Francesco Collaborative

Welcome. We’re glad you’re here.

We are a U.S.-based network of entrepreneurs, capital stewards, scholars and social movement leaders seeking to draw upon the wisdom of our Catholic lineage to transform the economy to support our shared human and planetary flourishing.

Our vision for a new economy is anchored in Pope Francis’ integral ecology, described in his encyclical Laudato Si. It is an economy that promotes the common good, ensures human dignity, and protects all of creation and our shared well-being.

Catholic Social Teaching (CST)

CST’s main pillars speak to the new world we want to see: human dignity, the common good, subsidiarity, solidarity, the preferential option for the poor. How can these pillars become an ethical framework for updating — and transforming — our investment philosophy, approach, policies, and priorities?

Co-ops and Employee Ownership

We believe a focus on advancing democratic ownership models is deeply aligned with CST’s principles. How do we invest in shared ownership?

How developed are co-ops, ESOPs, purpose trusts, and their funds?

What do term sheets, deal flow, growth in these sectors look like?

Bold
Action

We need relational infrastructure to help us do the work we are most called to do in order to steward a new economy. How are my peers overcoming the practical challenges to investing in these alternatives?

What frameworks and resources have helped them take their work to a new level of impact?

Our Invitation to You

We recognize the responsibility we carry in shaping the future. We feel the evolving signs of the times, and see that new theoretical frameworks and practical strategies are needed.

We believe bold action is needed.

We are intrigued by the opportunity to translate Catholic Social Teaching to answer the “Cry of the Earth” and the “Cry of the Poor.”

We are motivated to connect capital stewards and high-impact alternatives such as cooperative models and employee ownership to embody the new economy.

Our aim is to build a collaborative of individuals and organizations that can stand together on the sacred ground of what many of us know is our most important work.

About

We originated through the Economy of Francesco initiative and Pope Francis' invitation to enter into a “covenant” to change today’s economy and to give a soul to the economy of tomorrow. We began by curating small groups of investors around the topic of Investing in Livable Futures through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching and tools of the related and emerging global solidarity economy.

For many of us, Pope Francis’ call for our accompaniment of the poor and marginalized has been the inspiration to pioneer new strategies that move our money and entrepreneurial efforts in the direction of more mission-aligned and equitable futures. We have made important strides, and yet still have so far to go.

Today, the world finds itself in the grips of multiple intersecting crises, crying out for new vision and bold collaboration in building livable futures where all can thrive.

The Pandemic has further laid bare the ways that inequality and climate change will be the defining challenges of our generation. The window to act is finite and closing — today is precious and tomorrow is never guaranteed.

To carve new paths toward bold and concrete action, we need a new kind of consciousness from which to create new practices. While our training in business and economics, along with our experiences as entrepreneurs and investors, informs our analysis of possible strategies, we believe drawing upon our Catholic lineage and our shared discernment as a community will result in the kind of bold action that meets the moment.

“Invaluable … Even though I have years of experience in investment management, participation in the workshop provided access to many talented professionals who are sincerely interested in collaboration and moving forward with the integration of Catholic Social Teaching into investment decision making.”

Tom Marthaler, Retired, Neuberger Berman

Building a CST-Informed Capital Ecosystem

The Problem

  • Most investors don’t know that livable future options exist — they have the financial power but are unsure how and where to use it
  • Even fewer are the investment advisors knowledgeable about non-extractive, shared ownership investment options
  • Within the emerging investment landscape here, aligned opportunities are difficult to access

Our Solution

  • Workshops that help investors build relationships with peer asset holders focused on economic transformation
  • Facilitation of investor circles for on-going support in the sustained work on both the theoretical and practical levels
  • Network building for new collaborations that support human flourishing, mutualism, and growth of alternative governance and ownership structures

Team

Elizabeth Garlow
Co-Founder, Francesco Collaborative
Faith & Finance fellow at New America

Felipe Witchger
Co-Founder, Francesco Collaborative
Co-Founder, Community Purchasing Alliance

Contact Us

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“Your organizations [i.e., those of the global solidarity economy] are workshops of hope, creating new ways of understanding the economy and progress.”

Pope Francis

This is your future too.