Masawa Minute 21| Can a device control your mind? | How is 2020 going to end? | +More! 🌟

Masawa Minute 21 | Can a device control your mind? | How is 2020 going to end? | +More! 🌟

This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.

As we go deeper into the darker months of the year, things might start seeming more gloomy. The seasonal affective disorder is real! However, we try to fight it by reading the news that gives us just a little bit of hope that things are changing for the better. Now we’re sharing it with you!

Get active


🖋 Write with us!

As you know, last Saturday marked World Mental Health Day 2020. There have been many initiatives, including webinars, awareness drives, conversations and performances. We decided to commemorate it by dedicating some time each week to write 5 letters to public sector actors until at least the end of October, intending to draw attention to the need of mental health funding. If you’d like to join us, find more information here.

🏄‍♂️ Attend!

Mental Health in the Media

It’s part of the bi-weekly webinar series Mental Health for All, run by United for Global Mental Health, The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, and The webinars are designed to inform the public and the policymakers about the most pressing issues in the mental health sphere as well as provide practical solutions.

The next one happening on the 27th of October will discuss how mental health is portrayed in the media. The speakers include Alex Bushill, the Head of Media and PR for UK’s mental health charity Mind, Kari Cobham, the Senior Associate Director of Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism & Media and more. Don’t miss it!

Sign up!


Pitfalls and possibilities: role for “community” in the context of COVID-19 recovery

It’s a part of the webinar series organized by UCL’s Institute for Prosperity. This webinar taking place on the 22nd of October will discuss the definition of community in the public health spaces as well as its role in tackling challenges and coming up with new solutions. The community is portrayed as the only hope to achieve short-term and long-term change required to recover from the crisis that we’re in now.

The speaker is Rochelle Burgess, a Lecturer in Global Health at the Institute for Global Health, who has spent over a decade researching community mental health care systems and their ability to support the needs of marginalized groups. She is interested in the application of community approaches in the field of global health. We’re looking forward to hearing her thoughts!


What we’re reading…


⛓ Let’s break the chains of mental illness

Recently there have been many conversations around ending the shackling of people with mental health conditions, even more so after a 56-page report made by Human Rights Watch has been released.

Men, women and children are being chained or locked in confined spaces for weeks, months or even years in their own homes or institutions that aren’t in any capacity to provide adequate care. It’s a result of the severe stigma surrounding mental health and the lack of mental health services. The people are forbidden to leave the rooms for any purpose, starved and abused both physically and sexually.

Shackling is a wide-spread practice in many countries, yet it remains overlooked by many mental health campaigns. To fill this gap, Human Rights Watch has been working with mental health advocates and organizations to launch a global #BreakTheChains campaign to end the practice as soon as possible.

We can help by reading the report that describes the issue in detail and shares people’s accounts as well as signing the pledge on the campaign’s page. It’s a practice that should be banned urgently and replaced by qualitative, accessible, affordable mental health support.

People with Mental Health Conditions Living in Chains

🎮 Remote control for your mind

How do you feel about being able to control your brain using radio waves? While you may think it suspiciously resembles science fiction, it’s not – the recent advancements in neuroscience suggest that soon we might have an actual ability to do so.

In the past couple of years, researchers have developed a technique that employs low-frequency radio waves or a magnetic field that can penetrate the body without causing any damage. This technique can be used to accomplish several tasks, ranging from releasing insulin to suppressing the hormones responsible for the feeling of hunger.

It’s a matter of time before such technology will be suitable for treating mental health disorders. As long as we can make sure that mind-controlling technology is used for good causes, it’s something worth looking forward to. We know we are!

Remote control of the brain is coming: how will we use it?

🧸 Ask a therapist: how is 2020 going to end?

Our therapists know our thoughts almost as well as we know them ourselves. That’s why when we consider how the rest of this turbulent year will look like and what mark it’ll leave on our mental health, they’re the best people to ask. Some therapists agreed to share their thoughts.

Not all of it is something we’d like to hear – they say the level of stress will continue to rise, people will likely become even more burned out and the rates of mental illness aren’t going to drop anytime soon – if anything, it will continue growing. But it’s not all bad. Everything that happened this year is strengthening our bonds with each other and, despite everything, bringing communities together. Also, more and more people choose to openly talk about their mental health struggles and decide to attend therapy, helping to decrease the stigma surrounding it.

We at Masawa are also going to continue speaking about mental health and starting the important conversations. The more openly we can talk about our feelings and experiences, the easier it’s going to be for all of us.

Therapists Predict How This Year Will Shape Our Mental Health

💌 More investment in mental health? Yes, please!

Increasing mental health funding now is more important than ever. Many people are experiencing mental or substance abuse disorders and the pandemic is rapidly worsening the situation. Direct and indirect costs related to mental illness exceed $3 trillion a year and will likely keep increasing if nothing is done today.

Fortunately, we’re slowly moving in the right direction – a $10 billion research fund is being launched to fight for mental health. It’s due to launch early in 2021 as right now it’s in the fundraising phase, led by The Healthy Brains Global Initiative’s (HBGI) interim chief executive Brad Herbert, who helped create the Global Fund.

The goal is to center the voices of people with lived experiences by enlisting them to assist the studies carried out. While given the scale of the problem this sum of money is not enough to turn things around, it’s still a great start. We’re thrilled to see it happening and hope a lot more investments are to come!

Global initiative seeks to raise $10bn for mental health research

🕺🏿The facilitators of mental health justice

Sadly, the world of mental wellness remains predominantly white and various groups of people are often excluded from receiving the support they need. Historically people of color have been forced to build their own ecosystems of care in their communities as they’ve been continuously pushed out of the mainstream spaces. This trend is still here today – people have taken it into their own hands to provide mental health support to their communities.

People of color experience disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in their daily lives, all while struggling with the systematic oppression of their identities. The article highlights the wonderful platforms and organizations run by people from marginalized communities dedicated to coping with stress, culturally relevant practices for healing, working to integrate healing justice into the social justice movement as well as in the field of mental health.

It’s time to recognize the significance of these resources and make a place for them in the mainstream world of mental health. Access to these services is a question of human rights. As more and more people rely on them to get by in these difficult times, let’s hope we won’t have to wait too long.

People of color create their own mental health services online


✨ Masawa update

A number of us on the Masawa team have just finished an 11-week CU*Money course around our personal psychological relationships with money — a fascinating self deep dive on why, how, and what we think and feel about money and how that hinders or aids us along our journey towards achieving purpose. We highly suggest that everyone take the course (registration is open!).

Masawa is now more resolute in the principle that money is but an important vehicle for achieving more and more lasting social impact.

