Test Lab

The Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Test Lab


r3.0 is pleased to support the launch of the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Test Lab as a platform for r3.0 Senior Research Fellow Marcy Murninghan to continue her ongoing action-research in this arena. To energize the formative stage of this project, this Test Lab is producing a feasibility study to secure funding to plant a prototype in Massachusetts and Michigan. With funding support from pioneering corporate governance / shareholder activism theorist and practitioner Robert A.G. Monks, Dr. Murninghan  will write a white paper on the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary concept and strategic approach while continuing to carry out field building to pave the way for planting the Action Labs.

This balance of action and theory-building will yield not just important supportive alliances to launch the pilot labs and a white paper, but important insights that can be incorporated into r3.0’s Sustainable Finance Blueprint. Indeed, the vision, concept, and strategies embodied in the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Action Lab encompass both theory and practice, and are highly compatible with the aspirations and ongoing work of r3.0.

To wit:

      •  The Civic Fiduciary concept extends principles contained in moral and political philosophy, along with still-evolving public fiduciary theory and legal norms, to the real-world investment policies, practices, and impacts of affluent state-chartered nonprofit institutions located in two select U.S. locations: Lansing, Michigan, and Boston, Massachusetts. It challenges directly the narrow view of economic motivation, economics as a discipline, finance, and transnational capitalism that has emerged in the past six decades, compared to more expansive and humane definitions lasting through the millennia (Aristotle; Cicero; Veblen, 1923, 1997; Simon, Powers, and Gunnemann, 1972; Longstreth and Rosenbloom, 1973; Dahl, 1985; Sen, 1987; Vernon and Spar, 1989; Wuthnow, 1996; Sandel, 1998; Nye and Donahue, 2001; Sklair, 2001; Stiglitz, 2002; Skocpol, 2003; Pooley and Solovey, 2010; Shiller, 2012; Kay, 2015; Collier, 2018; and Norman, 2018). This narrow view exists alongside the explosive growth in nonprofit institutional investor assets under management, thus contradicting core values and mission.


    • The Equity Culture concept extends principles contained in complex adaptive systems theory of human and ecologic well being (Meadows, 1999 and 2008; Olson, 1971; Ostrom, 1990; Shklar, 1991) that integrates multicapitals, while applying a context-based approach to identify and assess impact. It seeks to cultivate “civic financial literacy” — e.g., mapping, motivating, meaning-making, and monitoring multicapital “return on investment” — through inclusive citizen taxpayer and trustee participation.

Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Test Lab Overview (pdf — 5 pages)


Project Lead:
Dr. Marcy Murninghan
Senior Research Fellow, r3.0

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.