Sustainable Resiliency® Underwriting and the Means Meter®

Urban Logic’s work at the Mayor’s post-September 11th Command Center showed that in an emergency, New Yorkers would and could work together rapidly in common cause and with a mutual aid spirit.

In September 2000 as a follow on to their highly successful PlanetWork ConferenceJim Fournier and Elizabeth Thompson gathered a tribe of 23 civil society technologists in the ancient Redwood Forest of Ben Lomond CA. and included Bruce Cahan Sequoia-close-upand others.  This “Redwoods Group” – later dubbed LinkTank – included original architects of what they called augmented social networking, technology that formed the early fabric for sites like LinkedIn.

At the Ben Lomond gathering, Bruce Cahan shared the potential for impacts-aware consumerism to reduce the environmental and social damage of developed economies. The 9/11 Attacks and the City’s emergency response convinced Bruce that if a measure of regional quality of life impact could be created, municipal and corporate bonds, bank credit and consumer product choices would shift in response to transparently seeing their impacts.

Bruce called the composite quality of life measure sustainable resiliency®, and the consumer’s smartphone tool to scan products and manage financial lives responsibly the Means Meter®.

  • With cameras reading ubiquitous consumer product bar codes, in Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android Phone, the Means Meter would have the bandwidth and product UPC: Universal Product Code data to feedback product manufacturer and supply chain identities.
  • With thousands of performance benchmarks promoted by various expert communities as signifying the health of quality of life components, such as education, environment, public health, infrastructure and other domains, the data existed, geospatially, to compute sustainable resiliency.

All that was needed was the “use case” for doing so, for making smarter decisions matter. In February 2008, Bruce Cahan sketched the technologies at his Google Tech Talk, stopping short of revealing Urban Logic’s work to create a bank – the GoodBank™(IO) Project – that would reward consumers and the businesses they enjoy, for transacting in sustainable resiliency as a measure of quality of life.

Bruce Cahan

Bruce Cahan is CEO and co-founder of Urban Logic, a nonprofit that harnesses finance and technology to change how systems think, act and feel. He is an Ashoka Fellow, aa Lecturer at Stanford University's Department of Management Science & Engineering, a Distinguished Scholar at Stanford mediaX and a former CodeX Fellow at Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics. Bruce was trained as an international finance lawyer at Weil Gotshal & Manges in NYC (10 years) and as merchant banker at Asian Oceanic in Hong Kong (2 years). Bruce graduated The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. Economics 1976) and Temple Law School (J.D. 1979). Bruce has been licensed to practice law in California (2006), New York (1980) and Pennsylvania (1980).

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