Masawa Minute 20 | Mental Health for All! | The health benefits of voting | + More!🌳

🌳 Masawa Minute 20 | Mental Health for All! | The health benefits of voting | + More!

This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.

Tomorrow we enter October, which means that the weather is getting colder in the North and warmer in the South, and the World Mental Health day is ten days away (October 10th!). Its theme this year is “Mental health for all,” encouraging the effort to improve the accessibility of mental health. Unsurprisingly, this is also a theme connecting the articles in this newsletter – they touch upon mental health’s relation to politics, its role in the workplace, and why it’s time to put mental health on philanthropy’s agenda. Cheers!


🧚‍♀️ Attend

CU*money course on money and the body

ConsciousU is back with the second offering of their new course, CU*Money, a virtual seminar on the psychological relationship we have with money, and what it says about our relationship with ourselves.

As a preview of the seminar, on Saturday, October 10th, 5 pm-6.30 pm CET, Nadjeschda Taranczewski will talk to Rivka Halbershtadt about the effects and representation of money in the body and teach us a series of exercises meant to help us connect with our money reality on a different level. And all that for free!

Don’t miss it! Click here 


What we’re reading…


💵 It’s time for philanthropy to acknowledge mental health

The lack of mental health is turning into an issue we can no longer ignore. 1 in 5 people experience a mental disorder or substance abuse in their lifetimes. It puts a strain on their relationships, jobs, education, while COVID-19 is currently amplifying those effects. We know that things need to change and that’s where philanthropy could come in.

What can it do to address the mental health-related challenges we’re currently facing? With its vast power, the answer is a lot. It can be a catalyst for positive societal change, not to mention that for philanthropy, mental health is critical. It’s a fundamental part of the success in many areas – for example, criminal justice – which has recently risen to the top of the agenda. Mental health also relates to the goals of providing more opportunities for low-income families and building more resilient communities. 

We completely agree that mental health should be placed much higher on philanthropy’s priority list. The article shares several great arguments for doing it now – click on the link below.

Mental Health Needs to Be a Top Priority for Philanthropy. Here’s Why

💡 Choose your mental health in the next election


Voting and mental health. The apparent connection between the two concerns the election outcome. But this text invites us to look at it from a different angle, placing the focus on voting itself and the benefits that casting the ballot brings. It turns out there are a few.

People prone to psychological distress tend to benefit from political participation as performing the citizen’s duty brings them a sense of empowerment. This feeling, to some extent, alleviates the adverse effects of being socially disadvantaged.

Political activism can also act as a shield from the psychological symptoms arising from experiencing discrimination – stress, anxiety, etc. Politically active individuals are more resilient to such incidents, likely because being politically engaged contributes to the sense of control in people’s lives and strengthens communities’ bonds. If you’d like to learn more about the behind those claims studies, read the article on Medical News Today. And don’t forget to vote!

How could voting benefit mental health?


👩🏾‍💻 Are you supporting your employees in the right way?

We talked quite a lot about the disproportional psychological trauma BIPOC communities are forced to experience. But are you doing something to take a little bit of that burden off their shoulders?

If you have BIPOC employees, this article is for you. Many employers offer mental health benefits, but not all of those programs are suitable to fulfill the specific needs of members of those communities. BIPOC individuals are often less likely to seek treatment and if they do, they tend to end it early. For a mental health program to be successful, these barriers must be addressed by offering easy access, provider diversity, cultural responsiveness, and other measures.

It’s up to company leaders to build and nurture an inclusive, supportive, healthy workplace. To do that, it’s crucial to understand the level of race-based stress and trauma some of their employees are experiencing and offer appropriate mental health support. 

Are You Offering the Mental Health Benefits Your BIPOC Employees Need?


⚖️ Mental health and social justice

“Mental health for all” is closely connected with social justice. But social justice can’t be achieved as long as structural violence is standing in its way.

“Structural violence” is a term that encompasses a wide range of social forces such as poverty, systemic discrimination, and inequality. It doesn’t take much to see why they need to be eradicated if we are ever to improve global mental health.

Homelessness and imprisonment happen way more frequently to people with mental illness. That is not due to the mental illness itself, but because of the prevailing stigma, lack of education, and systematic inability to accommodate mental disorders. Mentally ill people are disproportionately punished for certain offenses, even though they are far more likely to become victims than perpetrators. They also don’t receive sufficient support to be able to sustain their residency and have problems accessing community care.

Diverging from these trends is crucial for people with mental illnesses, their families, communities, mental health professionals, and every member of society. However, this can only happen by shifting our systems towards social justice. There’s no better way than active political participation to ensure that we eventually get there.  

Structural Violence, Social Justice, and Mental Illness


🎈 Should you bring up your mental health in a job interview?

72% of young job seekers say the answer is “no.” According to a survey conducted by the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), they believed that bringing up mental health issues to prospective employers would harm their chances of getting the job. That being said, 76% of those respondents said to experience poor mental health themselves.

So why do they feel such a pressure to hide it? They’re held back by the prevailing stigma surrounding mental health – less than a third of respondents said they would be comfortable asking for adjustments to accommodate their mental health – next to constant pressure for perfect performance.

The pressure to hide the status of their mental wellbeing combined with the pressure not to make any mistakes is likely to intensify the mental health issues in the long run. It’s certainly not a practice that can be allowed to remain. CHMA also shares several stories of people that experienced a positive and supportive recruitment process that encourage us to reconsider how a “standard” recruitment process is supposed to be. Have a look.

Mental health stigma holding back 72% of young jobseekers


✨ Masawa Update

As we enter into October, we’re thinking, “Holy shit, what a ride 2020 has been + we’re only 75% done. Brace yourselves for what’s still to come!” Don’t worry, this apocalyptical-ish outlook is happily gated by our gratefulness for all we’ve able to do with the Masawa team, friends, partners, and community. We’re humbled by the fact that even if/when Masawa were/is on track to be a $1B funder, it isn’t enough but we’re not doing this alone. 

We’ll keep our heads down and chip away at our little piece. That said, we’re gearing up to make our first investments, an exciting step!


☁️ In Closing

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sharing it with someone else or tell us what you think! Or both.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘

Masawa Minute 19 | Free Psychedelics | Climate Change & Mental Health | + More! 🙌

Masawa Minute 19 | Free Psychedelics | Climate Change & Mental Health | + More! 🙌


Ha! We said free psychedelics. We knew that’ll get you to open this week’s email…

This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.

We’re often so consumed with the news about the world that it’s easy to forget about ourselves. We’re guilty of this too – there’s news on mental wellness and social impact popping up every hour and there’s an endless road of learning ahead if we’re to make our vision of bringing mental wellness to billions of people come true.

