Throughout my life, my mother has been one of my deepest inspirations. She is now 92 years old, and in the last few years we have been enjoying our little rituals like visiting a nearby monastery – where she prays and I meditate – or sitting on our balcony exploring questions of life and death and the impermanence of it all. Even though my mother’s life has been challenging at times, she joyfully lives in the present and has never lost her optimism. I thank her for inspiring me to lead a joyful and impactful life.
Exploring the mountains all over the world has been a tremendous source of regenerative energy for me – from my teenage years through adulthood. I now realize that roaming through the Alps during my formative years was a form of deep meditation. I love the opportunities for being, reflection, observation, alertness, and oneness during ski touring adventures in the Canadian Rockies, Japan, or Austria. When I get a chance to ski big lines, it is as if the mountains ski me, not the other way around.
Co-creating our journey of impact with my partner Lisa has been a privilege and a rich adventure. I knew that we were meant to be together when we first met over four decades ago. I am grateful for the many joint opportunities for deeper and more meaningful impact that I could not have had on my own, like co-founding and developing KL Felicitas Foundation, our family foundation; moving our portfolio to 100% impact; co-founding global networks like Toniic and the 100% Network; and co-founding and developing accelerators for impact entrepreneurs in India, Austria, and Hawaii.
Lisa and Charly in Innsbruck
Wedding in Innsbruck
And what a joy to play an active role in the lives of our children, particularly as they have explored their own paths. They have been an inspiration on many levels. We recently embarked on a multi-year journey, moving our 100% impact portfolio to a 100% thematic portfolio focused on climate change and social justice. We have started with the impact themes, and are debating the impact risk we want to take, which will generate the appropriate asset classes and expected financial return. We will offer up our portfolio as a modern thematic benchmark.
In the last 20 years, Lisa and I had an opportunity to take more time and to go deeper into mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Deepak Chopra was instrumental in introducing us to Vedanta, an ancient system of Indian Philosophy. Deepak guided us on our initial path to meditation. Now we are inspired by the practice of Vipassana, ten-day silent meditation retreats that enable us to observe the interaction of our subconsciousness with our consciousness, that help us recognize the stories that our brains are continuously making up, as such.
Yoga has become an integral part of my life: I am inspired by living a life of yoga including meditation, reflection, the study of spiritual texts, and the practice of ashtanga.
And I am inspired by the 100% impact investors, who don’t see their investment portfolio as an intellectual exercise of maximizing their financial return or as a way to prove impact, but as an expression of who they really are, as an expression of the change they want to see. They are all deep impact investors. What a privilege and honour to be able to co-create the future with them.