not so fast! on the virtues of slow money for sustainability


Greed got away from us...the quarterly-numbers crew insisted that valuations keep climbing...and lots of folks lost everything.

So, what if we were satisfied with less? What if NOT all our financial resources went into the fastest growing funds?

What if a fund for sustainability initiatives on Kauai was just about the safest place to put your money? How hard could it be to create such a fund?

Been wondering about this as we contemplate our island's sustainability transition, and assess the scale of new social investment required to get'r done. Naturally, I’ve been inspired by the "slow money" movement (via triplepundit).

Ever since Woody Tasch started talking about how "money moves too fast around the globe" and that "free markets don’t always know best", we've been looking for ways to step away from the overpowering "economic and fiduciary nonsense" that controls our financial system, and reconsider how we invest for rebuilding communities and wealth, protection of ecosystems, and sustainable food and energy production.

Triple Pundit's Nick Aster sees "the snow-balling practical success of this initiative taking place throughout the nation."

"The Slow Money movement calls for the creation of new capital markets--markets that channel the flow of investment to small enterprises to bring about sustainable growth in local economies. This grand vision strives to support tens of thousands of independent, local-first enterprises at the base of the restorative economy.”

And now, says Aster, "the practical fruition of this vision is beginning to unfold across the US."

Hows't work? Simple! Form a stakeholder network for your region, then meet to discuss ideas, share experiences, and define and implement strategies for investing in local communities through sustainable food systems.

So, what's unique about Slow Money? "Instead of proposing strategies to side-step the existing financial system it offers a clear path to revolutionize our approach. It makes conceivable an entirely new investment culture and economy: one that is built upon preservation and restoration as opposed to extraction and consumption", says Tasch.

This certainly looks like one strong option for "collapsing forward"...

Published by Ken on April 29th, 2009 tagged Best Practices, Community Initiatives

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