That’s why this time, we’ve made a point of reading about things that concern our (and your) mind and mental health. Enjoy and don’t forget to make time for yourself this week!


🚲 Attend!

Busy days ahead! Masawa’s Founder & Managing Partner Joshua Hanes will be speaking in 2 conferences during the upcoming weeks, which we invite you to check out.

EVPA Annual Conference 2020

The conference is taking place between 21-24 of September. The event this year is dedicated to “Building Alliances for Impact”.

This conference is an event anyone building a foundation or an impact fund wouldn’t want to miss – the schedule is filled with impressive speakers, discussions, workshops and opportunities to network and co-create with 700+ practitioners and experts in the field of impact. If you’re one of them, that’s a conference you shouldn’t miss!


When you do, you can also catch Joshua for a session around the NetworkTable.

CLIIQ / NEXUS LatAm Summit 2020

This summit, happening between October 1-3, is a significant event for impact investment in the Andean Region.

This year’s event is conducted in three forms: Inspiration to Recalibrate, Workshops with Practical Outlines and Networking Wheel. You can expect making connections in the impact investing community, being introduced to new perspectives, and participating in many exciting sessions.

Joshua will be on a panel en Español focus on the importance of focusing on entrepreneurs’ mental wellness.



What we’re reading…

🌳 Climate change and mental health

If you feel like you’ve heard about the climate crisis a lot lately, that’s because the threat posed by changing climate affects people’s lives everyday. Not only is climate change altering the entire ecosystem we are a part of, but it’s also affecting our mental health.

It was recently brought up (again) by a psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren in a public hearing for a liquified natural gas terminal and 230-mile pipeline development in Oregon, during which she was escorted out of the room. She’s far from the only psychiatrist who’s speaking up. A network of climate-focused psychiatrists, known as the Climate Psychiatry Alliance (CPA), has started in the US and by now has attracted over 400 members. They help people face what’s becoming the new reality as well as encourage the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to act more sustainably and take a stronger stance on the subject of climate.

Increasing the scope of work like theirs is essential for building long-lasting resilience in the future, without which we won’t be able to face climate change effectively. All of us should think more about how we can contribute – reading this article is a good place to start.

Is the climate crisis creating a mental health crisis?


☁️ The data of subconsciousness 

We usually see dreams as a play of our subconsciousness. Dreams are mosaics of things we’ve seen or experienced in real life, however, the ways of interpreting them differ drastically. Now scientists are adding some spark to the discussion. They’ve designed a series of experiments revolving around collecting dream reports from thousands of people to analyze how they could reflect the current events that are troubling the world.

The most extensive digital dream study so far is created by Cambridge University’s Nokia Bell Labs – they tested the system by analyzing 38,000 documented dreams from a large variety of people. In the long run, scientists hope that those techniques will offer insight into the collective unconscious in the digital space and assist therapy as well as personal growth. Taking a scientific look beyond our consciousness would undoubtedly open up a new realm of possibilities.

New Insights Into Dreams and What They Say About Us


📓 You think journaling is not for you? It’s time to reconsider!

When was the last time you picked up a journal and wrote about your day? If the answer is leaning towards “it’s been a while,” you might want to pick it up again. It’s one of the easiest ways to relax, tame your racing thoughts, get to know yourself better, as well as a legitimate tool likely to improve your mental wellness.

As with everything else, the most important thing is to get started. Don’t set yourself too ambitious goals – nothing kills a habit faster than that. It’s okay (great, even) if you write only a couple of sentences a day about something you did, an emotion you felt or what’s generally on your mind. Once it becomes a small yet cherished daily ritual, you’ll find that you’re less troubled by the ruminating thoughts as well as less controlled by your emotions. This article from the New York Times shares some tips and tricks that you can use to get started or improve your current journaling game – worked for us!

Now Is the Time to Start Keeping a Journal


🍭 Free access to psychedelic treatment is only a matter of time

Psychedelics are steadily making their way into the mainstream mental wellness conversation. They’ve been seen as particularly promising in treating depression, even though a standardized treatment involving psychedelics remains out of reach due to the stigma and excessive costs.

Dr. Rossalind Watts, the former lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at the Centre for Psychedelic Research in London, believes psychedelic-assisted therapy is both effective and safe. She currently works at a psychedelic retreat center in the Netherlands, where she assists in developing treatments involving psilocybin and mushrooms.

As more and more people are receiving psychedelic treatments despite all the obstacles, those working in the field hope that the healthcare specialists will recognize the value of it soon and start recommending it to patients. Word is, that now it’s only a matter of time when psychedelics become mainstream – with the ultimate goal of such treatments being covered by health insurance. When that happens, we’ll be there for it.


How Psychedelics Are Entering the Mainstream

🎭 A mental wellness journey told through art

The scope of mental illness is incredibly far-reaching, however, too many individuals don’t have access to treatment or therapy for various reasons such as stigma, affordability, or access. A New York-based filmmaker Wendy Cong Zhao noticed the same issue affecting the city’s Chinese immigrants community. While doing her research, she met Fan Jiang, a person familiar with the ins and outs of therapy in New York, and decided to make a documentary about her experiences.

That’s the story told in this article ­– the feeling of grappling with mental health issues, visualizing the stigma, the toll that relocating and into a completely different culture takes on mental health, numerous encounters with therapy, anxiety and healing. Reading (and seeing) other people’s stories can be a great way to confront our own. Turning that into art becomes its own form of therapy – it provides a safe space to recognize the feelings surrounding mental illness and process them from some distance. And that’s something everyone needs from time to time. 

“My First Sessions” Explores the Relationship Between Therapy and Culture


✨ Masawa Update

It was once said that all good things take longer than expected, or something cheesy like that. We reached a major milestone this week after working on it for months — a business bank account. Shockingly simple, we know, but for some reason the universe said that it wasn’t time, yet. (And it’s with a leading sustainability bank, nonetheless!) Now after raising the Friends + Family Round for what seemed like years, we’re able to finally close it. Wow + ha! But we’re still dancing for the little things!


💭 In Closing

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sharing it with someone else or tell us what you think! Or both.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 


Masawa Minute 18 | It’s all about impact | + more! 🍁

Masawa Minute 18 | It's all about impact | + more! 🍁


Today’s newsletter is all about investing for social good – be it focusing on impact or sustainability goals. The belief that businesses should focus on more than just profit, and should care about the footprint their actions leave behind has been around for years. What is new and emerging is the evidence to support that a focus on doing good, does not need to come at the price of financial success.

We’ve been reading about how social impact and sustainability can (and should!) go hand in hand with profit, the power of impact investors in preserving democracy, and some tips and tricks for accelerating impact. Now we’d like to share it with you. Enjoy!


