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Check Out Gregory Wendt’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gregory Wendt.

Gregory, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?

Sustainable development has been integral to my life since the late 80’s. I’ve dedicated my gifts to regenerative economic development, finance, portfolio management, economic strategy, business innovation, and responsible investing ever since. Now my focus is incorporating biomimicry to evolve impact investing and economic development toward resilient economic evolution.

Since 1991, I enjoy serving people who align their values, wealth and influence for a better world. I have built my expertise on multidisciplinary education, inquiry and a wide range of experiences with some of the world’s leading institutions.

Now my team and I serve range of business leaders, investors, families of wealth, think tanks and institutions to create better strategies and systems to improve communities and the world.

Being a Southern California native, I have celebrated living in Santa Monica since I moved here in 1983. I love savoring rare aged teas, art, cooking for loved ones, long walks, weekly swimming, esoteric philosophy, meditation, yoga, and photography. My aim is to carry my passion for personal development and human evolution into every moment with every relationship.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
This has been a long journey, since the early days of discovering the community of leaders around the world when I attended the “Globescope Pacific Assembly” conference in 1989 where the UN brought 1,500 people together to expand and create ways that the notion of “sustainable development” would be applied in North America. I was part of that conference and helped create the publication “A Citizen’s Response to Sustainable Development” which informed my worldview.

In brief, the idea that the economy is separate from society and that society is separate from nature is obvious to all of us, yet the challenges I faced were largely around the fact that the financial system, the educational framework and our systems of governance are based on the illusion that economy, society and nature are separate systems. I realized that most of our leaders and organizations are based on silo thinking, reduced to separate parts of the world – based on the blind spots in our worldview. Those blind spots – where we overlooked the impact of our businesses and activities on communities – pollution, poverty, homelessness, etc. are all a result of our flawed thinking.

So, back to your question, the struggles I faced along the way were to find more people who thought like I did – with a whole systems mindset – to approach the challenges we all cared about.

I eventually began finding groups and efforts of like-minded people and began gathering people together in events starting in 2003 to connect, share ideas, projects, find partners, etc. in a range of meetups, conferences, salons and other events – to build community.

There is still a growing number who see the value in the vision wholistic approach to solve our world’s challenges – and I am grateful that people like me are working more and more together to create investments, build projects, and work to support investors and leaders on a better way forward for humanity. That all said, it feels like we’re at the beginning of the next wave of our growth as a movement, which has its inherent struggles, yet we can meet it head on.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Since the problems in the world are becoming increasingly complex and widespread – we must find new approaches to address the root causes. Thankfully there are more and more people who are taking a whole systems approach, known as “systems thinking” to build and manage their wealth, grow their businesses, lead their communities, govern their countries, etc. and I am committed to serving the evolution of the mission critical solutions for earth, and our communities of practice.

Over the years, I have been heartened by an increasing number of investors and leaders who want go beyond the “me first” approach to economic development and investing to a larger view of all of the stakeholders in the businesses and communities they aim to invest in or lead. We are seeing that the world must harness the gifts of diversity and by including more viewpoints and perspectives in our portfolios, strategies, policies and communities – we can thrive and become more resilient.

With these guiding ideas, I am inspired to continue to find ways to evolve the ways that systems thinking serves portfolio management, increasing the flow of capital to communities, economic development, caring for our underserved and BIPOC communities and ensuring a healthy biosphere, all at the same time.

My community of allies and partners are some of the most innovative creators on the planet, and I am grateful to be able to bring people together from something as simple as offering a listening ear to a client in need to serving social entrepreneurs in expanding their reach to helping public officials find a better ideas and systems for future generations.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I have many favorite memories yet the one that comes to mind is the experience of moving from the inner city to a place where I learned to ride waves and skin dive in the beauty of the ocean. Golden sunsets over the mist of green waves, or diving among kelp, many fish and multicolored life. As a surfer, I enjoyed nature’s beauty up and down the California Coast, and that love has driven me to help serve the betterment of our world for our generation and the generations to come.

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