Fw: Slow Money Letter – February 2011

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2011年2月18日 星期五,Slow Money <info@slowmoney.org> 寫道﹕

寄件人: Slow Money <info@slowmoney.org>
主題: Slow Money Letter – February 2011
收件人: incubator.hou@gmail.com
日期: 2011年2月18日,星期五,下午10:15

Dear Houghton,

It seems like yesterday that 600 of us were sitting in the tent at Shelburne Farms. I’m starting this letter with two testimonials from that event, because they capture the spirit of all that we accomplished in 2010 and that which lies ahead in 2011:

Slow Money National Gathering, June 12-14, Shelburne Farms, VT

Slow Money National Gathering, June 12-14, Shelburne Farms, VT

“There was a moment when I looked around the tent to see the wonderful old codgers who have been farming in Vermont for generations, sitting with young environmentalists and food entrepreneurs and New York investment types, all nodding in agreement with Bill McKibben, who said, ‘The only way to heal our increasingly broken world and communities is to come back together, to play together, think together, plan and act together.’ Wow. Talk about being the change we seek. It was a profoundly hopeful moment.”   

   Brian Byrnes, President
   Santa Fe Community Foundation

“I’ve attended countless conferences and seminars over the years, but it was not until I was under the Slow Money tent at Shelburne Farms that I found the community of individuals with whom I can truly connect and actually get something done! It was all there: from macro to micro, from climate change to soil fertility, from venture investing to philanthropic investing. The quality of the attendees was remarkable. I’m already collaborating with one of them on investing in farmland near where I live.”

   Leslie Barclay, Angel Investor
   Round The Bend Farm

This energy translated into a remarkable level of investment activity. Since June, almost $4.2 million has been invested in 13 of the small food enterprises that presented in the tent at Shelburne Farms. By all accounts, this exceeded expectations and was a threshhold event for us as an organization and a movement.

We crossed many such thresholds in 2010. Ari Derfel joined us as our first Executive Director. Slow Money initiatives sprouted in several regions and local slow money investing began in Maine and North Carolina. National recognition continued to build: Rodale cited us as one of the top ten trends in organics and Entrepreneur.com cited us as one of the top five innovations in finance

Thanks to all of you, our 2011 agenda is full and promising:

  • Work continues apace on the launch of the Soil Trust and we are in discussions with major funders about seed funding. 
  • Two dozen local leaders convened for a two-day retreat in Berkeley in early February. Benefiting from the experience of our friends at Slow Food, BALLE, Transition US, and Social Venture Partners, and with the help of a grant from the Blackstone Institute, we are refining the strategy for local slow money initiatives around the country.
  • With help from Free Range Studios, producers of the much-heralded The Story of Stuff, we are developing a new communications program.
  • 240 of you contributed $25,600 in the last week of the year, in response to our specific request to fund work on website redesign and upgrade.

Response to our request for help with the website was a small part of a much larger process of engagement and support.  During 2010, our membership grew from 660 to over 1,700, including more than 200 Founding and Sustaining Members. We received more than $300,000 in contributions during the year.  Signatories to the Slow Money Principles grew from 2,900 to almost 13,000.

As I’ve traveled around the country, it has become abundantly clear that Slow Money holds particular promise for two reasons. First, it is bringing investment capital to the local and organic food movement. Second, in an era marked by disillusionment about Wall Street and Washington, Slow Money offers a sensible, tangible, direct alternative. What could make more sense than the idea of a million Americans investing 1% of their money in local food systems within a decade?  It makes so much sense that it gets called a movement and a revolution.

Sure, we’ve got a long way to go.  

But when I see the massive Gates-supported study Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century finding, “Earthworms average 19,000 / acre in Boone County, but 1,269,000 earthworms / acre were found on the Thompson farm,” I know we are going to get there.


Woody Tasch
Founder and Chairman

Investment Update
It all comes down to the people doing the work. Check out the showcased entrepreneurs that have already received financing.

Media Highlights
Slow Money continues to make headlines around the world. See a selection of the latest, including great articles on Slow Money in New Hampshire and in St. Louis, Missouri. In the last few months, Slow Money Northwest was featured on NPR, while Slow Money Maine was on the nightly news. We have selected a few highlights for you.

Regional Update
With local groups coalescing in the US and strong interest in Canada, our network is beginning to take shape. Slow Money groups are assessing their local food system needs and investigating investment opportunities. We brought members of these active groups together this month to discuss the growth and evolution of the organization.

Jobs in the Field
With new investment comes new opportunity. We wanted to share with you some of the job openings at Slow Money-aligned companies and a few other great places.

Upcoming Events
Come out and see us! St. Joseph, MN; Calgary, AB; Red Deer, AB; Boulder, CO; Long Island, NY; Victoria, BC; Portland, OR; Bellingham, WA; and Decorah, IA

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