🕺🏼 Get active!


📣  Listen

Break Down. Wake Up. with Nadja Taranczewski

Masawa’s friend Nadja recently recorded an episode for the Break Down. Wake Up. podcast, discussing how coming to terms with her relationship doubt and a part of herself she did not want to see brought an executive coach deep compassion for herself and others. She and the host Meg Mateer explore the role of fear within organizational systems as an outdated strategy for motivation, how addiction functions as a survival strategy and how we must listen to and integrate our “nasty parts” if we want to make a significant shift in global consciousness. Highly recommended!

🕐  Attend

The 2030 Movement

The 2030 Movement is a free week-long virtual festival filled with events and workshops dedicated to everything one needs to know to be able to make the world a better place before 2030. The festival takes place from September 14th to 19th and offers a whole range of events on various subjects.

The events are organized by theme – the ones on sustainability and ethics as well as wellness and resilience seem particularly intriguing to us. We hope they’ll catch your interest too!


What we’re reading…


💎 5 lessons for accelerating impact from TPG

It’s hard to deny that we have entered a new era of doing business – today its purpose is successfully addressing social challenges and generating growth instead of the neverending generation of profit, which was the sole goal of many companies in the past.

Over the years, awareness of this shift in priorities has increased and evolved. Stakeholder groups like the Business Roundtable and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council have contributed to accelerating that conversation and continuously emphasizing the need for companies to create positive social and environmental impact.

To take the conversation one step further, TPG, a global investment firm, has decided to share five lessons they learned throughout five years of funding over 25 impact businesses across various sectors. Read to gain some practical insights into scaling investing, the importance of value alignment and strong ecosystems. We have taken notes.

Accelerating impact – five lessons in five years


🍀 Profiting for social good? Mission possible!

The pandemic has brought us some challenges, but some good changes came along as well – like a cleaner environment and companies that are finally embracing flexible work-from-home policies. Impact investments finally started outperforming traditional ones, too, which motivated some investors to rework their portfolios.

“COVID has raised the awareness of the fragility of our economic system, and to me, that’s an investable trend,” said Mark Cirili, a co-founder and managing partner at MissionPoint Partners, a private equity firm. Eric Lemelson, a philanthropist and vineyard owner in Oregon, has decided to decarbonize his entire portfolio. He expressed the hope that this is more than just a trend – “The market is changing fundamentally. It is not just another challenge. It’s the challenge.”

We’re stoked to see the growing impact investors circle and hope it’s a shift that will last. Positive, measurable social impact is at the core of what we do. We believe that supporting it with funds and assistance is the way leading to the transformation of mental wellness. 

Investing in Social Good Is Finally Becoming Profitable


📍Don’t fall for sustainable investment myths 

To mention it once more, sustainable investing – driven by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors – is becoming increasingly popular. However, it still takes a long time for many to adopt this approach, partly because some misconceptions remain around investment interest and performance. Forbes decided to dispel them for you.

One of the myths, for instance, addresses a prevailing belief that only Millennials and women are into sustainable investing. While some might (rightfully) find these views quite outdated, plenty of individuals still fall prey to this stereotype. It’s safe to say that the reality is different – the primary sustainable investors are the people who run big institutional funds and over 70% of Americans had at least a moderate interest in sustainable investment.

Read the full article to discover the rest of the misconceptions many people in the world of investing find themselves falling for. We’ll say one thing – the interest in sustainable investing is rising increasingly and it’s likely here to stay.

Dispelling The 5 Myths Of Sustainable Investing


📜  Are you afraid of the election outcome? It’s time to act now

While this article was written with the approaching US elections in mind, it applies to many other countries. Impact investors’ engagement can decide not only the future of their portfolios but also the future of democracy.

The first step is to let go of the idea that democracy is untouchable – it can and has been profoundly disrupted by the governments that have a different agenda on their minds. It affects everyone individually, but it also determines the ability to realize and scale positive social impact. No matter what area you invest in, you need officials who understand the value of it, could facilitate and protect the positive change it brings to society and develop regulations to support it.

There are numerous ways to promote fair and informed political elections – backing strategic political initiatives with funds or human resources is among them. With elections approaching, investors must interfere and use their social and financial capital to ensure a fair outcome. Let’s stop taking democracy for granted because it’s time to support it with everything we have.

Impact investors have a role to play in preventing worst-case election scenarios


📯 Should VCs start focusing on sustainability?

The short answer is yes. Committing to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals can result in real business value and you don’t have to be an impact investor to realize that. 

If VC investors make ESG a part of their investment process, they’ll end up giving money to companies that are likely to operate sustainably and create a positive social impact. Besides that, companies that implement ESG are said to perform 4.8% better than those that don’t and outperform them considering the rates of return.

Considering the market, more and more individual consumers make decisions that align with ESG values. People feel that the time has come for solutions that add to global wellbeing. The investors also think that sustainable investment has become significantly more important and many have increased their sustainable investments over the previous years.

So if you haven’t yet, it’s time to find out more about ESG and how it can be implemented in your investments. While currently it’s still a rare sight in VC, it is likely to become more prevalent soon. Be there early!

Why VCs should care about measuring ESG


✨ Masawa Update

We probably say the word ‘impact’ 893 times a day, a word that is increasingly thrown around. With the increased focus on the feasibility and power of impact investing comes the increased responsibility to not fall into complacency. Impact washing is well-underway. 

At Masawa, we’re in the process of assessing a number of exciting opportunities for investment, focused not only on if the investment can make above-average returns but also on if the positive impact on people’s lives can be measured and maximized. Impact for us means having peer-reviewed evidence of data in the target area and assessing founders’ ability to be impact-driven and work towards maximizing their social impact.

So when you hear the word ‘impact’, listen closely to see if it truly is.


💭 In Closing

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sharing it with someone else or tell us what you think! Or both.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

Masawa Minute 17 | Be a pioneer! | Stay away from toxic positivity | + More! 🥑

Masawa Minute 17 | Be a pioneer! | Stay away from toxic positivity | + More! 🥑

This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets on what we’re pondering + where you can get active.

This time we’ve been reading and thinking about wellbeing. But we still haven’t found a unified answer to what wellbeing means. Instead, we learned it can take several forms with many paths: embracing taking a break when you need it, developing resilience, improving your feelings about yourself, focusing on wellbeing in your organization, or blocking out the messages of positivity. So however you get there, you do you.

🤸 Attend:

Planning for the human side of strategy

It’s a webinar on the human side of strategy brought to you by Ivey Academy Live. This Thursday (August 20th), the selected speakers will talk about the importance of the team wellbeing for an organization, how crucial it is to keep your employees engaged and how to improve your strategies by making them more people-centric.

