How Robo-Advisors Can Be Used For a Higher Purpose
In a rapidly changing world, where climate change threatens to affect our quality of life forever, we can inspire ourselves from the courage of world leaders such as Tshering Tobgay · Prime Minister of Bhutan and harness the income producing power that Robo-Advisors provide to fund projects contributing to the greater good of humanity.
The Bhutanese story
Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.
According to Wikipedia, Bhutan is the size of Switzerland, with a population of just 750,000. Its small size belies its geographical and biological diversity. The elevation changes quickly from 3,000-feet to an average of 8,000-feet above sea level. There are dense, humid, subtropical jungles, cool temperate forests, and alpine meadows and snow-covered mountains. It’s home to the elusive snow leopard, and the white-bellied heron, one of the rarest birds in the world. Two things drive its economy—hydropower it sells to India, and tourism, growing but still limited.
Bhutan’s constitution mandates that 60% of the country remain under forest cover. It also says that every citizen is a trustee of the environment. “It’s a conservation paradise,” says World Wildlife Fund president and CEO Carter Roberts. But one that needs a plan. “You haven’t done your job if you’ve created a project and not financed it,” he says.
To fund projects like the Bhuthan experiment, it takes more than willpower. It takes money and a lot of it.
To accomplish its goal to provide a great environment for its citizens, Bhutan created a project called; Bhutan for Life. Bhutan for Life, through a $100 million fund, finances environmental initiatives it set itself to realize.
It uses Wall Street innovations to bring together the public sector, development agencies, banks, foundation and individuals in a single project. The money in the fund is released as the government checks off its deliverables, ensuring that all investment are applied toward the project deliverables.
Harnessing the power of Robo-Advisors
Inspired by the Bhuthan experiment, and because Robo-Advisors are designed to provide a steady stream of income, we can harness this technology to grow several funds and contribute to the greater good of our communities.
On platforms where millions of investors trade everyday, a simple on-boarding flow would allow investors to pledge a part of their future profits towards a project they care about.
Because of the massive scale of transactions generated by Robos, we would be able to funds projects that require large amounts of financial resources. At scale, we can put programs in place that would address global issues ranging from Global Warming to Universal Basic Income.
By harnessing the power of technology we can influence which projects are worthy of getting funded, build a better future for our children and give back to our communities.