Buen Vivir Fund

We are starting an investment fund from scratch and it’s not business as usual.


 

The Buen Vivir Fund is the collective response of Thousand Currents and our partners to the need for a truly transformative approach to impact investing. Together, we are designing forms of investment that support grassroots economic initiatives to build wealth, community power, and wellbeing.

The concept of buen vivir comes from Latin American indigenous movements and implies “right living” or life in balance with community, natural systems, and future generations.

The Buen Vivir Fund seeks to promote financial models and practices that support communities’ holistic wellbeing, as opposed to focusing solely on maximizing individuals’ capital accumulation.

Rather than those with the money imposing terms, the Buen Vivir Fund investment model identifies lending practices developed by grassroots groups themselves that are already proving effective on the ground. Together, the Buen Vivir Fund members uplift and apply these practices to the level of a global investment fund.

Learn five ways the Buen Vivir Fund is unique in our infographic here.

Investment Project Profiles

The Buen Vivir Fund launched its first round of investment in early 2018 to support nine remarkable projects led by organizations across Latin America, North America, Southern Africa, and South Asia. The total investment includes $427,700 in loan capital, $113,000 in grant capital, and investments beyond numbers among Fund members and ally-advisers via advising, learning-exchange, and sharing of tools and practices.

The work of the nine projects spans a variety of sectors, including healthcare, housing, small business development for artisans and farmers, environmental and climate protection, and shifting practice in impact investment.

All of the projects are powered by the membership or close collaboration with the local community. Many of the organizations focus on preserving or restoring Indigenous sovereignty. Over half of the organizations work on addressing climate change or environmental protection. Additionally, more than half of the organizations focus on women’s rights and leadership.

Learn more about the projects:

 

More About the Buen Vivir Fund

 

Buen Vivir Fund Members

Whether grassroots organizations, foundations, family investment offices, or young investor collectives, all members of the Buen Vivir Fund are selected because they are leaders in practicing forms of investment that support people, communities, and the earth.

  1. Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES)
  2. CIELO (Federación Indígena Empresarial y Comunidades Locales de México)
  3. DESMI (Social and Economic Development for Indigenous Mexicans)
  4. An anonymous donor represented by Dietel & Partners
  5. EduPaz
  6. GRAVIS
  7. ISMUGUA (Institute for Overcoming Urban Poverty)
  8. Libra Foundation, with Candide Group
  9. Ñepi Behña
  10. NoVo Foundation
  11. Regenerative Finance
  12. Swift Foundation
  13. Tan Giving
  14. Ubunye Foundation
  15. Wallace Global Fund
  16. The Whitman Institute
  17. Whole World Women Association
  18. Women Awareness Center Nepal

 

Buen Vivir Fund Supporting Ally-Advisers:

  1. Brendan Martin, The Working World
  2. Carmen Rojas, The Workers Lab
  3. Cynthia Jaggi, GatherWell and Living Economy Advisers
  4. Fred Berkowitz and Sasha Rabsey
  5. Joel Solomon, Renewal Funds
  6. Jorge Santiago, author and expert on solidarity economy
  7. Movement Generation
  8. RSF Social Finance
  9. Transform Finance
  10. Whitney Mayer, Hershey Company

 

Questions? Contact Joanna Levitt Cea, Director of the Buen Vivir Fund, at joanna (at) thousandcurrents (dot) org.

Buen Vivir
Finance Fellowship

Together, Thousand Currents and NoVo Foundation have launched the Buen Vivir Finance Fellowship.

This two-year professional development opportunity for seasoned financial professionals with at least 5 + years of relevant experience, allows them to learn from some of the brightest thinkers in the social justice and impact investing fields. Fellows play a critical role in supporting the implementation, development, and expansion of the Buen Vivir Fund and will be prepared to apply their learning as a practitioner of the model — influencing the field of progressive social impact investing for generations to come.

Building relationships with grassroots partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and connecting with a community of forward-thinking progressive social change funders, investors, activists and leaders, the Buen Vivir fellows work alongside the staff teams of Thousand Currents and the NoVo Foundation in Oakland and New York, respectively.

Learn more about the Buen Vivir Finance Fellowship here.

The 2018-2020 Buen Vivir Finance Fellows are Nina Sol Robinson and Gaithiri Siva!

More about the Buen Vivir Fund

Stories of our partners' impact

Alternative Economies | Global | What We Do

Can we remove the fear from our economy?

The inspiration behind the Buen Vivir Fund is to re-imagine our economy and our investment practices.

read more

Alternative Economies | Global | What We Do

Can we remove the fear from our economy?

The inspiration behind the Buen Vivir Fund is to re-imagine our economy and our investment practices.

Global | What We Do

2,934 hours

An investment fund for future generations requires something different from all of us.

Alternative Economies | Latin America

A Masterclass on “Buen Vivir”

Insights from the Mayan Tzeltal cosmovision shared by María Estela Barco Huerta of DESMI.

What We Do

What it means to “trust the process”

Reflections on stepping back, letting go of control, and relaxing into the unknown.

Alternative Economies | Global | Latin America

How to begin

Doña Elvira Sanchez Toscano of Thousand Currents partner ISMUGUA shares on the importance of prayer and reflection in collective work.