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Unlocking Finance Through Radical Generosity with Vicki Saunders
Episode 163rd March 2023 • Be & Think in the House of Trust • Servane Mouazan
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In this episode of Be & Think in the House of Trust, I am speaking with Vicki Saunders.

Vicki is an entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of change-makers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world. Vicki is the Founder of #radical generosity and Coralus (formerly SheEO), a global community of radically generous women supporting women-led ventures working on the world’s To-Do List.

Highlights from this episode:

• (02:01) Vicki’s practice of being more graceful

• (7:21) We are looking for businesses that are healing

• (08:36) The hardest part of being an entrepreneur

• (14:13) The collective vs. the individual

• (25:39) Control is wildly expensive.

Useful Links

Become an activator or a Coralus Venture

Connect with Vicki Saunders on Linkedin

Connect with Servane:



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Episode 16 - Unlocking Finance Through Radical Generosity wi...



business, people, community, radical generosity, big, works, vicki, world, venture, trust, create, dreaming, money, feel, collective, connections, support, loan, radically generous, receive


Hello everyone this is Steven wasn't from conscious innovation. And I'm your host on this podcast be and think in the house of trust. It's an invitation to people who love to invest in social and environmental change to pause for a minute, and to contemplate and explore how we show up and where we fail to do so sometimes, when we convene people gather resources and reshare them to ignite more positive change. It's about the human side and the grace we need to dig deeper and have more genuine positive action. So you won't find much on traditional term sheets here. But instead, you'll hear alternative ways of doing things and truly exciting independent thinking.


Today, I am so thrilled to welcome Vickie Saunders, who's the founder of Coriolis formerly known as she you and Vicki is a connector, Alice to reason behind my secret crush few. Coriolis is a global community of radically generous women, and non binary folks supporting ventures working through revenue generating businesses on the world's to do list. So I've rarely seen an international community with so much care, warmth and learning at its core, Vicki, it's a powerful flywheel for mindful disruption and focus to change the stale pail way of doing finance, if it's social finance. Vicki, may I ask you where? And how did you find the grace to initiate this movement? What happened there for you?


First of all, I love the word grace. And thank you very much for hosting something that's about the human side, contemplation, pause. This is exactly what the world needs right now. Grace is actually one of the intentions I've had for my leadership for several decades. So it's something that I actually practice and work on to be more graceful in my leadership. So this is again, like to kind of come to it there isn't I find these days, a lot of people think that you just are the way you are naturally. And then everything for me has been a practice. So again, you set the intention to be graceful, and then you work on it. And everybody knows when I'm not being graceful. And so what I do is I encourage those around me to point that out in a way that I can receive. So I'll say, Are you being as graceful like I can receive Are you being as graceful as you could be right now. And when someone says that, when you've given them the words that you can receive, like, it's not a criticism, it's what you've actually invited people to hold up the mirror for you. It helps you to pay attention to that. It's really hard to change yourself on your own. It's a lot easier when you have a lot of people on your team helping you with that. And so I don't view it as a failure when I'm not graceful. I'm just like, oh, yeah, that's that habitual thing I do, that I've been conditioned to do. To be a little crusty today. Like, I don't want to be that way. And so help me not be that way. And then, you know, notice it without judgement is the big thing for any kind of transformation. Fantastic.


And Vicki, are you replicating that? Or is that your attention to replicate this way of being in the world with Coronas? Can you tell us more? Yeah, I


mean, so we are a community that at its core is practising being radically generous with ourselves and with others. And so it's important when you're working together, that you model the behaviour that you want to see. So the more that I can model that, the more that I see you modelling that as well. As you're more and more people in the community, that model that your community really starts to sort of like be in that stew of generosity and do it more and more. And so yeah, I mean, I believe the world would be fundamentally different. Our experience of our, you know, human connection would be very different. If we showed up in the spirit of radical generosity to one another, we would dream bigger, we would open our hearts more, we would share the love that we feel when that we don't say, when we're with somebody, it just, it would create a very different experience. So yeah, that's a it's a goal. For sure.


So go practice journey direction,


feeling, intention, the whole thing. Yeah. So


I can hear that some people's internal voice might say, Well, what does that vertical agenda was it to be woowoo finance radical generosity. Wow. Yet, you got to choose right? But actually, you created the first regenerative capital economy based on radical generosity. It's not grants. It's an investment is very little waste. I mean, we know it's not a secret that 99% With no more people you invest in, as a group as a collective repay within five years, right?


