"We're here to prove humans can be great stewards of the earth. I believe that we were all born to do good."
Jimmy was raised with the belief that what you do should be good for others. His father was born in Kirkwood, Missouri and following this belief became a story of success as Atlanta's real estate broker who told the truth. He taught Jimmy about the industry, society's need for good places, and how real estate could help or hurt neighborhoods.
"Neighborhoods and towns are the building blocks of civilization. If we want to create a sustainable world, we first have to learn how to build a sustainable town."
Together, they decided to create Kalu Yala to prove that doing good is good for business and that real estate should be a force for good.
Facts about Kalu Yala and it's achievements so far:
- People at Kalu Yala produce 8% of the carbon footprint of the average American
- 94% of alumni from the research institute say their experience contributed to career growth
- Kalu Yala has already increased the biodiversity and carbon sequestration of the land we purchased by occupying it with our settlement.
"It's amazing to realize that we are all creating this world together and that we can each make it better...to see that, we just have to take the first step."
Learn more about how Jimmy thinks we can build a better world.
Some facts about Jimmy, his family, and Kalu Yala
Who owns Kalu Yala?
Kalu Yala is a small family business owned by Jimmy and his father Sandy Stice, and backed by investors who believe in the vision that doing good is good for business. As a town, most of its buildings and businesses will be owned by the people who live there.
Who is Sandy Stice?
Sandy is Jimmy's father and business partner at Kalu Yala. Sandy is well known in Atlanta real estate for his ethical approach to the business and hopes Kalu Yala will help shift investment dollars toward making the world a better place.
Sandy and Dale Stice have been married since 1979 and have three children, Jimmy, Matt, and Kate. After college, Sandy moved from Kirkwood, Missouri to Atlanta where he opened a restaurant with friends that didn’t work out financially, but that is where he met Dale, his future wife. After the restaurant closed, he became a commercial real estate broker, eventually becoming one of the top in his field in the Southeast before then forming his own company, Atlantic Investors Group.
Is Kalu Yala a for-profit business?
Yes, Kalu Yala is a for-profit business, but the profit has never and will never come from the institute or education efforts. The institute exists to give Kalu Yala the feeling and ideas possessed by a small college town and will become a non-profit in the near future. It is our belief that attracting smart young people and having them come up with great ideas will help the businesses and hospitality efforts that are for profit to create jobs and economic benefits to residents and investors.
What is Kalu Yala's view on capitalism?
We believe social and environmental capitalism are the answers to many of the world’s problems. We believe consumers vote with their dollars and the ideal job should both pay people’s bills and make a positive difference in the world. As consumers continue to reward businesses that do good, while holding all businesses accountable, business owners will make doing good part of their business.
Why does Kalu Yala have a research institute and study abroad program?
The institute serves as Kalu Yala’s compass for finding best practices in sustainability. Students search for answers and provide feedback without regard to profits, creating a transparent and reliable source for decision making and accountability. 15% of our staff and 80% of our small business owners are alumni. We also believe college towns offer the most culture at the lowest cost of living in the world.
Who will live at Kalu Yala?
We’ve never believed we are very good at predicting the future or controlling how people will behave, so this has always been a tough question to answer.
Panama City, Panama is the most represented city amongst Kalu Yala fans on social media. We have a high appeal to our neighbors and to young Panamanians particularly, as well as a large international following.
Panama has always been a melting pot of cultures and nationalities and we hope Kalu Yala will be the same and you will hear three languages as you walk down our streets. The key principle for us is to offer diverse housing and price points and to create good jobs so that anyone who wants to live here can.