The talk is given by Janeen Speer, VP of Talent at Shopify, Cheesan Chew), COO at RBC Ventures, and Tineke Keesmaat, founder of Tiltco, Inc. Mark it in your calendar now!


Fierce Urgency of Now

City Awake, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s young professional network, is hosting a decentralized five-day festival with 30+ events hosted by organizations and businesses across Greater Boston, but applicable to all: this year, it’s happening online.

The events will occur between September 16th and September 20th, focused on promoting opportunities for young professionals of color, discussing social impact storytelling, sharing the secrets on disrupting the tech industry and so much more. It’s truly something you shouldn’t miss. Be quick to sign up for the ones you like!

What we’re reading…


🌍 Want to change the world? Stop guilting people into it

During the last months, many of us started to speak up about the societal challenges we face and realized it’s time for a change. But change is hard. Just as it’s hard to believe we can make any difference by ourselves, that’s why we want other people to join. But how do we get them to do it?

There are two distinct ways to get anyone to do anything – guilt them into it or add to their positive self-image by telling them they’d do the right thing. The question is, which one works better. There are good arguments for both, but the studies find that encouraging people to act by emphasizing the positive side usually is far more effective.

Having a positive self-image is a need essential to our wellbeing. When we’re feeling good about ourselves, we have much more energy and resources to give. So why not use the potential of this approach to the fullest? By ensuring each other’s wellbeing, we can prompt others to act in a way that will help society’s wellbeing, too. Win-win.

You want people to do the right thing? Save them the guilt trip


🙏 It’s time to leave the hustle behind

Nowadays, Millennials are known as the burnout generation. It’s not something you’d like to be a part of, is it? Then stop buying into the hustle culture. 

Working more doesn’t necessarily equal getting more done. But it will definitely lead to a myriad of mental and physical problems. We’re told that working hard will guarantee you success, but success is never worth sacrificing your wellbeing.

Let’s rediscover the joy of taking a break – taking time off with no emails, messages, phone calls or notes, unplug entirely. When you make it a habit, you’ll frequently find yourself better rested, healthier and certainly more capable of achieving your professional goals. Sounds good to us! We’re taking all of next week off. Ha! Just kidding. (Maybe in September?…)

Work A Little, Play A Lot: The Antidote to Hustle Culture


🌳 Accepting your mistakes = the mindset of success?

How often do you make mistakes? How often do you feel okay with them? Statistically, it’s impossible to avoid them, but somewhere along the way, we learn to dread them and when they inevitably happen, ruminate on them for way too long.

That can change. The only thing that has to shift is your mindset – it has to become more resilient. You must understand that mistakes will happen no matter how you feel about it and start seeing them as a challenge – that’s how you’ll become more open and capable of accepting them.

Your mindset has a lot to do with your success and wellbeing in general, as it affects how you view your abilities. It usually falls under two types – fixed or growth-oriented. Which one do you think will lead to improvement and better results? We all have a mix of both, but there are numerous ways to train our minds to focus on the latter. Open the article and take notes with us!

Feel Like You’re Going Out of Your Mind? Consider Your Mindset


🍸 The movement never stops – but you should

Tostan is an Africa-based organization working with villages to engage communities and facilitate community-led change. This is the interview – no, more of a conversation – between its founder, Molly Melching, who arrived there as an exchange student from the US in 1974 and her successor, Elena Bonometti.

They talk about promoting community wellbeing, something that has been their mission for almost 30 years, and how they realized that the organizational wellbeing also matters – Tostan shifted from seeing the work during nights and weekends as a “cool thing to do” to celebrating the importance of quality time off. The pair also discusses what practices they put in place to ensure that the team can take time off without guilt as well as encourage them to take time for self development.

Read this for inspiration and great insights about building organizational wellbeing and developing a sustainable organization. We’ll surely be writing down some tips.

A Table for Two at Tostan: Organizational Wellbeing and Leadership Transition


🌼  When positivity gets too positive

Do you know someone that always insists on “positive vibes only”, “we have to stay positive”, “it could be worse”? That’s known as toxic positivity and yes, it can be very harmful to your wellbeing.

People who promote toxic positivity will go out of the way to avoid discussing serious, uncomfortable subjects and will invalidate any emotion that isn’t positive. Unfortunately, you can’t fix everything just by telling someone to “be happy” – negative emotions are an inherent part of human experience and there’s no better way of dealing with them than simply letting them pass.

Right now, the world is overwhelmed with negative emotions. But that’s okay. Learn to recognize the toxic positivity messages and avoid engaging with them, even if it means placing some boundaries between you and some people. Embrace critical thinking, process your negative feelings which are a natural response to negative situations, and remember – this too shall pass.

‘Toxic Positivity’ Is Real — and It’s a Big Problem During the Pandemic


✨ Masawa Update

It’s a damn good thing we’re setting up an impact fund with a focus on mental wellness. By default, we have to check in our wellbeing, the negative thoughts in our heads, any toxic positivity that arises, and other things on a daily basis. Starting any endeavor is a rollercoaster, and we’re certainly in the throes of something both extremely exciting and sorely needed. But we realize that this is not a race, it’s not even a marathon. It’s a marathon of triathlons for which we’re grateful to be a part of.

We’ve also updated the website for the nineteenth time. ☺ It tells an important literal story of how we’re going from issue to action, together. 

And finally, as we finish up our Friends + Family investment round, we wanted to thank all those who are pioneering and investing in the future with Masawa.  The round ends at the end of the months, so yell fast if you’re interested in taking part! Just imagine the positivity you’ll feel when you think about and tell your friends about your direct involvement and contribution to Masawa and nurturing capital to nurture minds, so that billions live life…

Masawa Minute 16 | Impact Thinking Part 2 | Slow Medicine Movement? | + More! 🏵️

Masawa Minute 16 | Impact Thinking Part 2 | Slow Medicine Movement? | + More! 🏵️

This is the Masawa Minute – some ways how you can get active with us and snippets of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing.

We live in a world of order. We encounter systems every day – in our healthcare, education, finances – and all of them are also parts that create and shape the overarching system we live in. 

However, something being a system doesn’t mean it cannot change. In fact, systems must evolve with us as our collective consciousness develops and we look beyond what we know as the established rules of the past. That’s what we’re thinking about today – changing “the old way” things are done. Towards progress!


Get active!

🙌 Attend:

COVID-19 and Mental Health: Opportunities for Digital Mental Health – Emerging Research & Treatments

Young Leaders for Health have launched a series of webinars on COVID-19 & Mental Health, as you surely remember from the last newsletter. The webinars are discussing the effects of COVID-19 on sustainable development, the role of mental health, healthcare access, and addressing mental health disorders.

