Show Me the (Slow) Money!

Slow Money: The book that started the movementSlow Money: The book that started the movement

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?

These are the questions being asked by Slow Money, a non-profit organization dedicated to building the “nurture capital industry,” or, in other words, “a new financial sector supporting the emergence of a restorative economy.” Started by Woody Tasch, the author of the book with the same name, Slow Money has launched a national campaign to collect one million signatures to six Slow Money Principles, including my personal favorite, Principle number 4: “We must learn to live as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.”

Slow Money receives “seed money and strategic support” from a select group of founding members, most of whom are luminaries in the fields of “sustainable agriculture, organic food, social investing and philanthropy.” One of them is the Twin Cities’ own Matt Sanford, author, yoga teacher, and founder of Mind-Body Solutions. Slow Money founding member, the Twin Cities' own Matthew SanfordSlow Money founding member, the Twin Cities' own Matthew Sanford

“I believe our relationship to money is a fundamental issue that threatens our survival,” he wrote in an e-mail reply to my question asking why he chose to get involved with this movement. He continued, “No longer can our planet and its natural resources sustain an extractive form of capitalism that cares only about maximizing financial return at any cost. As investors, this means that some of our capital must become more patient, and that it should be invested closer to home, with an eye toward sustaining local communities and ecosystems -- even if the financial returns are not the same.”

You can join Sanford in supporting the Slow Money movement by (1) adding your signature to the list of principles, and/or (2) becoming a member. For as little as $25, you can join other “savvy, like-minded people,” as Sanford wrote, “who can see beyond the powerful grip of materialism and are trying to do something about it.”

His words remind me of my second favorite Slow Money Principle, number 5: "Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living."