5 | JOEL SOLOMON – Chairman, Renewal Funds


Joel Solomon is Founding Partner of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm at over $98M, investing in Organics and EnviroTech in Canada and the USA. With Founder/Funder Carol Newell, he spent 14 years implementing a “whole portfolio to mission” strategy as leader of her activist Family Office. As Executive Director of Endswell Foundation, Joel guided the spend down of a $20M endowment, leaving Tides Canada Foundation and Hollyhock as legacy charities, while supporting the success of the renowned BC environmental community. As President of Carol’s Renewal Partners seed capital fund, he placed $10M+ into dozens of values driven companies in BC and through their networks across the continent. Joel was active in the launch of the municipal political party Vision Vancouver, led by close friend, Mayor Gregor Robertson, the longest serving Mayor in Vancouver, and co-founder of Happy Planet Foods, where Joel served on the board for 10 years. He is co-producer of RSF Social Finance’s “Integrated Capital Fellows” program for social change investment leaders, a 2012 TEDxVancouver Speaker, a Founding Member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility, and the Tides Canada Foundation, and recently retired Board Chair of Hollyhock. Joel is a member of the University of British Columbia Board of Governors, and Co-Author of The Clean Money Revolution, a call to action to move trillions of dollars from damage to regeneration.

Joel Solomon website

Joel’s mission: “Do everything we can so people who come next have blessings we had and can do even better.”

Joel’s one-line message to the world: “Know where your money is and what it is doing to people and places. Do less harm. Do more good with it.”

The SUE Speaks Blog Post about Joel Solomon
  • The biggest transfer of wealth in history will occur during the next 20 years
  • The Clean Money Revolution is us being conscious with what gets supported by that 40-100 trillion dollars.
  • A little history of money
  • The perils of late-stage capitalism – the system must change
  • How much is enough? Then, what am I going to do with more money?
  • Every single part of society is going to go through transformation economically
  • Becoming conscious of how your money is invested
  • Assets should be moved into the emerging, clean economy
  • The need for government to regulate us
  • The necessity of a shift of consciousness
  • Ideas for how to turn the world around
  • The power of the individual to change the world
  • Joel’s path of experimentation and discovery
  • The need to find our calling that’s bigger than ourselves
  • Young people are getting inspired to more intelligent financial choices
  • The brilliance of what we’ve created and the loss of our ethical core
  • The growth of ethical investing (impact investing)
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Joel’s speculation of how 100 trillion dollars could be invested to change the world
  • Joel puts fair taxation as the most impacting change we can make
  • The most significant issue to deal with is global warming
  • Whoever does the most good wins – a campaign
  • Joel’s inspirations: the Chicago riots, working with Jimmy Carter, Rex Weyler as a mentor, Save the Whale Foundation, Pacific Killer Whale Foundation (Orca Lab), Joel’s mother.
  • Joel’s sister, Linda Solomon
  • Recommended books: Rex Weyler’s books, “Real Impact” by Morgan Simon (Joel called it “Real Money” on the podcast), “Drawdown” by Paul Hawkins
  • Women needing to be properly empowered – “Make it more fair on the planet and we can solve anything.”
  • Joel’s TED talk


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Performed by Leonard Cohen
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Comments · 8

  • Rosalind Robinson · December 31, 2019

    So many good points. I liked the thought about the need for the religious to address how we use capital. And yes – “Fair Taxation!” Thanks for the link to Joel’s Ted Talk, and for giving him your own platform for all these intelligent thoughts.

    • suzanne · January 5, 2020

      You’d love his book. His intelligent thoughts combine with his personal journey of how he evolved them, and he’s one of those deeply real, warm human beings so a book that might have been intimidating is more of an adventure story than an economics class.

  • Weston · December 14, 2019

    I really appreciate hearing Joel’s wisdom on how capital can be redeployed in positive ways to help solve current-day problems such as the climate crisis. It is clear that his philosophy comes from intentional and mindful exploration which is inspiring to hear.

    • suzanne · December 16, 2019

      Right on, Weston! I hope your shout-out for Joel encourages anyone with a decent amount of savings or investment capital to listen to what he has to say. People by and large don’t get a good education in the enlightened handling of money and Joel delivers that beautifully. We are lucky to know him!

  • Steve Morey · November 26, 2019

    I’m grateful to Suzanne for bringing my attention to Joel’s ideas about money. Not having any excess to speak of, it was not something that was on my radar. Thanks to Suzanne’s podcast with him and her putting in the time to read his book and sharing her own learning curve on the subject, I feel I have a new understanding. I shared it with my money manager and other friends. Keep these enlightening discussions coming please. Thanks…

    • suzanne · November 30, 2019

      I approached Joel’s book with trepidation, but it was so engagingly written, where his flesh and blood world intertwined with the money world, that I became grateful for the exposure to such basic realities in a way that I was able to grasp them. He is such a commendable human being, and I was inspired by him to be a more responsible spender.

  • Loren Lewis · November 26, 2019

    This was one of the most inspiring podcasts I’ve ever heard. Not only are we in urgent need of change regarding global warming and economics, but Joel Solomon suggests that we can solve almost every crisis if our consciousness and commitments are aligned. If we had a spiritual evolution regarding our understanding about what money is, where it comes from, and what it does, we can make real change, and he already has done much in this area. I, like, Suzanne, have not been that careful regarding my investments, but I’ve already given a copy of this book to my investment banker and I intend to become more vigilant and not passive at the very least. Thank you, Joel and Suzanne!

    • suzanne · November 30, 2019

      I keep my eyes open for where I can deliver Joel’s work and message. One of the realities of life, it seems to me, is that there isn’t a broad enough understanding about what Joel is talking about, so people like us don’t even realize how out of synch with what’s optimum we are.

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