January 6, 2020
Dear Dr. Bush,
I spent some time last weekend watching the interview you did with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Children’s Health Defense. I was dismayed to hear that you had embarked on an impact-investing venture, The Human Resiliency Fund. For those who haven’t yet seen it, your discussion of the fund and related projects starts around timestamp 35 minutes.
ICV the entity that houses the fund you manage, has an office in Philadelphia where I live. So this is personal for me. I get a sense that you’re the type of person who prefers not to think ill of anyone or group – always the optimist. For that reason, I want to offer you insights from my research into human capital bond markets. I hope it will open your eyes to the landscape in which you are operating.
Update – it seems the video is not longer available on the Children’s Health Defense website. If you have instagram, you can access it here.
Source Bush Bio
ICV’s Philadelphia Office is in the Cira Center where the first “Total Impact” Conference was held in 2018.
You can see me here protesting the second “Total Impact” conference. I felt it was my duty to tell these investors that humans are not things to be impacted. That concentrated wealth running through the bodies of the poor only enriches social entrepreneurs and does not redistribute wealth to those most in need.
I see Robert Smith, founder of ICV and fifth generation investment executive, is a member of the President’s Leadership Council of Thomas Jefferson University.
ICV hosted a health innovation conference in Philadelphia in 2017 with Jefferson Health System. In the world of Jefferson “health,” emergency room treatment means being seen by a doctor on a screen – this is in the seventh largest city in the nation. They bought Philadelphia University to expand their research into wearable technology – perfect for the shift to the Internet of Bodies. Their Health Design Lab collaborated with a local landscape architecture firm, Studio Ludo, to redesign Waterloo Playground. It is located in West Kensington at the epicenter of the heroin epidemic. The design process involved getting local children to put on fit bits and be tracked as they used the site under drone surveillance.
You know – to figure out how best to redesign the space.
Not creepy at all – eye roll.
Based on your interviews I cannot imagine this is the type of treatment you would endorse. And yet it exemplifies the approach global health innovators take with vulnerable children – to them these kids are merely sources of data to be harvested by Internet of Things sensors. In the coming years will poor children be expected to “earn” their playground access with demonstrations of improved health data? Yes, that is the plan. I know this because I know about the Heckman Equation.
I know that in an oak paneled room at the University of Chicago (it’s always the Chicago Boys) a Nobel prize winning economist by the name of James Heckman was paid by George Soros to conjure up a formula that said investing in children would yield a 7-10% rate of return, but that it could bump to 13% IF you included health data.
So that is why we’re going to have “smart” playgrounds fitted out with sensors and QR codes. I confronted Patrick Morgan, who used to work for the Knight Foundation that awarded Philadelphia its first Internet of Things grant and is now deputy commissioner of strategy for Parks and Recreation, about this at May 2019 ribbon cutting for playground renovations at Columbus Square. I was there as part of the protest.
I told him we must address the ethics, or lack thereof, inherent in the Heckman Equation and human capital finance, because if we don’t poor kids will pay for their playgrounds in health data. He didn’t say I was wrong. He was just surprised that I knew about the Heckman Equation. We aren’t supposed to know Dr. Bush. We aren’t supposed to know. But I do know, and that is why I must tell you, and that is why you must tell others, because it is barbaric.
Impact investing is the foundation for “stakeholder capitalism” being rolled out by the World Economic Forum. Under the guise of benevolence, companies are re-branding themselves B Corps or Benefit Corporations and laying claim to a new arena – The Fourth Sector. The Fourth Sector provides the infrastructure by which the government can outsource public benefits – education, healthcare, housing, and nutrition. Everything is about to shift to public-private partnerships where the poor are commodities to be managed in order to profit global investors.
Pay for Success finance uses predictive profiling to reframe humans as potential burdens on society. It is a way of abstracting the sacredness of human life as debt products that can be traded on global markets. The premise of human capital bond markets rests on monetizing some negative externality – special education, re-incarceration, unemployment, addiction, or chronic illness. The latter category includes heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. I speak on this in depth in a recent interview with Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo.
Sweden just embarked on the world’s first Health Impact Bond focused on diabetes in partnership with Social Finance UK and Social Finance Israel. This project is being carried out in connection with United Nations Development Goal 3, Health. I am including a map below outlining the complexity of this project as it relates to global investment in wearable tech, mHealth, smart fabrics, and DNA nudge bands tracking food purchases.
Unfortunately I cannot link to the original map, because administrators of the LittleSis.org website found my research too problematic and removed the 350+ maps I meticulously prepared over the past three years. Apologies for the inadequacy of the resolution here. It should suffice to say that the World Economic Forum’s plan to set up our bodies as sites of profit and data extraction is proceeding apace and as the manager of an impact portfolio you are caught up in this odious transformation whether you know it or not.
