This is the story of Slow Money.
The idea behind Slow Money is wildly fundamental: we need to take some of our money, a tiny fraction of it to begin with, of course, out of the accelerating, increasingly volatile, abstract, and complex global financial marketplace, where we can never fully know what it is doing or who it is doing it to, and put it to work in things that we understand, closer to home, starting with small food enterprises. It is a sobering commentary on the modern circumstance that something so common sensical as “building the soil of a restorative economy”would be called a movement or, even, a revolution.
We are still small, but sprouting. 15,000 people have signed the Slow Money Principles. 2,000 have joined the Slow Money Alliance, a national network and emerging group of eleven local chapters that are facilitating the flow of millions of dollars into scores of small food enterprises around the country. Six hundred people attended our second national gathering last year in Vermont and $4 million was invested in 12 of the small food enterprises that presented there. A local, organic food home delivery service. An organic creamery. An organic beverage start-up. An inner city farming project. And many more. Since then, $5 million has flowed into dozens of small food enterprises through 11 emerging Slow Money chapters around the country.
This year’s national gathering in San Francisco was another step towards our ultimate destination: one million Americans investing 1% in local food systems, within a decade.
Each one of us can take a small step towards fixing our economy from the ground up, a first step in the rewarding, hopeful and mind-UNnumbing process of bringing money back down to earth.
Photo credit Slow Money
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