Meet the EHF Fellows: Reggie Luedtke

(cheering) – So yeah so I’ll just
give a quick background of my what I worked on in the US. So I started a company
with a friend of mine and when we were
negotiating the contracts, or it wasn’t exactly a negotiation but basically what I did was I wanted to take everything I knew
from forming this company, everything I knew about stock and stock options and those kinds of things and come up with an agreement that made the most sense
for the other person. So out of that came the sort of use of stock options where we spread them among like 50 plus people instead of just like
CEOs and top executives and we maximize the terms in their favor so instead of like golden handcuffs we had 10 year exercise periods and so that felt really important to me to do that and to make sure that the value that the people were bringing was reflected in the value
we gave back to them. The company has done really well, we’re up to about 300 employees. But what happened in the process was I felt like I didn’t want to be the CEO of a consulting company I wanted to do something else. I didn’t know exactly
what that was gonna be. So I’ll kinda fast forward a couple years. On a plane to New Zealand and just felt called here and on the way over really the only two things
I felt like I had was, this is really true, I had this value in value out principle which felt deeply important to me and just setting the intention of service. Like whatever I can do
for anybody I wanna do it. So came over and then I found out, or went to this Charles
Eisenstein retreat, who if you haven’t heard
of him he’s incredible, sometimes people talk about
the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, that comes from Charles. In the retreat I had this experience of listening to Kiwis talk about, people were having these experiences in this retreat and we were talking about how is this happening, where is this coming from? And they were saying it’s
coming from the land itself. And I had heard that before but this really really hit home for me. And then the next thing I heard was that a river was given personhood
here in New Zealand. So basically the combination of these three things looking back all came through in sort of this download in a conversation I was
having with somebody. And the idea is that if the land and the river are providing this value and we recognize this value and the river and the land
have been given personhood then if it can own itself then it could own other assets too. If we recognize that the land is doing these things and we honor this value in value out principle then I feel kind of obligated to make the land, the river, a co-founder in our companies. To give them a permanent seat
on our board of directors. To give them equity in our companies so that as these
companies grow the support for the land and the rivers come with it and we don’t remove this part of the economy from this environment from nature which we’re also dependent on. And so this was the
idea that came out of it and yeah since then I’ve gotten connected to Rebecca Mills and she’s been adding her ideas and expertise and the, what we’re doing is we’re taking this equity that companies are donating, putting it into a venture fund, maybe we’ll use block chain and then investors buy into the fund and then we use all of the funds, the capital, to support environmental efforts including and especially more
personhood for more rivers, defending these legal precedents. Not only New Zealand but around the world. So that’s what I’m working on and the other thing I want to mention is that this would not have happened if I wouldn’t have come here. I didn’t come here thinking about this. It was only after I came here that this idea came to me and so this idea is really born from this place and I feel honored and privileged and this needs to, it’s taken root in this place and I want
to help see this through so thank you. (applause) (upbeat electronic music)

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