Governments are developing outcomes-based contracts to outsource services to non-profits that provide “evidence-based” solutions to populations deemed at risk. The non-profits secure investment in their programs, and when the success metrics are met, investors are paid back plus a portion of the cost savings as a return on their investment.
In the medical field these metrics are being framed as a value-based model. While on the surface this may seem better than fee-for-service, in reality it will redefine “health” as only that which can be represented narrowly on a data dashboard. Just as a third grade reading score is no true measure of a child’s education, a person’s BMI or blood glucose level is no true measure of their health. In the world of pay for success both must be reduced to data, because the driving force is the need to channel transnational global capital through our bodies. They have weaponized social determinants of health.
You get a sense of this in the language used around the humanitarian program “Every Woman, Every Child.” These two screen shots were taken from a report by USAID titled “Unleashing Private Capital For Global Innovation.” Robert Smith, founder of ICV, was among the investors interviewed as part of the creation of this document. All the heavy hitters were on board with it including Global Impact Investment Network, The United Nations, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Sir Ronald Cohen, father of British Venture Capital and creator of the first social impact bonds.
They speak of women and children using phrases like “scaling innovation” and “marketplace efficiency,” “brokerage platforms,” “licensing partners,” and “tailored support for network clusters.” This is not the way you speak of the care you provided birthing mothers and dying elders. You would not speak of scaled innovation or vetted portfolios or cluster strategy. This is the language of central banks that would capture the life essence of our friends, family, and neighbors and transform it into a bond of indebtedness. The San Francisco Federal Reserve has taken the lead in developing these markets, which target the very populations you want to help.
You speak of bringing soil back to life, of the complexity of the microbiome. Which is why it was so jarring to hear you speak of Alegria Farms, which is a tabletop growing venture backed by Bank of America. This is no farm; it is a parking lot garden. SoilSoxx are not regenerative. This is no ecosystem; it is a temporary installation in a parking lot. You can try and paint this as innovation, but it is at best a band-aid.
Source Alegria Parking Lot “Farm”
The fact that it’s in a food pantry parking lot speaks to the corruption inherent in the system. How many people did Bank of America put out of their homes? How many families were destabilized by this company’s foray into structured debt finance – legalized gambling? What will that look like when the new forms of structured finance are HUMAN capital bonds? What will it mean to compel people on food assistance to scan their purchases and earn behavioral scrip? What of these DNA Nudge Bands? No amount of organic baby kale is going to remedy the harms caused by institutions that prey upon the weak.
Source DNA Nudge Band
Source SNAP Diagram
How many impact deals is Bank of America prepared to squeeze out of this local urban farming project? A project that seems to be more about plastic containers and irrigation systems – a project in keeping with the larger Agenda 21 plan to push people off the land into compact urban centers.
Will they link Alegria Farms to a diabetes health impact bond? How about a workforce training impact bond – with a side of free labor where people can earn skills badges? Perhaps an early childhood education impact bond if it’s installed at a school? Or an anti-recidivism bond if it’s placed in a prison? Or perhaps a mental health impact bond if it’s in a rehabilitation center? You see that is how impact investors think. How many verticals can you integrate as you are scaling disruptive innovation?
Is this what the farmers of India are fighting for? No, it is not. They are caretakers of the land. They are healers. They are standing strong in spirit to preserve an authentic relationship to the land. Are they pitching plastic vertical gardens and special soil in tubes? No. Food is part of a web of relationship, an ecosystem not a factory. We have to be clear in our intention. We have to be very, very clear.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution that is advancing on the heels of Covid is a program to remake the earth as a machine controlled by artificial intelligence, automation, and synthetic biology. This is not a deep state conspiracy theory. I wish it were, but it is not. This Great Reset is a catalyst for what the Japan Science and Technology Agency is advancing in its Moonshot R&D program, Society 5.0 or Cyborg Avatar Capitalism. The aim is to create a society where humans are “free from limitations of body, mind, space, and time by 2050.” In a word they are aiming for most of humanity, besides the billionaire class, to be virtualized and disconnected from the earth for our own good. And this new world has to be coded. The synthetic biology agenda must be advanced. Slowly the world will be remade as data. Remaking the food system is a part of that.
Source Cybernetic Avatar Society
You know what would be truly revolutionary? It would be to step away from Bank of America’s table. Step away from the prospect of converting Bill Gates to being a good guy. Step away from the allure of scaled innovation, because such things undermine that which you’ve built your reputation on – your sense of the sacred and the spirit. The poor deserve better than a parking lot garden next to the train tracks where they buy their food with nudge bands and their children have to wear fit bits on the playground to earn food credits.
Life isn’t a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal commodity.
It’s a cherished gift.
You should tell that to Robert on your way out.