On Wednesday 3 November, Woody Tasch held a conversation about slow food and slow money over a lovely organic lunch at the Hub. Founder of Slow Money and author of Inquires into the Nature of Slow Money, Woody challenged us to consider the relationship between slow food and slow money, “We have to change the way we do investing in the 21st century.” While the food system is different here from that in his home ground in the US, there are similar concerns about the unhealthy state of industrial food production and there are significant indicators that our current food production system is not working – and that is itself an indicator of our economic system not working. “Money and food… once you have an awareness that our system is based on extraction, we need to look at the fact that we seem to be betting on technology but we also need to be investing in the culture we want.”
Woody has decades of experience as a venture capitalist, foundation treasurer and entrepreneur. He encourages us to start bringing our money “back down to earth” by investing in local, fair and sustainable food systems. He shared practical examples of change happening through food entrepreneurs in the US, growing enterprises that are nourishing and sustainable at all levels of their operations. He called the emerging diversity of micro enterprises the “economic version of soil fertility”.
Attendees also shared their thoughts on what is necessary in terms of economic change and the creation of healthy food systems in the Netherlands. Responses included the belief that Dutch Slow Money initiatives ‘would strengthen the local food movement that’s there and add a much needed economic dimension’. Some ideas from the audience were ‘crowdfunding to build citizen awareness’ and ‘looking after the principles of family-based&financed companies’. Others suggested the importance of communicating the benefits of slow money/slow food to ‘more traditional thinkers in ways that are relevant to them’ and of ‘working closely with organizations that are focusing on other [non-food] elements of sustainable development to realize a true system transformation’.
And start now by supporting the Slow Money Principles
A big thank you to Hub Amsterdam members Frank van Beuningen and Margaret McGovern, partners at PYMWYMIC (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Company) and Founding Members of the Slow Money movement who made this lunch possible. This event was part of Woody’s 3-day discussion and study tour through the Netherlands with the theme Slow Money for Slow Food, hosted by PYMWYMIC. PYMWYMIC will continue to convene the discussion, amongst others at the European Social Capital Marketplace Conference (SOCAP Europe ), that they will organize in 2011. – if you are interested in being part of this conversation in The Netherlands, please drop PYMWYMIC a note!