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Thank you for joining us

On behalf of Chris, Angelique, Jillian, Sandra and Ian, thank you for joining us at the Monkey Money Mind Artis After Hours Experience! On this page you will find the following:

  • Ways to help
  • Photos of the event
  • Recap of the event
  • General information about The Gorilla Organization
  • Highlights Rwanda and Uganda visit
  • Excerpts from Monkey Money Mind contributors



Join in spreading the word about why we stop thinking when we start spending. How? Include sections of the Monkey Money Mind Book in presentations you give or we can come and speak at your internal or external events (no charges apply).

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Buy the Monkey Money Mind Book for your family, friends or colleagues. You are supporting a good cause, as all proceeds will go to charity and the more people read the book, hopefully the more people can explore insights that can support them.

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The Gorilla Organization allocates every donation carefully to local projects. You can adopt a gorilla, an entire family by setting up a direct debit in the UK or make a donation via their website or donate to our GoFundMe page.

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We always try to Exceed Expectations. We want to hear your thoughts, so please let us know if we did this with the Monkey Money Mind Artis After Hours Experience by filling in any comment you would like. We appreciate any kind of feedback.

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Not only do Chris and Angelique share over a decade and a half in the financial services industry and a passion for technology, they also both come from humble beginnings and experienced financial stress when growing up. They wanted to understand on a psychological level why irrationality and logic are constantly at war within the mind, and wanted to help make sense of why exactly people do what they do with their cents. Their goal was to provide a real book. A book that explores instead of tells you what to do. A book that provides insights so that readers can understand why we stop thinking when we start spending and decide for themselves what to do. A book aimed to trigger people in the financial services industry to not only focus on the rational side, but also on the emotional and psychological side of supporting their customers. Below are some of the key takeaways from Monkey Money Mind:

  • We all process information differently, financials anticipate and support in better understanding
  • If we are provided with too many choices and information we do not understand, we will make the wrong decision (or none at all)
  • When given a standard option, we are inclined to take it. We forget to look at what suits us best
  • Instead of allocating windfalls over the different categories within our mental ranking system, we spend most of it (and fast)
  • With the increased accessibility and ease of payment, we start missing information – our spending behavior, increased prices, etc.
  • All in all, we just need a little help to understand our MMM a bit better and determine if and how we need support

Chris and Angelique both love nature and both support the protection of the environment and wildlife. When writing the Monkey Money Mind, they knew they wanted to donate proceeds of the book to a charity: The Gorilla Organization. ​

The Gorilla Organization

The Gorilla Organization is a conservation charity established in 1989 to secure the survival of the world’s last remaining gorillas in Africa. As pioneers of community-led conservation, they partner with communities surrounding the gorillas’ natural habitat. As well as safeguarding gorillas with anti-poaching patrols, The Gorilla Organization provides innovative and award-winning sustainable initiatives to support the local people by developing their entrepreneurial and organic farming skills, thereby reducing their dependence of the forest and mitigating climate change. The Gorilla Organization is a UK Registered Charity 1117131 and a member of Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).


“To my relief, Mountain Gorillas were this year reclassified from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered’. It shows that given the will and enough resources, conservation works.”

Jillian Miller (Executive Director TGO) has been working for more than 30 years leading The Gorilla Organization. She is the founder of its award-winning, community-led conservation. Jillian coordinated Angelique’s visit and accompanied her to Rwanda and Uganda.


“Mountain gorillas do very well on their own. They don’t breed in captivity so the only way to safeguard their existence is to leave them alone.”

Sandra Bakker is a proud patron of The Gorilla Organization. Former bass guitarist for a punk band, she decided to leave that behind to later become a successful businesswoman and philanthropist. She has been a long-time supporter of TGO, ever since 2001.


“The future of gorillas is more than just the survival of an interesting species; they are keystone species in forests that are essential for climate stability.”

Dr. Ian Redmond (Chairman TGO) has over four decades of experience in gorilla conservation efforts. He worked as Dian Fossey’s research assistant and was a consultant in the movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’. He has participated in over 100 documentaries with the BBC, Nat Geo and Discovery Channel.


It’s popular to see humans as destroyers not creators. But the data shows a much more nuanced story. Protected areas and National parks, increased from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2014. That’s an area twice the size of the United states. Marine conervation areas doubled to 12% of the world’s oceans. We can argue it’s not enough in the light of the outrageous havoc we’re wreaking on the oceans now. But we are going forward and not backward. Thanks to scientific conservation albatross, condors, manatees, oryxes, pandas, possibly rhinos, Tasmanian devils, lionhaired tamarinds and some tigers have been snatched from the jaws of extinction.

