Slow Money is bringing people together around a shared vision about what it means to be an investor in the 21st Century:
It starts with the soil.
The soil teaches us that we must put back as much as we take out to ensure long term health and a strong, secure, restorative economy. Life in the soil is all about diversity and regeneration, a large number of small organisms working together in a healthy system. When we erode our soil, we erode our social capital, we erode community.
Entrepreneurs are the seeds.
In contrast to far-flung multi-national corporations and financial institutions that are too large to understand, small food enterprises are comprehensible. We live near them. We can connect to them directly. Their entrepreneurs are our fellow community members. They create jobs, promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity, and build robust local food systems.
Investors are the water.
Money can erode. Or money can nurture. Millions of us, slowing just a little of our money down, can begin to create the nurture capital industry—as important to the next generation as venture capital has been to this generation. Looking at philanthropy and investment through the lens of food, soil and place, we will find new ways to rebuild trust and to support millions of small acts of entrepreneurial care.
Saving farmland, supporting a new generation of small and mid-size organic farmers, rebuilding local and regional food processing and distribution, improving nutrition and otherwise remedying the imbalances of a food system that is too consolidated, too global and too industrial—where will the money come from? From Wall Street? From philanthropy? From government programs? From consumers?
One thing is certain: a new generation of entrepreneurs is starting to rebuild local food systems and the capital available to them is insufficient. If we want this capital to start flowing today, this year, this decade, if we share the belief that we don’t have another generation to wait for “them” to figure it out or be pushed in this direction by disruption or collapse, then we have to roll up our sleeves, sink our hands into the soil of the economy and start planting.
Slow Money Principle 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 nonviolence.
“Enter Slow Money: I am floored. I am inspired. I am rejoicing. Slow Money is exactly what our soils and the people that depend on them (read: ALL OF US) need, and it brings poetry to economics in a way that is deeply and unexpectedly healing to our collective psyche.”
– Lopa Brunjes, Biochar International
“We need slow money. . .quickly.”
– Mardi Mellon, Union of Concerned Scientists