Monday, July 27, 2009

Slow Money

Just discovered this interesting site, Slow Money, another form of localism in economics and food. The principles of the concept (quoted from the website) are:
I. We must bring money back down to earth.

II. We must bring our money home. We must put money back into local economies and carbon back into the soil.

III. We must invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered.

IV. We must invest as if carrying capacity, diversity and non-violence mattered; as if aquifers mattered; as if childhood nutrition and food deserts and obesity side-by-side with hunger all mattered.

V. 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.

VI. Organic seed companies, organic farmers, manufacturers of organic agricultural inputs, slow food restauranteurs, niche organic brands, local food processors, producer and consumer coops, neighborhood retailers, CSAs, farmers markets, urban gardens, edible schoolyards -- without them, there can be no durable economic health or quality of life, no durable food safety or food security.

VII. We must build the nurture capital industry.

VIII. We must give investors and philanthropists the tools they need to facilitate dramatic increases in support for small food enterprises -- Slow Munis, new philanthropic charters that steer foundation assets in support of mission, funds dedicated to CSAs and organic farmland, and collaborative structures for local investors.

IX. There is something beautiful about a diversified organic farm. There is something beautiful about a CSA. There is something beautiful about Terra Madre. There is nothing beautiful about bovine growth hormone or Red Dye #4 or high fructose corn syrup. We must invest as if beauty mattered.

X. We must dare to imagine that after the Age of Industrial Finance and Industrial Agriculture comes the Age of Earthworm Economics. Let us recognize the words of one of its first proponents, who 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." (Paul Newman)

XI. We must ask:

--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?

XII. We need slow money. . .quickly.
These principles are quoted from the website, and are rather wordy and repetitive, but you get the idea.

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