Since the inaugural national event in 2009, Slow Money gatherings have emerged as a significant new driver for green investment and for social change. The events spotlight food entrepreneurs busy rebuilding local food systems, and renowned thought leaders in agriculture, investing, and philanthropy.
Slow Money is an organisation that’s all about bringing money back down to earth, quite literally, encouraging investors to opt out of Wall Street and invest instead in Main Street, with a particular focus on the sustainable food movement. For more info on what is more than an organisation, and quite literally a movement, please read more here. This week, their National Gathering took place in Louisville Kentucky, and we were there to witness this inspiring, unique event.
Last year, I had the great pleasure of being chosen as one of 25 entrepreneurs invited from across the country to present in their Entrepreneur Showcase, and ever since I have been active in the leadership of Slow Money LA. The next event is November 18th at HubLA in the Arts District, from 6:30-9 PM, if anyone would care to join, you can sign up here. This year, however, since I was not presenting, I was able to enjoy the presentations of some quite extraordinary people. Here are some photos and sound bites which I hope will distill at least a sense of the amazing event that it was.
Joel Salatin is possibly the nation’s most famous and revered grass farmer, featured in Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Inc. Top quote:
“I don’t call it the USDA, I call it the US-duh.”
With the “Lexicon of Sustainability”, Douglas Gayeton created the iconic images and films which define the terms of the food revolution. We love this project, and urge you to take a look! Favorite quotes:
“You can change our crappy food system with a word: what is the lexicon of sustainability?”
Wendell Berry is the poet of the food movement, and one of the most powerful voices in America.
“We have the world’s Grossest National Product. Neighborliness is not quantifiable. It’s a virtue.”
“The cheap food economy has been a disaster. We are required to solve this problem.”
“Shared risk is a fundamental concept in shifting from an economy of competition to a cooperative economy.”
“Where are you going to place your hope? That’s the question.”
Perhaps one of our favorite presenters, Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is director of Greenhorns, a grassroots organization working nationally, with the mission to recruit, promote and support the rising generation of new famers in America. Severine has spent the last seven years gathering, bundling and broadcasting the voices and vision of young agrarians in the movement to reform American agriculture.
“Young farmers are having to beg, borrow, and steal land to serve our communities!”
Dr. Shiva is one of the world’s most renowned environmentalists. Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental “hero” in 2003 and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade.
“We have an imperative to create a non-violent, compassionate system of farming.”
“In the soil is the solution. Hunger is linked to the chemical-intensive industrial design of the food system.”
“In every little seed is millions of years of evolution. You can’t patent life: bio-piracy should be a crime.”
“Through the seeds of freedom we will protect the earth.”