planet-smart blog

Slow Money: investing in sustainable agriculture

Author : 
Woody Tasch, Slow Money

What does banking have to do with soil fertility? Everything—even though finding, creating and nurturing the links between banking and soil fertility requires some new ways of thinking and acting. These innovations represent our first steps towards a new economy, an economy based as much on preservation and restoration as on extraction and consumption.

This is why Slow Money is honored to have New Resource Bank as a sponsor of our third national gathering, which will take place October 12–14 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Slow Money and New Resource share the mission of fundamentally realigning the investment process with the goal of creating social and environmental health. 

Forging new public-private partnerships

Institutions and individuals are forging new partnerships as part of a great economic transition. This transition is about supporting new organic farmers and the host of small food enterprises that are emerging to bring their produce to market. It’s about rebuilding trust and reconnecting to one another and the places where we live. It’s about healing the social and ecological relationships that have been broken by hundreds of years of linear, extractive pursuit of economic growth, industrialization, globalization and consumerism. It’s about pulling some of our money out of ever-accelerating financial markets and its myriad abstractions (called, with more than a little irony, securities) and putting it to work close to where we live, in things that we understand, starting with food—creating a more immediate and tangible kind of security.

Slow Money enables collaboration

Slow Money’s national gatherings bring together investors, food entrepreneurs, farmers and philanthropists, along with just plain folks who are worried about where their food comes from and where their money goes. At Slow Money gatherings dozens of leading food entrepreneurs present investment opportunities and thought leaders inspire new levels of learning and collaboration.

Since our 2010 national gathering, more than $4.25 million has been invested in 16 of the presenting food enterprises and several million has begun flowing through 11 emerging Slow Money chapters. 

Speakers at this fall’s Fort Mason event will include environmental activist Vandana Shiva; Wes Jackson, Land Institute founder and president; world renowned ecologist David Suzuki; David Orr, Oberlin College distinguished professor of environmental studies and politics; Leslie Christian, Portfolio 21 CEO; Melissa Bradley, Tides Foundation president; and many other leading financiers, entrepreneurs and activists.

Join us for a few rewarding days as we work together to find new ways to create and preserve wealth without eroding the soil, filling our food with chemicals or filling our portfolios with investments that we don’t understand.

For details, see the Slow Money website or call David Corson-Knowles at 510.408.7645.

Woody Tasch is founder of Slow Money and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008).

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