I was recently introduced to Keith Wright and I am delighted to be sharing the story behind Yves NEW YORK. Keith is the heart and soul behind one of the most exciting residential projects to be launched in recent times, in one of the world’s most amazing cities.
Yves NEW YORK is an impact investment firm and lifestyle development brand delivering value through renewing New York City residential properties; creating human habitats that reflect the way people aspire to live in the 21st Century.
Yves NEW YORK was established in response to a new set of priorities amongst today’s thinking and caring. It provides a solution for people who desire to live in homes that have been designed and built with a greater conscience for the individual, collective and natural world.
In designing and renewing existing New York City residential properties [multi-family homes and walk-up apartment complexes] Yves utilises 5 tangible and 5 intangible principles to blend financial, social, environmental and cultural accountabilities homogeneously.
Read on to discover the story behind Yves NEW YORK, what inspired its inception and the great lessons Keith has learnt so far in life.
What inspired you to create Yves New York?
When I first arrived in New York, at the end of August 2015, I was surprised how hard it was for foreigners to rent a home, especially given that the city houses more foreign-born immigrants than any other city in the world. I was also dismayed to see the number of new tall buildings being erected, changing not only the skyline but the fabric of the city by displacing long-standing communities.
Over the years I’ve come to believe that the great influencers of society, those being businesses, corporations and developers, have a responsibility to the people. As I shared in the Manifesto titled, ‘ART of Business’, I believe that today’s businesses and corporations have a responsibility to enliven humankind and relationships, to provide a supportive environment in which people are free to challenge the way business is currently performed and to design a new world, one we have yet to imagine, in which organizations pursue social and environmental responsibilities with the same commitment to commercial success.
With 80 percent of Americans now living in urban areas and spending 90 percent of their time indoors, there has never been a more critical time for developers to understand how much they sculpt man’s largest canvas. In doing so they are afforded an incredible opportunity to inspirit the hearts and minds of humanity, to create a legacy— a man-made environment designed and constructed with a greater conscience for the individual, collective and natural world.
Yves NEW YORK was inspired by these beliefs. As I started to talk with people and research global trends, I discovered that an ever-increasing proportion of the population want to do well by doing good— impact investing. The intent of the team is to deliver value through investing and renewing New York City residential properties; creating and managing human habitats that reflect the way people aspire to live in the 21st Century.
In the year before making your career change, how would you describe your mental, emotional and spiritual state to a close and trusted friend? Was there an event/events which served as catalysts for the work you now do?
In the year before making my career change, there was a painful event that saw my world of some +20 years falter, I lost friends and was required to ask for help from others [something I found extremely uncomfortable]. So, I guess you could say that my mental and emotional state was one of turbulence.
The years have taught me the mind is a tyranny of a master. Not only can it take you to the most wondrous of places, it also has the ability to take you to some incredibly dark and lonely places. Experiences, painfully at times, have demonstrated that fear is paper thin. Periods of feeling very uncomfortable, even afraid, that open your heart ever further, enable you to gain new perspectives and set you free. In hindsight, the event enabled me to pursue a passion that has lived within me since school. Funny how this universe works.
How does Yves NEW YORK bring your unique talents to life? In what way does it give you personal fulfilment or a sense of purpose?
Yves NEW YORK (YNY) is very much the climax of my life to date. It is bringing together everything that I have learned, everything that I have always dreamed, and creating opportunities to positively impact the lives of individuals, the collective and natural world. To genuinely make the world a better place.
What drives you to do the work that you’re doing and keep going?A deep-seated belief that humanity has the ability be so much moreClick To Tweet
A deep-seated belief that humanity has the ability to do so much more.
Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with the dance between heart and mind. Creating the book LOVE IS was a major turning point. I came to see how something that is the root of humanity can be seen, felt and experienced so differently. Perhaps naively, the degree of difference was surprising, which caused me to examine ever more of my beliefs and perspectives.
After many years, I’ve come to realise that love unlocks the door to eternal freedom. Today I practice being all that I am. I take each step forward with an open heart and I try to bring more of my uniqueness and light to the world and lead by example.
Many days I fall horribly short. Yet the possibility of taking one extra step tomorrow keeps me going. I honestly believe that when people open their hearts and minds they will unlock the potential of what it really means to be human. When this happens humanity will be so much more – it will flourish.
What has been a highlight of the business so far?
Without a doubt the people I’ve met, the conversations we’ve shared and the time I’ve spent with the team, seeing them bring life to the Yves’ philosophy.
How does your work serve a higher purpose on planet earth? And how does that make you feel?
The Yves philosophy is:
An enterprise that blends financial, social, environmental and cultural missions at its core; where people are supported and encouraged to bring all of their uniqueness to the office, where we:
- Practice being all that we are, all that we dare to be, all that we’ve yet to imagine [the freedom to embody the best of us];
- Inspirit the hearts + minds of colleagues [the freedom to embody authenticity]; and
- Build a better world for ourselves, those who sit beside us, our customers and the community through which we walk [the freedom to embody positive deviance].
An enterprise that shares the famous French artist Yves Klein’s “quest to reach the far side of the infinite”; to know the world is positively different because we have lived.
Being part of this is a dream come true and I cannot wait until we execute our capital raise and are afforded the opportunity to support others.
What great lesson or lessons have you learnt so far in life?'Life is the greatest gift afforded to humanity.'Click To Tweet
Life has taught me a great many lessons, but the two which act as the brightest navigation beacons are:
- Amongst the billions, trillions of pieces written and spoken, if you boil them down, distill their essence, like the alchemists of old, there are only but a few kernels of truth in the world by which to navigate.
- Life is the greatest gift afforded to humanity. Each and every moment hangs on a single breath.
How would you like to be remembered?
Remembered— a very dear friend, Adam O’Donnell, wrote these words about me:
“He dares to dream big, and then has the courage, focus and drive to actually make it a reality and inspire those around him to get involved. His feet firmly planted on the ground and his heart fully open to the world – that’s Keith.”
I’ve been trying to live up to them ever since. So, I guess if people remember me as such and smile, then my time on this planet will have been worthwhile.
What does the future hold for Yves New York?We are the architects of our future, each and every one of us. Click To Tweet
The future. I remember reading once we are the architects of our future, each and every one of us. Our greatest aspiration is to be part of an expanding ripple effect which sees an ever-growing number of developers rethink the starting point at which the built environment is designed, so that as urbanization expands a greater proportion of the population has the ability to live in homes designed and built with greater conscience for the individual, collective and natural world; homes that reflect the way people aspire to live in the 21st Century.
How can people find out more about you and Yves?
People can visit our website at yvesnewyork.com or look me up on LinkedIn and drop me a line.
Thank you for being here and consciously choosing to explore the different ways that ordinary people are living extraordinary lives by serving a higher purpose through their daily work. Everything we do here at YLP.com is designed to inspire and empower you to live your legacy and bring your unique talents to life.
We will be checking back with Keith in the new year to see how his journey has progressed and how his Legacy Project is coming to life.
So tell me what is your #legacyproject going to be? Let’s take a page from Keith’s book and really think about the world we are creating for our children and for our children’s children. Are you concerned about the growth in modern cities? Have you got an idea for a new way of living or sustainability project? If you do we’d love to know. Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Live With Purpose,