Reimagining American Community

SLOW-MONEY-India-300x235Slow food, slow living–OK. But what could slow money mean?(No, it does not mean, as some wag said, “slowcialism.”)

Woody Tasch, author of the book that launched both this set of ideas and his own national organization about five years ago, suggests it means “investing as if food, farms, and fertility matters.” That is, he wants to “bring money back down to earth.”

Which makes the Slow Money principles a key piece of what we could call New Economic thinking, the kind that asks questions such as:

  • 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?

Yesterday’s New York Times piece on this year’s Slow Money National Gathering noted localist/environmental notables in attendance such as Wes Jackson (of the Land Institute), Mary Berry (of the Berry Center), and John Fullerton (of the Capital Institute), as well as Tasch.

Forget venture capital. The 21st century, Tasch asserts, will be the era of nurture (or patient) capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.

Since 2010, the Times also observed, Slow Money has helped to funnel $25 million into nearly 200 food enterprises, with 16 domestic chapters and one in France, six investment clubs and Gatheround, a new crowd-funding platform.

This is how local food can and should be financed. For a taste of Woody in person, here‘s a good YouTube video. That should drive you to buy his book, which is well written, entertaining and profound. Right down to the ground.


About the Author
A native Texan, Elias spent several good years studying classics and medieval Italian at UC Berkeley before wasting several more years in financial journalism around Chicago. He has written for Strong Towns, the American Scholar, the New Urbs blog, and the Gary Catholic Worker and is the co-author of a textbook on character education. He briefly published something called The Armchair Historian. None of his three teenage daughters display an interest in the Greek and Latin classics thus far. He and his family reside in leafy Valparaiso IN.