Slow Money: Sustainable Investing

Goodlifer: Slow Money: Sustainable Investing

The speed at which stock exchanges and money markets move these days is astonishing; trillions of dollars are zipping around the world each day, faster than any of us can truly fathom. The big crash and subsequent economic downturn has not done much to slow things down — trading is still very much based on short-term thinking, with little regard to anything but financial yield. Responsible investing pioneer Woody Tasch thinks we should take a cue from the Slow Food movement, which was started in Italy by Carlo Petrini and has grown into powerful force in the global food justice movement. In his book Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered Tasch argues that we should invest in local small food enterprises and food systems in order to promote long-term economic growth. Keeping money local allows investors to experience first-hand the positive effects of their contributions. Access to a healthy food system, healthy land and a healthy local economy is imperative to financial restoration and development.

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? By asking questions like those, the founders of Slow Money are hoping to obtain one million signatories to the Slow Money Principles. Donate the amount of your choice (starting at $25), and become a member of the Slow Money Alliance. The Alliance’s Founding Members include many recognized leaders in organic food, sustainable agriculture, philanthropy and social investing.

Goodlifer: Slow Money

Tasch writes that “it would have taken an oracle of Delphic capabilities to have foreseen that as the whole planet geared up and heated up and sped up in the twentieth century, responding to the triple-threat explosions of population growth, technological innovation, and financial markets, the future would hinge in such significant measure on a very different triple threat: the small, the local, and the slow.”

The financial returns can not be compared with those of traditional investing, but investors know where their money goes and can personally track (and taste) its long-term yield. Says Tasch: “The real challenge for us as a culture is to steer meaningful amounts of philanthropy, venture capital and other forms of capital to support local food systems, small-scale, diverse — truly diverse — agriculture in this country.” That, my friends with money, is truly sustainable investing.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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