That's correct. Yeah, we do the 0% interest, five year loans. And we're flexible on the repayment terms as well. Like if people are having a hard time for a quarter, they can defer their payments. And, yeah, I mean, it really works when you are, again, that we're a lot of investment is done in a sort of transaction, way, I'm going to loan you this money, and I'm going to get this kind of return. And ours is not done that way. It's it's done, kind of in a bit more of a gift format. And it is a loan that we expect to be repaid. But it's the money is only one part of our relationship together. The generosity of spirit, and the community extends to making connections for these people, introducing them to people in your network, using your influence to open doors for them becoming customers, emotional support, like all kinds of different things are important for our collective success. Money is like such a small part of it. But we've been very conditioned to think it's the only thing that matters. And it's really the smallest part is important, but it's not everything.


How to Convince because I'm hearing the 0% interest rates, and some people might already faint about that. But you would just explain there is a return or return on connection or return on growth will return on learning. And, and so they're they're the two big groups, and sometimes they merged Yeah, you go the activators and the venture leaders, can you tell us more about the mechanism of how that works?


Yeah. So the way that this works is we each contribute a small amount per month, $92 equivalent in the marketplace that you're in, wherever you are in the world. And this money gets pulled together, and we as a community, decide where that money goes. And so ventures apply really simple application process, we're looking for those who are have world changing ideas, who are trying to transform systems that are rethinking business that are rethinking how you do business, what a workplace can look like. So we're not looking at the extractive high growth, just get me a return at all costs. We are looking for businesses that are healing, and that are solving major challenges we’re facing, we collectively decides we trust the intuition of hundreds of women to just what do you think the future should look like pick the businesses that you think really matter. And then we all go on a journey with them, they get these 0% interest loans, which they pay back over the five years, and then we all help them. And so being part of this community literally feel like you're part of that business's success, which is the it's the collective experience that we need to practice. Because we're so it's so ingrained in us, we're so conditioned to think that we're separate, and that we're individuals, and that I have to just take care of myself, and not worry about everybody else. And like we're seeing with climate change, big metaphor in front of us, that like we are all tied up with each other, we're entangled. My liberation is tied to your liberation, I can't be free until you're free to. And so in this way that we're doing support and loans to women entrepreneurs, it's designed as a collective experience to remind us that together, things are easier. And together, we will actually transform things individually and isolated. We stay stuck in the same loop of scarcity. Feeling alone?


Because I see But working with that social entrepreneurship and social impact ecosystem, there's a lot of good, you know, thoughts around yeah, we need to do things collectively, we're doing things collectively. And actually, there's a lot of loneliness still in the sector as well. But you flex that collective muscle in practice every day you Vicki, for instance, you know, when you lead a movement, it's, it can be can be sore, sometimes no.


erent truths, and then add in:


So yeah, previous life as an entrepreneur, it's quite successful. And, and so are you saying that the difference between before and now is that before by not being able to receive this and when you do know, there's, you know, says if a little piece of you die every time where you say no to receiving Hell,


yeah. And it's also like, it's way more joyful, way more fun, and a lot easier to entrepreneur with other people. ways here. You know, in the past, I'm of a different sort of vintage of like the new entrepreneur. Now I'm in like, my late 50s. But, you know, we used to teach people, and maybe some places still do this, that you have to know everything. You have to understand all parts of your business. And like the new paradigm is, I'm amazing strategy, connector, community builder, sit like storyteller. I'm amazing at all those things. I can do other things like I can do procedural kinds of things. I can do analytical things. But they're not. They don't energise me. And so I have learned to surround myself with all of the things that don't energise me. And so I, that's how I built my network. I'm like, I hate spreadsheets, who loves spreadsheets, and so I have a network of those people. And when I need to get those things done to do projections, I call a person who's like, I love that no problem. I'll do that right now. And they support and it's just like that. First. I was like, what people like doing this stuff that I hate doing? What are you kidding me? This is amazing, but it discovery. And so now I you know, when you surround yourself with folks who want to help you based on the things that you're not great at. I mean, it just everything's joy, they love contributing, because it's their thing. That's easy. I love providing connections to anybody. I have like just a humongous network, that helps your things go faster, right? Like if I know somebody who can do something in 15 minutes, that would take me two days. I'm like, What a joy. I asked them, they're psyched to help them they get to understand a bit about your business. And they tell their friends, the things they're excited about, just creates this, like real ripple of goodness and connectedness, which makes us all feel part of something. For me that business is really a container, a method, a way of like transforming myself and creating connections. The content that we're doing is like really, we're here to connect with each other and share gifts and, and receive other people's gifts underneath everything. That's what I think we're here for. Wow.


there would be neglecting the:


