“So one thing I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around is the concept of “owning” these natural resources, since that is what buying and selling shares is all about: Owning a share of a company or commodity. So let’s say I want to buy a share of cats. How do I now “own” part of the world’s population of cats? I noticed in the video it shows “Bats Inc.” & “Healthy Babies Inc.” How is this possible and are we really creating corporations out of natural parts of the world?”
Our financial world is full of abstractions. The notion of money as a store of value is a pretty crazy idea when you think about it. Debt, the idea of money itself making money is really a tough concept yet most of us have found it useful and we employ that in our daily lives. Derivatives, which started with futures is an invention where you own the future value of something like crops. Farmers needed a way to pay for seed, fertilizer and the labor to plant crops in the spring against an uncertain harvest. So we invented futures.
All of these financial instruments are inventions to allow us to do something we wanted to do in the real world. The process of futures once involved the potential of physical delivery of the corn, wheat or rice. Today, we removed that. We own the potential value or change in value and not the thing itself.
So the problem we want to solve is that natural assets are not valued. How can we create a financial instrument to deal with that? A lot of people would agree that cats (lions, cougars, tigers, ocelots, bobcats, etc.) have value. But they don’t have a price.
But how do you price what you don’t own? Just like the commodity that we never will take possession of and own in a traditional sense, we own the value of those cats. And that value is what we agree it is via a market price. That value can go up or down depending on what happens to cats. If habitat for cats were destroyed, the value (price) of cats would go down. If I own the value of cats, I am not happy and I will have a very strong argument that cats should be preserved, they have value as cats and they have a financial value I or anyone in the world can point to and say they are worth $____, to prove it.
At IVE, we are designing new financial instruments that can allow us to take information that exists today — work by scientist, governments, businesses and organizations and distill them to a useful data point we call a price. Once assets have financial value they gain power.
In this country, women were once largely an un-priced asset. Sure women did work but it was not counted as part of the economy. A small portion, teaches, nurses, librarians, etc., were counted but women that ran households — not part of the economy. This is like nature; it works 24-7 and doesn’t get counted. Women in the U.S. now account for 25% of GDP ($3.5 Trillion Dollars of Financial Value). When women were counted in the economy they also got a seat at the political table.
We want all natural assets (including human potential) to be included in the economy and we are building the financial tools to make that happen.