The third and final (!) webinar will take place tomorrow, August 6th. It hosts an array of fantastic speakers from the organization itself, Stanford University School of Medicine, and so on. It will touch upon practical solutions to the challenges faced with mental health & healthcare access during the pandemic and discuss new ways to deliver it. Be there!

And if by any chance you’ve missed the webinars 1 and 2, the recordings can be found here and here.

Community Business Festival 2020

If you’re in need of a good mood boost (and learn a thing or two about sustainability and community businesses, consider (virtually) attending this festival put together by Power To Change.

In those two days (August 11th and 12th), you’ll be able to choose from a variety of sessions ranging from lessons on how to save your local pub to how to make better use of crowdfunding with your organization. Not to mention the stories of community business grappling with the current pandemic, which will leave you inspired for the week and beyond. Start blocking your calendar now!

🔆 Share:

Forward this newsletter to one friend today who cares about creating ourselves a better world. Also, follow us on social media, so that you don’t miss out on all the big things that are coming! Stay tuned.


Here’s what we’re reading…

🎋 Slow down your life, medical care included

In 2019 the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners reported that the most common reason for visiting your doctor was various psychological disorders. That means that now general practitioners have to be competent in providing both physical and mental care.

Unfortunately, doctors, like workers in many other professions, still often are evaluated by productivity and efficiency – the more patients with a prescription you churn out, the better doctor you are. But this approach doesn’t fit anymore. What’s needed today is a slower, more meaningful approach – “whole-person” care.

Say, someone with a bleeding nose comes in. You can treat the nosebleed or ask how it happened and listen, uncovering much deeper psychological, physical, or other issues. Which one will have a better long-term effect? Let’s stop treating appointments as quick inconveniences and let’s make way for conversations of change instead.

Slow medicine, like slow food, puts people ahead of profit


🧑🏻‍🤝‍🧑🏿 When dividing (accidentally) unites

A classic case of a common enemy has proven successful once again, although not necessarily intentionally. We’re talking about American investors uniting to oppose President Trump’s new proposal to effectively ban the inclusion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) options in retirement plans.

ESG investment products saw a $15 billion influx in the first half of 2020 and it shows no signs of slowing down. Globally, the sum of assets managed with some ESG focus reaches around $40 trillion. Impressive, right?

The investors agree, calling the rule “fatally flawed,” “a significant disadvantage,” and an example of “a short-sighted and ideological crusade.” They also supported their claims by research and data.

Despite how everything turns out, investors presenting this kind of a united front indicates that people are ready for a more sustainable and socially just system, and they’re ready for it now. The demand now is powerful enough to see more and more companies choosing this side over an exploitive, destructive, inherently discriminatory economic system. And that’s the real victory here.

Investors find common cause in pushing back against Trump’s anti-ESG rules


🚡 Thinking ourselves into a better world

The first article in Masawa’s Impact Thinking for Social Progress series, crafted by Niels Devisscher, dealt with capitalism and its externalities, considering how the system can shift towards inclusivity, sustainability, and fairness. The answer was impact thinking.

The second article dives deeper into it, focusing on what impact thinking means and how we can learn to adopt it. It suggests us to take a long look at what we want to solve instead of trying to stuff the holes in the roof while the walls are about to collapse. We should step outside, look at the house in its entirety, and realize the foundation was entirely unsuitable to begin with. Fortunately for us, unlike a crumbling house, systems can be fixed by identifying specific leverage points capable of amplifying highly targeted action.

Working to train our minds to see the big picture rather than focus on the mechanisms allows us to maximize social impact and avoid unintended negative consequences. Otherwise, we risk missing the way the pieces interlink and causing damage to one while attempting to fix the oat ther. Are you ready to make the shift?

Impact Thinking for Social Progress – Part II


🧘 Is wellness for White people only?

No, absolutely not. Or at least not anymore, with BIPOC women leading the change. “Mainstream wellness is still very White and very elitist,” says Chrissy King, a Black Brooklyn-based fitness expert. “By and large, they still only market to White, thin women.”

And that’s a huge problem. Yoga and fitness practices that are extremely valuable for mental wellness benefits are still mostly associated with weight loss and is more about the looks than the spiritual/psychological side of it. In addition to that, it often embraces the “good vibes only” approach, which does more harm than good as it often dismisses the depth of people’s experiences and avoids having meaningful conversations.

“Black people need self-care more than ever. It’s something that we really struggle with because it does feel like we have to be constantly plugged in, especially as this fight for change is happening,” said Morgan Fykes, a Washington, D.C.-based yoga teacher, and practitioner who is Black. Wellness is yet another industry, which needs to stop being White-washed, and it’s a critical one. It’s time to stop doing business as usual. 

Wellness isn’t always welcoming. Meet the women bringing change to the industry


⛲  Should we step away from medication in mental illness treatment?

Today medication may arguably be the most popular way to treat mental illness – people are getting pills prescribed whether they need them or not. But it hasn’t always been like this (obviously). According to Joel Braslow, a historian and psychiatrist, the rise of pharmaceuticals has shrunk society’s sense of responsibility towards the mentally ill and we could be better off taking a look into the past where asylums were the norm.

Admittedly, the conditions there often weren’t the best, leaning towards “degrading” and “awful” instead, but rather than reestablishing them, Braslow suggests that we draw inspiration from its positive aspects.

We should come back to viewing mental illness as a “complex interaction between a patient’s biology and social context rather than just a biological issue. Only when we acknowledge the isolation and inability to function as a member of the society accompanying it successfully, we’ll be able to design treatments that address it. We couldn’t agree more.

The trouble with medicating mental illness


✨ Masawa Update

Systems change. Slowly.

But sometimes they get a kick in the ass, thanks to things like, say, a global pandemic.  We sense this kick is coming in the areas of impact investing, holistic and compassionate finance, mental wellness, founders’ mental health, and ecosystem stewardship. This kick is coming from everything we’re crafting through Masawa. 

And you can be part of that system change, too!

We have a few remaining spots in our friends and family financing round. Join us and other pioneers working to improve the lives of b/millions while making a healthy financial return.


🌺 In Closing

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sharing it with someone else or tell us what you think! Or both.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

Blockchain Investing | DOKTOR Music Video | + More! 🍇

Blockchain Investing | DOKTOR Music Video | + More! 🍇

This is the Masawa Minute, a snippet of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing. 

We’re over this COVID-19 thing. Done. This is the newish normal, so let’s turn our sights on that new reality and work toward achieving shared prosperity.


