More and more people may feel like urban nomads, but few things affect us more throughout our lives than the neighborhoods where we live. A global pandemic made us acutely aware of our reliance on our local communities and their economies—and a global reckoning with injustice highlighted the geographical divides between classes and often ethnicities. Where there is generational poverty and unemployment there is almost always violence, conflict, and hopelessness. And where there is gentrification and displacement, there is disillusionment and frustration.
We’re interested in ventures that enter into the messy relational particularities of these issues, often working cross-culturally in neighborhoods to create new opportunities through public/private partnerships, community-focused spaces, thoughtful real estate development, job creation, localized education, greenspace development, and more.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.