You’ve heard of Slow Food, now there’s Slow Money!

I was intrigued by an event I saw listed in the Transition US newsletter, Essential Knowledge for Transition: Financial System and Local Investing which was “the first in a 3-part series of teleseminars on economic transformation by Marco Vangelisti”.

I downloaded Marco’s slide show to accompany the seminar, and was very impressed, so I signed up for the teleseminar and participated in it yesterday evening. It described itself as:

Financial system and local investing

How can the stock market reach new record highs when the economy is still sputtering and the middle class is fading away? What role do our investments play in shaping our world? We will look at how financial capital has been transformed from a tool fostering economic growth to a self-perpetuating pool growing through trading activities progressively divorced from productive economic activities. We will talk about the importance of divesting form the old economy and the emergence of four powerful trends that will transform the world of investing. We will look at ways communities at the forefront of this transformation are democratizing and relocalizing investments and building a world that is more equitable and sustainable.

Much of this was familiar to me: how limited and destructive it is to see the world though a financial prism that excludes social and environmental effects, his “What you Need to Know About Money and Banking in 3 Minutes”

  • All money is created as debt
  • No money is created to repay the interests on the debt
  • The private banking sector has the monopoly on money creation
  • Money is an agreed upon fiction

An amusing cartoon:

cartoon for Slow Money

But I was particularly struck by the innovations in new approaches to money that have been growing in the USA in recent years. There was only a little on new currencies, but a lot of emphasis on ways for people to pool what money they have to invest in community enterprises and other socially and environmentally positive initiatives.

It was ‘Slow Money‘ that really appealed to me, probably because I had been very active in the Slow Food movement a few years ago. From Wikipedia

Slow Money is a movement to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems. Slow Money takes its name from the Slow Food movement. Slow Money aims to develop the relationship between capital markets and place, including social and soil fertility. Slow Money is supporting the grass-roots mobilization through network building, convening, publishing, and incubating intermediary strategies and structures of funding.”

It has only been going since 2009 but “more than $30 million has been invested in 221 small food enterprises around the United States since mid-2010. Seventeen local Slow Money chapters and six investment clubs have formed. Slow Money events have attracted thousands of people from 36 states and 9 countries.”

Great stuff!

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