Thousands of Americans have begun affirming a new direction for the economy. It’s called Slow Money.
Inspired by the vision of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, published in 2009, the Slow Money Alliance is bringing people together around a new conversation about money that is too fast, about finance that is disconnected from people and place, about how we can begin fixing our economy from the ground up... starting with food.
Through Slow Money national gatherings, regional events and local activities, more than $35 million has been invested in over 300 small food enterprises around the United States since mid-2010. Nineteen local Slow Money chapters and 10 investment clubs have formed. Slow Money events have attracted thousands of people from 36 states and 9 countries. Over 34,000 people have signed the Slow Money Principles. The first international Slow Money investment—a $20,000 loan to a solar dairy in Switzerland—has been made. Slow Money France is in the early stages of organizing, and inquiries about chapter formation have been received from Canada, Australia and Japan.
At this year's National Gathering, Gatheround was launched, making it possible for individuals to put their money to work in small food enterprises via small donations.
“Combine poisonous factory-farm tomatoes with disgraced investment banker Bernard Madoff. Throw in a stock market disaster. You get a public spooked by the dangers of industrial food production and investors wary of risky business. This may be the recipe for a Slow Money revolution.”
– David Gutnick, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
“The Slow Money movement is one of the top five trends in finance.”
– Entrepreneur Magazine and Reuters
With trillions of dollars a day accelerating around the globe, invested in securities that no one fully understands, it is time to affirm a new direction:
The Slow Money Principles
In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration, we do hereby affirm the following Slow Money Principles:
I. We must bring money back down to earth.
II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down -- not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.
III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.
IV. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.
V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.
VI. Paul Newman said, "I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out." Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:
* What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
* What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
* What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?