1. 📰👵 Tripping in Town & Country

You know psychedelics are becoming more mainstream when the oldest lifestyle magazine in the US, Town & Country, publishes a piece about their connection to treating mental illness. This article gives an accessible overview of the history of research and approval searching + highlights the mind-altering experiences of those like Aldous Huxley, Steve Jobs, and Carry Grant. 

This is an article you could forward to your grandmother. Maybe. [Thanks, Scott!]

Are Psychedelics Our Most Promising New Treatments for Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction?


2. ⛵️📈 Stewardship: room to grow

Get ready to hear (even) more about stewardship, the idea that investments and corporations be run with a view toward long-term sustainability.  

EY took a look at the stewardship performance of the top 30 UK investors who are signatories to the UK Stewardship Code. Our read of the report is that most are quite shite being (or at least transparently publishing) stewards. On the specific topic of social impact, one of the eight stewardship priorities, investors considered the areas of human rights, supply chain, and social contribution. EY considered less than a handful of investors “advanced” in these social impact measurement/reporting, and none as “leading”. Room to grow, indeed. 

At Masawa, we believe in the topic so much, we named our first child Stewardship. Just kidding, but it is in our Articles of Association. [Thanks, Gina!]

[pdf download] Turning the tide to greater corporate accountability


3. 🆕💹 A new investment model?

As this virus is making us take stock of what’s systematically gone wrong while looking towards the future for how to set it right, discussions around the nexus of investment systems and blockchain are increasing.

Zoe Adamovicz, co-founder of Neufund, a blockchain-enabled fundraising platform based in Berlin, makes the case in this interview why blockchain-based investment platforms can be better for entrepreneurs and investors. 

 “We believe that anyone should have access to fundraising”: Interview with Neufund’s co-founder Zoe


4. 💊👨‍⚕️ Indie Music Video + Mental Health

Kat Koan, friend of Masawa and indie artist extraordinaire, recently released a new single and video called DOCTOR. This electro song brings a bass-infused awareness to the culture of pill-pushing and mental illness and is an ode to her own bouts with depression and the medical institution. Sexy and real, Kat crafted this piece at home, because she had no other choice! Our favorite lines are:

Eat my shiny, happy pills, capsules full of magic / colorful pills to serve all thrills; eat up, your life is tragic.

Video Premiere: Kat Koan – DOCTOR


5. 💰🤑That’s a looooooooot of money!

Our little human brains can’t really grasp how much $1 billion is. Even those with beaucoup bucks fail to intuitively understand the difference a million, a billion, and a trillion. 

This visual depiction of the wealth of the richest person in the world ($136 billion) and that of the richest 400 US-Americans ($2.96 trillion) is merely brillant.  We were shocked how long it took us to scroll; it’s mind blowing that a portion of that $2.96 trillion could be used to solve malaria, pull all US-Americans out of poverty, and provide clean water and waste disposal for the entire world — and the wealth holders would still be billionaires! [Thanks, Andreas!]

Wealth Shown to Scale


6. ✨✨ Masawa Update 

We’re still living in a crazy time, but we’re certainly moving forward, fast. We’re in the process of interviewing for an Impact Research Fellow and an Impact Comms Fellow. We’re putting the finishing touches on our Friends & Family Round.  Masawa Match has over 70 services now.

And we keep breathing. 

Sometimes we need to take a moment to make sure that we’re on track with our own mental health in order to make the difference we feel is needed.


7. 🕯️✌️ In Closing 

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sending it to those who also care.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

It’s just rocket science | Masawa Match | + More! 🍿

It's just rocket science | Masawa Match | + More! 🍿

This is the Masawa Minute, a snippet of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing. 

And wow, the heavens above and below have certainly given us a lot of mental health and impact to consider in the past few weeks! At Masawa, in these change-is-hard times, we keep it focused on the following:  

“Get it right, now, so that when it’s time, we’re far better off than before.”



1. ⏱️🤸 Recenter.

It’s affecting us all. Studies have shown that between 65%-83% of people have had an increase in stress because of COVID-19. And let’s get real. The effect of this crisis will have lasting generational effects on our mental health as individuals and as a society.

Even though it’s been weeks for some and months for others, it’s important to recenter and adjust our mental health approaches. In this reminder article from Forbes, here are some tips about getting back on routine and using the opportunity to grow.

The Mental Health Crisis Generated By COVID-19: Why It’s Critical And How You Can Retain Your Sanity



2. 🚀👩‍🔬 Rocket scientist think!

Looking for a new, exciting, lauded book to read?  Masawa’s friend and advisory board member Kathy has a husband. He wrote a book. It’s about how to think like a rocket scientist. He used to be one. Seriously. 

The book is a fun and pragmatic read about how we all can use the tips and tricks rocket scientists (and others) use to get ahead in work and life, frameworks that are certainly needed now during this virus crisis thing.

Adam Grant, the organizational psychology guru, said the book was “bursting with practical insights” and named it his # 1 pick of his top 20 books of 2020. And it’s only April!

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol



3. 🚸🧸Children’s Books Help

Remember the children.  Whether they show it or not, they’re going through a lot now, too.  Their routines and networks are much different than they’re used to, and there’s much uncertainty in the air. 

Here are two children’s books for younger kids that might be useful. Even if you don’t have kids, these books are good for adults, too. [Thanks, Chrissy!]

 “My Hero is You

The Story of the Oyster and The Butterfly


4. 🐈🦔 We still need cute animals, seriously.

Just watch the video and try not to feel joy. We dare you.

Super Cute Animals



5. 🤗🆘 Masawa Match is live!

As highlighted in the last Masawa Minute, we’ve put together a platform for mental health services + it’s now live!  These services could include links to resources and apps, therapists offering sessions, or performers offering live-streamed multilingual kids entertainment. Users can chat with the service providers on the platform to agree when and where to meet outside of the platform.

Send Masawa Match to those looking to provide or receive mental health services. Or offer your own service.  Every little bit helps! The platform is still in beta (there are still some bugs to fix), so let us know if something could be functionally better.

Sincere thanks to Thomas and his team for their great work in putting the beautifully functional resource together!

Masawa Match



6. ✨✨ Masawa Update 

We’re still living in a crazy time. And despite the physical distancing, including additional child care requirements, we’re busier than ever. Things are moving fast. Founders need investment to quickly meet a huge uptick in demand; investors of all kinds are waking up to the need for impactful investments in mental health.  We reached a huge legal milestone, and are working towards the next! 

But breathe. 

Sometimes we need to take a moment to make sure that we’re on track with our own mental health in order to make the difference we feel is needed.


