Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Slow Money, an Antidote to Wall Street?

This article by Beth Buczynski, about two topics near and dear to our hearts, was reposted from Insteading, where you can read the original.

The Occupy Wall Street movement turned one month old yesterday. Despite the exponential growth of this international protest, there are some who still say that the action is doomed because it doesn’t have a leader or a succinct list of demands.

Personally, I love the fact that #OWS has resisted pressure from the media and political critics, and allowed the movement to remain as inclusive as possible. What’s most important right now is that Occupy Wall Street participants continue spreading the word and the message of the 99% in all its forms. Over the weekend there were 1,500 protests in 82 countries, but the numbers need to be bigger–especially in the United States–if the Government and the 1% are going to start taking the movement seriously.

Assuming that protests continue growing both in size and number, there will come a time when they will take the movement seriously. And in that moment, Occupy Wall Street better be ready to clearly articulate what it wants–from the Man and from itself. I don’t presume to know what’s best for the thousands of disenfranchised people now sleeping in parks and plazas all around the country (or the millions that wish they could join them), but in researching principles of the Slow Money Movement, I found ideas that definitely overlap. Basically, the Slow Money Alliance is an organization for those who are tired of watching banks invest millions of tax-payer dollars into companies and politicians that work for profit rather than “We the People.” Sounds familiar, right? Slow Money focuses a lot on investing money into sustainable food systems and communities, which has become a common rallying cry in the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric lately. Here are some more Slow Money principles that I think might serve well as a framework for creating a workable, practical list of goals for Occupy Wall Street:
I. We must bring money back down to earth.  II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.  III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.  V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living. 
The best thing about incorporating Slow Money principles into the Occupy Wall Street list of demands is that it provides a way for those with disposable income to get involved and catalyze change. Occupy Wall Street is more inclusive than you might think, but other than carrying a sign that says “Tax Me” and donating to progressive causes, it can be hard for the upper classes to see how they can get involved. One of the main missions of Slow Money is connecting  slow food entrepreneurs and investors from across the country, as well as incubating intermediaries and investment products offer ways for investors to begin slowing their money down.

The Occupy Wall Street movement turned one month old yesterday. Despite the exponential growth of this international protest, there are some who still say that the action is doomed because it doesn’t have a leader or a succinct list of demands.

Earlier this month Slow Money fans from around the country met in San Francisco for the third annual National Gathering. Lindsey Block has compiled a great set of photos from the event over at Elephant Journal. Check them out!

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start.Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes developed […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By