Because CleanFish is touted as a 'Socially Responsible B Corp Company" I get a good share of inquiries from young students looking hopefully at a more sustainable future through the pioneering work of such companies as mine. So, recently I got a note from a very bright student at UC Berkeley who pointed my attention to a Bloomberg Business online article, "Sustainable-Finance MBAs Struggle to Find Jobs." The student asked my take on the points raised in the article which were, basically:
• "...the sustainability niche is a, nice-to-have, or even a detractor from real business, real finance, and real economics..."
• "...one day we won't talk about sustainable finance, we'll just talk about finance..."
• "...over the longer-term (there may be) greater demand for these students..."
To a young bright mind these are real questions, and hard to respond to because hidden under the questions in this article provoke a broader question:
When will the current description of how economics works and how wealth is created not merely crumble around the edges to those who are attentive; but, rather, be seen as more in a state of collapse at a level that forces a larger view of economics and wealth creation to be more commonly accepted as critically necessary? This is a Big Time-Bounded Question.
The 'experts' cited by Bloomberg may be correct. A "Sustainable-Finance MBA" continues to treat sustainability as an extra consideration... a side order, not the entrée; in many cases not even listed on the menu, rather something you ask the waiter if the chef can offer something for a locavore, off-menu.
Yet, big changes are afoot... and running down the current descriptions that are being held closely by capital venture market players... cause for them the current description is still paying their bills... with astonishing fees... outrageous carried interest funny money...bonuses, and the like -- for a comparatively very, very few.
The entire focus of a new economics is dependent upon a more meaningful shift in the very definition of wealth creation. And/or, the definition of what will preserve and further develop wealth even for those who currently are doing well.
This is a sea-change, a shift of tidal flows from a Make-Take-Waste set of assumptions that is extractive and destructive of anyone's futures (including the children of the 1 percent); and a move that may very well dwarf the current view of wealth as it will tap into the astonishing capacities of the natural economy to regenerate and amaze in its wealth sustaining elements; you know, like really clean water, air, abundant fisheries, inventive uses of renewable energy along with smart tech conservation and saving devices that eliminate waste and turn what waste there is into further usage elements...you know, like natural food systems capable of delivering local and fresh food produced and distributed region by region by a transportation system even hipper than Uber's 5-year software takeover from taxi drivers asleep at the wheel throughout the Western world.
Your generation faces a tough question. It is tough because it is so stark. You see some classmates turning to capital venture firms that offer them in their first year out more money than those students' parents might ever make. This is very enticing stuff to any young person looking for a future that offers some creature comfort and status. You must ask your gut, your vision, your heart if you can believe that view of economic reality is on your side of history for even the course of your lifetime?
The final line in this Bloomberg Business article, "Sustainable-Finance MBAs Struggle to Find Jobs", is "Life's tough for these kids. There is no real career path". Some will see in that line threat, some opportunity.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, for the past 30 or so years, the story of wealth creation has come from innovators not waiting for those in power to relinquish their sense of entitlement. Wealth, we have come to see, can and has come from "The Crazy Ones"; from those not just 'getting over' on the current game, but Changing the Game. The changes calling out to this generation are for game-changing in ways that demonstrate the new game can be designed to be better, smarter, and even possibly staring the old guard in the face while remaining unseen. Why? Because their descriptions of reality, especially those for which they're being rewarded, simply kept this open field run out of their points of view.
The job of Sustainable-Finance MBAs might be tough because those designing the curriculum don't think in terms that are big enough to really make the difference. Perhaps even the young students in these courses sense those limitations. Perhaps only when your generation is willing to take on the personal and collective challenges of Regenerative Finance will we see the dawning of a new horizon more fertile and capable of efficacious wealth creation that will benefit far more than the 1 percent that the current economic descriptions seem to allow we Earthlings to dare to dream as possible.