In collaboration with the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP), the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR), the Qoin Foundation and a number of Puerto Rico-based contributors, we plan to establish the Sustainable Communities Institute on the island.
The Institute is intended to be the center of gravity for our Sustainable Communities Framework (SCF) efforts. We call it a “think-do tank” because it will take an active role in influencing what it is studying, in a positive feedback loop.
Our premise is that the Institute would be in the best position to record, analyze and report on the SCF implementation. It will document and develop best practices, and refine the methodology to facilitate application of the SCF in other distressed communities.
The Institute is intended to serve researchers, policymakers, business leaders, economic development organizations, NGOs, philanthropists, government officials and others from around the world who wish to observe and learn how to adapt the SCF to their local conditions.
The institute will also work with scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors and others to help develop products and services that can contribute to creating sustainable communities in Puerto Rico and beyond.
The Institute’s first activity will be to achieve an accurate measurement of the impact of the SCF in Puerto Rico. To that end, we will undertake two separate studies under rigorous academic conditions: A conventional gross domestic product (GDP)-type study (led by CEEDR) and the more inclusive Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) study (led by GISP). The SCF program on Puerto Rico provides a rich laboratory to integrate such studies with real world practices and to create a virtuous cycle.
As SCF is a cutting-edge economic development paradigm, it has applicability throughout most of the world, in both developed and developing economies. As the center of gravity for this program, the Institute will promote its adoption by providing expertise on the program and guidance on how to launch and grow it region by region.
In recognition that each of those efforts will require its own seed funding as well as funding to invest in and acquire small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the Institute will be forming one or more fund-of-funds investment pools. These funds will finance creation of local community investment funds (CIFs) that provide the financial resources to kick-start local programs.
In addition, each CIF is intended to be a publicly traded Small Business Holding Company (SBHC). Each of those SBHC/CIF funds could benefit from having a common trading platform wherein investors can buy and sell their ownership interests. Most SBHCs will issue securitized tokens as the means to represent ownership interests, as described in this fund being established in Puerto Rico.
Since those tokens are based on blockchain technology, they can be traded on a platform resembling a cryptocurrency exchange. The Institute plans to form such a trading platform, to be called UNIEX, short for UNIversal EXchange.