The Buen Vivir Fund
The Buen Vivir Fund builds thriving local economies.
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.
Inspired by the values and principles of buen vivir, the Buen Vivir Fund is rooted in the holistic wellbeing of people and planet.
Since its inception in 2018, the Buen Vivir Fund has resourced grassroots and community-led next economy and solidarity economy work in support of community autonomy, self determination, and wellbeing.
Learn five ways the Buen Vivir Fund is unique in our infographic here.
What is the Buen Vivir Fund?
Indigenous Peoples, youth, and women are building innovative, thriving, and resilient economic practices around the world.
The Buen Vivir Fund provides investment support aligned with the needs and aspirations of grassroots groups led by these Indigenous Peoples, youth, and women building the next economy that we all need, while at the same time enhancing our climate resilience.
The Buen Vivir Fund is:
- An investment fund that practices participatory governance
- An investment fund that puts people and planet over profit
- A transitory alternative finance tool towards building the next economy
- A means to access non-extractive finance by grassroots groups
- A means to oppose dominant and exploitative power dynamics inherent to the investment space
- An aspiration for investors looking for ethical and meaningful ways to counter capitalist approaches
The Buen Vivir Fund operates under these Guiding Principles:
- Diversity as Strength. We recognize diversity as power and wisdom; this is dignity.
Interconnection as Responsibility. We recognize that we are intricately interconnected; solidarity and support flow from this.
- Active Healing. After centuries of a dominant economic system based on extraction, racism, and disconnection from one another and our earth, we need to actively heal and restore wholeness.
- Collective Wisdom. We weave together our reflections and stories to surface wisdom.
- Commitment to the Process. We commit to being in deep relationship and process with each other.
The Buen Vivir Fund is the collective response of Thousand Currents and our movement 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.
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 today includes $431,200 in loan capital, $260,000 in grant capital, as well as unquantifiable investments of time and wisdom by the 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 the climate crisis or environmental protection. Additionally, more than half of the organizations focus on women’s rights and leadership.
More about the Buen Vivir Fund:
- Higdon, Grace L. (2019) Linking Participation and Economic Advancement: Buen Vivir Fund Case Study, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies
- A Master Class on Buen Vivir: Highlights from a master class on the concept of buen vivir, taught to the Thousand Currents team by María Estela Barco Huerta of DESMI, a member of the Buen Vivir Fund founding circle
- Buen Vivir, Right Living, a We Rise podcast featuring Buen Vivir Fund members and staff (also available on KPFA, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Spreaker)
- Podcast by Regenerative Finance: Discussion of the co-design process of the Buen Vivir Fund launch in Mexico City
Questions? Contact Gaithiri Siva, Director of the Buen Vivir Fund.
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