Yes, absolutely. So, and again, it kind of comes to the collective versus the individual. We've changed our name recently from CEO to coreless. And like, are in a big transformation moving from like a focus on the individual to focus on the community. And this morning on LinkedIn, I read a post from one of our mentors, so it's top of mind, and their name is chia, chia sisters, out of New Zealand. And this venture continues to blow my mind because from a conventional perspective, they are a solar powered juicery that uses like all these new antioxidants, all kinds of discovery around plant based medicine, essentially, that goes into their drinks for performance. They start so you're like, oh, okay, a juice company. Right? You could look at it and just go to but a juice company with a bunch of like great environmental practices, and they're doing fine. They've but they're not Coca Cola, right. So depending on how you look at it, you're like, whatever. But what I have watched this company do, which really blows my mind, and I think this is part of the thing, where we have to look at what is success in a business, they decided that they wanted to be net zero. So they went out and they changed, literally every single part of their business, learned everything they could about sustainability. And now they're actually a carbon positive company. And they then worked with all of their community locally, to share how they did that. And then it expanded beyond that. So all across New Zealand, now, their model of how to be net zero or carbon positive has been shared. So they rippled out into the ecosystem well around their business. And now their whole thing is like waste reduction. And like, how do we have no waste at all. And again, they approached it with a couple of partners that they've worked with on the other stuff. And now they've launched a whole nationwide in New Zealand process for having no waste in your business. And so for me, this is this is the system's transformation stuff, where you have a business that's sustainable, that figures it out themselves, and then starts to share it and creates these like ripple effects that are well, spillover benefits will be on their business. That's the kind of leadership in the future that we get to support here in this amazing community. At Corliss, it's not like you have to be as big as possible with as many as employees exporting to every country. If they're using their leadership in a different way to transform the entire sector to have better business practices. That to me is like, absolutely beautiful and doesn't show up in a stat of like, what's the revenue? How many employees do they have?


Right? Yeah, they Yeah, there's, there's that sense. So when we're moving away from power over to power when you can, no wonder, when you talked about these venture, I was feeling oh, my god is a traditional investor might have stopped that, oh, that's a juicing company. For me, it strikes me that you help to shepherd old investing routines to a good death. Yeah, because you also kind you don't just chuck them out, you still take the Excel skills using Wii U, you can still stay around. What else do you need to shepherd to a good death?


Well, I think this reliance on sort of traditional metrics, and it's like it's a giant inquiry, the world has not decided, what are the metrics that really matter, for the New World, for our survival. We don't have a shared vision on that. So in the past, our shared vision was just like profit. And then it was, which is hopefully dying shortly, just growth, growth at all, cost didn't even matter if you made money, right? Like, just look at what Silicon Valley just like takeover a whole market, use your venture capital, massive investment to try and become a monopoly has been the game for the last decade. And now people are like, Oh, that doesn't? Well, it sort of works. We'd like five companies basically, like the monopoly on everything. And most sectors have like one or two or three players at the most. So that kind of whole thing is over. And then those business models are all extractive. And they're harming us, and we know it, and we're stuck in this loop. And so we need to reinvent business, that scale, needs to be healing, as opposed to extraction. And that this is a very, very big paradigm shift that everyone's uncomfortable with. Because in most dialogues, it's or narratives that we have out there. It's like, how could it be an economy unless I'm personally making money? People don't like they find that very confusing. And so how can you have 0% interest rates, you're not maintaining the capital market, we're not here to maintain the capital, we're here to actually create impact from businesses that will actually heal our communities so that we can survive on the planet that we think is more important than getting a return financially.


In return, we will be there for the citizens, not the consumers for them much more than consumers their citizens.


Yeah, it's a return on life. Like, would you like to continue to live we're going to do like when we run out of everything, eat your money, like, there's what's the point?


Yeah, live or die? There's a choice here. So wonder, Where else would you like this model to apply? You know, practically having this no nonsense, radical generosity spread wide and large? Where else? Could we do that? And, you know, in incremental phases,


yeah, I mean, so basically, we've shown that you can actually have this model where you regenerate capital, and you just keep it rolling forward perpetually, to create all kinds of very positive impact in your communities. We've shown it's possible, we would love to see, but it has nothing to do with women, or non-binary folk. You could use this anywhere, like, we can do this on my street, we could decide that we want to support every like everyone on street, everyone puts in a bit of money. We all become customers and advisors and help them and support them to be successful. You can use this kind of a model with a small amount of your capital and just create these connections locally. deepen our relationships with each other, start to understand the challenges that we're facing. To transform businesses in front of us. And, you know, in many ways, it does feel like we are quite incarcerated in our way of thinking about what is business, in thinking about what our our world can look like, and we need to start dreaming. And so this incredible community at coreless is dreaming in different kinds of futures every year, we're like, what, what could this year's economy look like as we pick these businesses, and it's the collective intuition, that brings in something very different than if you're just looking at a bunch of financials and trying to figure out how to make more money. It's just a very different vibe. And we need to do this in the world, we have to rethink what this is going to look like.


