A conversation with Laura Ortiz, social entrepreneur, chief purpose officer and co founder of SVX Mexico. Laura joins us to talk about how “transformative finance” is the portal towards regenerative investments and how SVX’s “currency” is trust.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
Why are most voices in the regenerative movement coming from the global North? Why is simply investing in regenerative agriculture not good enough? What does real regenerative investing look like? How does it touch historically difficult topics for investors like control, trust, and more? How can we let investors be seduced and fall in love with Latin American biodiversity wealth?
Adding Value To Your Investments
There are many types of investments, but the real regenerative investment, according to Laura, should be transformative. Instead of the “paradigm of control” we all know, where investors are put on pedestal as decision makers, in regenerative investment, everyone becomes an integral part of the decision-making, including the farmers that are facing the most risk. It is a “unity paradigm” where everyone is interconnected, and it only works when everyone is heard, valued, and is learning.
“In transformative finance, I have found the most amazing, the most exciting, and the most fun structures, but precisely the ones that require a new paradigm of thinking from the investors.” – Laura Ortiz
Relationships Founded Through Mutual Trust
Regenerative investing begins with education because it’s not easy for investors to place their investments to something they don’t understand and more importantly, something they don’t trust. This is where SVX comes in—they develop an environment for their stakeholders where everyone speaks the same vocabulary and same terms. SVX comes in between investors and intrapreneurs in order for their relationship to have fluidity. Hence, there’s always transparency, and the relationships are founded through mutual trust.
“Our currency is trust. And the more he trusts, because he really went into studying very deeply, he got to know the regenesis people. Now he values differently. – Laura Ortiz
What Regenerative Investing Looks Like
As an example of what regenerative investing looks like, Laura talked about two biologists from Unam University in Mexico that she’s worked with. They’ve invested in research to increase the population of succulents from Mexican biodiversity as these plants store a lot of water, are very resilient but low maintenance, and beautiful. This investment ended up scaling largely, and now, the plants are used for producing bio sanitizers and green paint that is used for printing green dollars. Most importantly, 60% of the earnings of these products goes straight to the producers.
“For me that has been really transformative. These guys are biologists, so they’re not managers in origin. They’re not business people, and they’re not driven by profit. They were really driven to know how we preserve the botanical garden.” – Laura Ortiz
Visible, Concrete, and Long-term Solutions
The potential of Latin America, which with more than a third of the world’s biodiversity, can be a solution to many climate problems we’re experiencing. Investors are more attracted to Silicon Valley or the global North because their focus is on technology, putting more value to it than the biological wealth Latin America has. However, for Laura, it’s high time that we start re-indigenizing and become more place-driven rather than sector-driven, so we can make long-term decisions that would flourish our lands rather than degrade them.
“We care that our decisions today might affect the rivers of tomorrow, the air that we and our children will breathe tomorrow.” – Laura Ortiz
Other Important Points Discussed:
Koen and Laura also talked about:
- how soil has been the most generous bank in the history of humankind;
- how business transaction in the global North comes from cognitive trust and in Latin America from affective trust;
- how everyone must fall in love with place;
- how Laura would invest in indigeneous communities directly if she had evergreen funds;
- how Laura wants to eradicate agrochemicals because of the danger they pose; and
- how the regenerative agriculture movement is not necessarily placing as much voice in indigenous communities as it should.
To know more about Laura Ortiz and SVX Mexico, download and listen to this episode.
- SVX Mexico
- John Fullerton Regenerative Economy
- Laura Ortiz’s Writing
- Morgan Simon’s Real Impact
- Playa Viva Lodge
- Daniel Christian Wahl
- Adriana Luna’s Tierre de Monte
Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
Join the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food newsletter on www.eepurl.com/cxU33P
The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.