June 05, 2014, by Peter Brewitt
All the infrastructure you read about here at Concrete Progress—solar panels, permeable pavement, food trucks—depends on another infrastructure: the flow of money through the nation’s financial system. The big banks and multinational corporations that make up so much of our economy are not the kind of subject I talk about here, but money doesn’t need to be controlled by giants. In Southern California, a part of the country renowned for flash and materialism, an organization called Slow Money is reimagining the economy in an effort to focus resources on local businesses, foods, and communities. This spring I got a chance to talk with Brent Collins, executive director of Slow Money SoCal. —Peter Brewitt
The concept of slow money can mean different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Here in California, Slow Money is a network of local chapters that hold gatherings intended to catalyze funding for an array of food-related businesses. Chapters also promote awareness of the importance of local, sustainable food systems, and act as a forum for connecting entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, philanthropists, and other stakeholders with each other.
More and more people are concerned with the problems caused by corporate agriculture and Wall Street, many of which are related to food, the economy, and the environment. Slow Money chapters provide a countervailing alternative; they serve as a hub for constructing homegrown solutions that make sense locally.