Our projects around the gorilla habitat empower local people to protect the environment through farming, bee keeping, small business initiatives, alternative livelihoods for former poachers and support for landless indigenous people. And we’ve planted more than 2 million trees  to relieve pressure on the gorilla habitat and help mitigate climate change. There’s a certain level of income whereby people can pay attention to their environment. And do. In our case, the word is out. The people we work with are not the demon destroyers of the gorillas’ forest. They are proud farmers, rangers, student conservationists.


When Sandra first met Jillian and Ian she had some money to donate. After having done her research it turned out that The Gorilla Organization perfectly matched all the goals Sandra wanted to reach with her donation: children, women, environment, conservation – and all this done through projects that give people the opportunity to take control of their own lives. If you are a woman in the Congo, you don’t want to be relying on the government because there is nobody to turn to. And, the thing about The Gorilla Organization that stood out the most is that they take care of the whole chain themselves. It is one of the very few charities that not only raises their own funds but also set up an execute their own projects, all done by local people who know what they are talking about.

All the projects have that in common: they all keep the people out of the forests. No bush-meat hunting, no transmitting diseases like tuberculosis and Ebola. Of course, we also need to keep out the palm oil plantations, oil riggers and so on because if their habitat disappears so will the mountain gorilla. We are not and will never be done fighting against invasions of the forests. But so far so good: gorilla numbers are on the rise. From 800, 10 years ago, to over a 1.000 at the moment.


The Gorilla Organization kindly created a jam-packed schedule that would allow Ohpen to meet their team, visit all their main projects and of course, a trek to the gorillas could not be missed. The Ohpen team visited Rwanda and Uganda. As Congo was not safe to travel to, Henry,  TGO’s project manager in Congo crossed the border to Rwanda to provide a highlight of The Gorilla Organization projects.

Trek 1: Mafunzo group (Rwanda)

The first trek on the schedule was to visit the Mafunzo family in Rwanda. It took the team 9,5 hours to get to an altitude of 10.600 feet (3.200 meter) and back down, covering over 18 km under the guidance of local guides and Ian Redmond. This area was his home when he worked with Dian Fossey.  It was an unbelievable feeling to see the impressive Silverback, Mafunzo and his family. The Ohpen team made it back just after dark thanks to the experienced trackers, rangers and porters who were with them all the way.

Trek 2: Nshongi group (Uganda)

The second trek was in Uganda and we set out to meet the Nshongi group in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This is a special group for The Gorilla Organization as donors can adopt gorillas of this group via its website. The trek took about 5 hours, but what was a striking difference from the previous trek was the vegetation. It seemed to be much more diverse compared to Rwanda.  You might remember Ian talking during the Artis After Hours Experience about the importance of large animals in the forest. Well, that is one of the big differences between Rwanda and Uganda. There are no more forest elephants in Rwanda, so no large animals ‘planting trees’ with big seeds via their dung.

Creating income

We’ve experienced the professional people in both countries. What stood out was the comment made by the porters; they all used to live inside of the parks but in order to create an income that did not depend on poaching or taking wood from the forest, they are now on a rotating schedule where they can assist tourists who visit the gorillas, once a month. They are given $15/$20 per person for helping out one day. That money supports the porters for an entire month.

The Gorilla Organization has a unique approach to conservation: it does not give money, it does not set up short-term projects; instead, the organization supports the community around the parks where gorillas live so that they can create a sustainable income to breach through poverty. Under the guidance of The Gorilla Organization, the Ohpen team visited numerous projects:

  • Sustainable beekeeping
  • Reformed poachers
  • Supporting school girls
  • Sustainable organic farming

All projects have in common that the focus is about creating an income.

Thank you

On behalf of all of us at Ohpen and The Gorilla Organization, we would like to thank you for joining us at the Monkey Money Mind Artis After Hours Experience. At the request of several guests, please find the video of the singing & dancing students below.

Excerpts from select Monkey Money Mind contributors

“The object of life is not to be rich when you die, it’s to live well.”

Dr. Harry Markowitz, Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences

“I was twenty-five years old [when] I finally realized how poor my financial state was. I realized there’s much more I want to do with my life, and I needed credit to do it, and I turned everything around.”

Carla MooreSenior executive at HBO and bestselling author

“I found myself unemployed at thirty-nine years old and paying rent out of my savings. What is your life going to be like when you can’t work? Put some cash away, man!”

Osher Günsberg, TV personality and host of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, Australia 

(Image courtesy of Steve Baccon)

“Thanks to an advisor, I invested for years in a worthless swamp. I learned a good lesson: it is better to look at what you are buying first.”

Frederique van der Wal, Victoria’s Secret model and businesswoman

“Love should never be an excuse to break the bank.”

Pat Williams, NBA’s Orlando Magic founder