Hawaii island-based sustainability leader Michael Kramer visits Kakaako co-working space ProtoHUB from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 10 for “Resilience Is The New Sustainability” to celebrate the launch of his book, The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money.
The book, which Kramer co-authored with Hal Brill, Christopher Peck and Jim Cummings, is a guide on how to best utilize your time, money and attention in a way that reflects your values and helps strengthen communities for the future.
Kramer and his co-authors were inspired to write the book when the recession hit.
“The economic downturn revealed some potentially serious flaws in the economic system, and I think it made us really think about how are we going to protect ourselves,” he recalls. This type of investing, he explains, is designed to protect people in the face of either economic or ecological issues, as it involves diversifying investment portfolios, while supporting innovations such as alternative technology.
Kramer deals with such sustainable investing in his day job as managing partner at Natural Investments, an investment firm that emphasizes social responsibility. Much of his work involves educating clients on the relationship that exists between sustainability and investment — a tie, he says, that is quite strong.
“It is all connected to me,” he says. “Money can be a tool for social change.”
Kramer has been an active part of the green industry since the 1980s — before it was really an industry at all. After learning about permaculture, a global sustainable design philosophy, more than 25 years ago, he has made it his mission to educate others on environmental issues and maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. He previously served as executive director of Permaculture Drylands Institute. With a particular interest in passing on this knowledge to the next generation, he founded sustainability service learning program Youth Ecology Corps.
On Hawaii island, Kramer also founded Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy and is a board member of Sustainability Association of Hawaii.
In The Resilient Investor, Kramer aims to help readers “anticipate and prepare for disturbance, improve the capacity to withstand shocks, rebuild as necessary, and adapt and evolve when possible.
“That is our definition (of resiliency), and I think it is different,” he adds. “The usual definition is just about coping. What we want to do is not just wait for disaster, we want to try to plan to divert disaster if we can.”
To do that, The Resilient Investor offers a framework for investing in three asset types (personal, tangible and financial) in three investment strategies (close to home, sustainable global economy and evolutionary). It focuses on a broader definition of what investing is, and includes non-financial assets and investments within your community that are designed to cultivate positive change.
Even if you’re not financially ready to begin investing, according to Kramer, you’re already doing it, consciously or not: “Every dollar that you have, you can use to invest in improvements — whether it is energy efficiency or nontoxic products for your house, or what you buy at the store.
“It is all an investment, and it all ripples everywhere,” he continues. “As consumers change their behavior, then companies want to meet the demand.”
Tickets for the ProtoHUB book launch cost $10, and all proceeds benefit Proto-HUB. In addition to a presentation by Kramer, the event will include a panel discussion featuring other local sustainability leaders. For more information, visit www.protohubhonolulu.net.
For more on The Resilient Investor and a breadth of investmentresources, visit resilientinvestor.com.