Money isn’t everything – A new definition of wealth | DW Documentary

Most investing is aimed at generating as much profit as possible. But that’s slowly changing. Some people are now working on a new definition of wealth. The idea: earn money and put it to good use. But how?

The Kenyan company BURN is developing a resource-friendly oven for the country’s rural populace. Large areas of forest are often cut down to meet the huge demand for firewood. The new oven aims to change that. The company needs capital if it is to expand.
This capital is organized by Olga Dickmann, through what’s known as crowdinvesting: instead of putting their money into anonymous funds, investors can choose this model to specifically promote sustainable, environmentally-friendly projects. And those investments don’t necessarily have to be big. Small sums from many backers facilitate larger investments. Funders receive their investment back at a later date with interest.
Investing money while doing good at the same time – an approach that’s also being pursued in the German city of Münster. For decades, the city has been a pioneer in local climate protection. It invests in what’s known as ‘climate trainers’: Local people who are trained to become CO2 experts, then go on to advise households and companies. The program has been an outright success: Since its launch, the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Münster households are a total of 2.5 tons less than that of the average German household.
The Engemann family from the region of Höxter grows organic fruit, vegetables and cereals. They’re well-connected and support other organic smallholdings in the area. In 2020, they compiled what’s known as a balance sheet for the common good. This not only shows the financial profits from their business, but also its social and ecological value.
It’s a model that’s gained a foothold internationally too: nations like Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland no longer want to measure their wealth by GDP alone, but also in consideration of new indicators of success such as social justice and eco-friendliness.

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