This is interesting, because when you do, I'm going to do a lot of foresight of future thinking, actually, this approach methodology of dreaming Imagineering playing with merging concept, foreign large debt look audacious or outrageous, for some, it's actually a way to anticipate the future, right? So it's a proven methodology.


It isn't, I mean, so, you know, we have people that one time put in $1,100, over the course of a year as an activator, and then you know, went on and did other things with their lives, their money is still here, still rolling forward, we funded you know, as of the next month from now, like over 170 businesses, you have like 15 or $16 million, that has come in in $1,000 increments, one by one connected to a person. And all of that is just rolling forward, regenerating, we loan it to somebody, they pay it back, it goes on to the next person who then pays it back, and it just keeps cycling forward. This is what an economy could look like, instead of like taking out everything and holding it for myself separately. And not, you know, being part of a community.


You like a bee bee bee cave, remind me of bees. That's a bees community. That's what they do right in their garden. One thing at a time, very carefully, beautifully. So Vicki, you talking about dreaming and whitespace? And imagining and things like you've recently jumped on a lifetime opportunity to walk the path of Santiago de Compostela. Right?


I did. I did. Yes.


And I wonder what is now available to you that you didn't see as possible, you know, when you began that journey,


so I took a five and a half months last year, and went on a sabbatical. And I, the first thing I did was walk the Camino and 33 days, and one of the biggest lessons coming off that I'm kind of like a productivity, efficiency. I don't know what like obsessor. I was in the past, you know, get me from A to B as soon as possible. How many? It's 800 kilometres. Okay, how fast can I walk that thing? Yeah, and what shifted in that is I been going at a very fast pace, probably faster than I can feel for decades, just constantly on to the next thing innovating all the time, creating new things. And on that walk, I slowed down to what I learned a phrase, the speed of life, moving with my feet, with the heartbeat of the earth, that is the pace of life. And anything that goes faster than walking, we get in a car, then nature becomes like a block to us getting somewhere faster, and we get more and more separate from nature. And on this walk, as I slowed down, I started to really see things a lot more clearly, I started to feel connected to nature, I started to notice a lot more of the resources that are around me, the slowing down has helped me to like really deepen and understand where I was just spinning in order to get things done, versus what really, really matters. So I feel like I have a lot more insight into the longevity of our human experience. how we can be effective and what really feels, feeds the soul essentially. So it was a very, it was a transformative experience in a big way.


Wonderful. So slowing down to connect and find a piece that matters. And that really does something Vicki finally, I often ask our guests or friends around this virtual table here to donate a question to fellow investors, or would be investors, would be responsible investors. And I wonder what would you encourage them, your fellow investors, to think about it they feel a bit reserved about radical generosity, and if they haven't paid attention to the previous 20 minutes?


Yeah, you know, there's such a funny thing. I speak all over the world. Lots of different organisations, big huge banks, etc. Small angel groups. And I'm always struck by this thing that people say, which is, oh, that sounds so inspiring, so amazing. And wow, what a cool idea. But we could never do that because it's based on trust. Do you have to trust people? And I always just sit back and and like, Did you hear what you just said? Like, this is the whole point, right? Where it's such a weird place that we don't think we can trust each other. And so I would encourage anybody to like get into notice where you're trusting things in your world, and how much that feeds your soul. And how great that makes you feel. And look at the places where you have these massive elaborate systems in place to try and deal with not trusting is extremely expensive. It's very, very expensive to pretend that you can control things and it's not true. At the end of the day, control is wildly expensive. Trust is very inexpensive, and it feels way better. So we're in this like system that's like controlling absolutely everything, including behaviour, and we need to unwind ourselves to a more trusting place. And so I would encourage anyone to like, at least dip your toe into places where that's true. And start to notice how much more powerful your world could be. If you were in that


place. Wow, what a wonderful way to end this conversation, this thinking moment because especially when it's beautiful segue in trust, in the house of trust. And I really appreciate that that that grace of yours against me and and how you helped us just reflect incrementally on how you build a radically generous community. Thank you so much.


Thank you, thank you so much. Thank you for all you're doing.


I love this control is wildly expensive. Trust is very inexpensive, and it feels way better. So what's the place of trust in your team, your networks, your system? And what can you do right here right now in this context to amplify trust. I would love to hear your views, your stories and insights. In the meantime, make sure you subscribe to the show. Share this episode and the previous ones wildly and widely. They're available to listen to on all your favourite podcast platforms and are completely free. For more insights, events and resources on how to think independently for yourself and as yourself and ignite your social impact. You can head to my website Get my regular conscious innovation updates. You can also find me on LinkedIn and leave me a note I'd love to hear from you. Goodbye.



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