7. 🕯️✌️ In Closing 

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sending it to people who also care.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

This is really hard – and that’s ok | Spoon Rooms | + More! 🐹

This is really hard - and that's ok | Spoon Rooms | + More! 🐹

This is the Masawa Minute, a snippet of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing. 

And wow, the heavens above and below have certainly given us a lot of mental health and impact to consider in the past few weeks! At Masawa, in these change-is-hard times, we keep it focused on the following:  

“Get it right, now, so that when it’s time, we’re far better off than before.”


1. 😢💔 First, feel it: grief.

It’s all we can think about, consuming most of what we do. So much change in so little time. So much destruction — societal, economic, mental, physical. 

So how can we not only get through this, but come out stronger and more determined? First, we need to take a moment to acknowledge what we’re feeling.  And for most of us, the root feeling is grief.  Grief that’s causing anxiety, depression, ruminitions, and monkey minds.

This nice article in the Harvard Business Review helps frame what it is we’re experiencing and how to prepare for the future. [Thanks, Christian!]

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief



2. ☑️👀 Now, let’s keep it in check.

Our minds are powerful things.  And ensuring that we keep our minds in check during these tumultuous times is crucial. As Ben Okri writes in this piece, the virus is a mental contagion that can easily get out of hand. When this pandemic is over, as it will eventually be, we’ll look back on not only how we survived, but how we prepared ourselves for what came next.  It won’t have been beneficial to fret, frown, frab, or freg. [but making up new words helps.]

So get real good at feeling all the feelings, acknowledging them, observing them, creating stories about their lives. Share those stories on social media. Use the hashtag #realfeelings. [Ha!]

 Fear of Covid-19 is a mental contagion – and that’s something we can fight



3. 🤕🤦‍♀️ Mental illness is now realer.

Before COVID-19, mental illness, specifically depression, was the leading cause of disability worldwide! [Holy Moly.] And after COVID-19, mental illness will still be the leading cause of disability worldwide. [Shocker, we know.] And now that some 83% of young people in the UK are feeling negative impacts on their mental health, one of the few good things this damn virus will do is to help shed light on the mental illness epidemic [pandemic by the time we’re done?… ]. 

UK poll finds young people’s mental health hit by coronavirus


4. 🦙🦑 Cute animals are back.

Because we need them now more than ever.

Cute baby animals videos compilation


5. 👯‍♂️🥄 Craft New Communities with Spoons

Social distancing is a misnomer. We’re physical distancing, which causes social distancing, the opposite of healthy.  We’re communal creators and [most of us] enjoy the company of others. 

And now, it’s hard to stop thinking about yourself, your family, and your specific world. One way to work on getting it right, now, is to increase our compassion and true interactions with people we don’t necessarily know.

The team at Comorados, which BC19 (before COVID-19) set up Public Living Rooms, has joined forces with Conscious-U to create Spoon Rooms in which strangers from around the world digitally come together to simply be, together. There’s much beauty in waving silly spoons around with people you’ve never met. [Thanks, Nadja!]

Join the Big Spoon Room on Saturdays @ 11:00 GMT


6. ✨Masawa Update 

What a time we live in. 

We’ve learned a lot in the past weeks about the power of pragmatism. We’re humbled by the realization that there’s now even more need for Masawa. While we’re powering on with the investment fund, we’re also working on two contributing projects:

Masawa Match (in development) is a resource site to find therapists, coaches, and others to improve their mental wellness and productivity, and hopefully find a little levity. These resources could include digital therapy, coaching, websites, apps, performances, or virtual dance parties + many more. [Thanks Thomas!]

The Masawa Maxim (in development) is a podcast series to highlight innovations in mental wellness technology, approaches, and models. We decided to make a podcast primarily because everyone else is doing it + we have FOMO. [Thanks, Scott!]


7. 🕯️✌️ In Closing 

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sending it to people who also care.

Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗

Psychedelics | Cute Startups | + More! 🍓

Psychedelics | Cute Startups | + More! 🍓

This is the Masawa Minute, a snippet of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing. 


1. 🍄👩‍⚕️ The psychedelics are coming!!

Psychedelics are coming!! Science has proven the efficacy of using substances like psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, MDMA to relieve/reset depression, PTSD, addiction, and more. More jurisdictions are talking about decriminalization and legalization, and so, naturally, the wave of innovators, investors, and vultures is on its way! This long-form article in Fortune gives a nice overview of the complexity and sides to these powerful substances.

Business gets ready to trip: How psychedelic drugs may revolutionize mental health care


2. 💕👀 Cute Startups!

No cute animals this week, we’re still hooked on the pangolins from last week.  But our friends over at Venture Leap put together this great landscape analysis of the (digital) Mental Health StartUp Landscape in the EU and found 101 active companies — enjoy! [thanks, Philipp!]

Fighting the Mental Health Crisis – 2020 StartUp Landscape


3. ☎️🗣️  Telemental!

Telemental health services are increasing in the US, according to this report summary, and will help overflowing emergency departments better cope. The telemental health industry market size is supposed to be $774 million (yikes!) in the US alone in 2021. And it’s not quite clear how these additional services will fit into reimbursement policies. Our question is the efficacy of such systems by treatment area. Yes, human connection is best, but how much is lost via the digital connection, if at all?

TELEMENTAL HEALTH REPORT: How telehealth can help US hospitals and health systems manage the $238 billion mental health crisis


4. 😒🔥 Founder burnout is real.

This op-ed shows how one Canadian entrepreneur completely crashed and burned in a system that only wanted her to be the ever-heroine and exemplary human. Erin Blaskie was able to get the assistance she needed, but only after acknowledging her vulnerabilities. In a perverse way, start-up burnout is becoming seen as a badge of honor, but the effects are real. We saw a study that said founders are twice as likely to have issues with depression. Yikes.


Op-ed: Entrepreneurship nearly killed me. Why it’s time for us to do something about founder burnout


5. 🏢☮️ CSR: friend or foe?

Alison Taylor of NYU’s Stern School of Business writes in this article that the CSR veneer is fading — finally. Big companies with big claims of desired social impact and intense lobbying efforts for the opposite need to be held accountable, like Coca-Cola, Facebook, and UBS, which are called out. The article also mentions ‘impact-washing’ of ESG impact investments that companies are jumping into. We suspect that regulators will soon weigh in on this point, which is very welcomed!  

The corporate responsibility facade is finally starting to crumble


6. ✨Masawa Update 

We successfully completed formation, an incubator for traditionally marginalized startup, run in Berlin by Porsche Digital and APX. It was great to walk in the shoes of and think like a startup because Masawa is also technically a start-up. 


7. 🕯️✌️ In Closing 

Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sending it to people who also care.


Give someone a big hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

The Masawa Minute

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