally rooted clean development and cross-sector collaboration.
- Incentivize climate-smart agricultural practices, sustainable stewardship of water resources (including the upstream and downstream components of a health ocean economy), clean air, and other core supports for a healthy human relationship to natural systems.
- Catalyze public-private partnerships to ensure ongoing expanded collaboration for higher-resolution integration of Earth systems insights into economic analyses and knowledge-sharing systems.
- Stimulate new areas of mainstream banking activity intended to support the expansion of business models that harness and build Resilience Intelligence and/or Resilience Value.
Resilience Intel partners, supporters, and collaborators, will achieve this, by:
- protecting and expanding natural capital and interacting Earth-systems services,
- developing of wider pools of climate-smart finance,
- supporting the design and deployment of diversified locally rooted sustainability-driven economies, and
- investing in an integrated, multi-scale climate-smart economy.
The best possible human future is one in which climate-smart decision-making ensures we invest in the larger-than-market planetary systems that make all that we value (in numbers and otherwise) possible.
The risks associated with failing to achieve this goal are too many and too costly.
This Founding Charter for the Resilience Intel initiative expresses a shared sense of the signatories that—while all sectors, institutions, communities, and ventures will advance at different speeds—the most reasonable possible future for finance at all levels is to move toward 100% climate-smart finance within 20 years. The new standard can and so should be: fact-based, integrated, evolving, economy-wide resilience intelligence — to ensure we are not sending good money after bad, by investing (however inadvertently) in avoidable harm and cost.
Signatories are invited to contribute tested insights, gained from long experience or emerging as they innovate and adapt to new pressures. Signatories are also invited to join Resilience Intel partners in sharing convening and connecting capabilities—or other evidence-based information-distribution services—to support this global transition to 100% climate-smart finance by 2038.
- Citizens’ Climate Education
- Carbon Delta
- The Climate Bonds Initiative
- The Geoversiv Foundation
- The International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges
- Madison River Group