Invest in what matters

A quick survey: how much faith do you have in our economy? What about in your typical investment?

Well, it’s no surprise that you might be feeling a bit cynical about recent financial prospects. With all of the Madoffs, Lehman Brothers, and bonuses we’ve been hearing about, what is surprising is that people haven’t been protesting in the streets over this shabby standard of doing business! Fortunately, a few voices of dissent are steadily starting to shine a light onto what alternatives could look like.

One such voice, Woody Tasch, will be visiting Portland on Monday, March 16 to share his theory for how we can repair our economy by reconnecting it with community and the environment. A past chairman of the Investor’s Circle, Tasch is now the president and chairman of the Slow Money Alliance and the author of the new book, Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered. With how disconnected and intangible our investments have become, it only makes sense that something as real and essential as food could play a large role in correcting our economy.

Recently, Slow Food’s Jerusha Klemperer sat down with Tasch to interview him for Civil Eats. In their conversation, Tasch touched on his hope for a changing the way we look at investments:

Right now there is no such thing as celebratory investing; there’s no such thing as investors sharing the joy of building something together and celebrating community like Amish people building a barn. May of us are, in fact, building a new, restorative economy, one bit at a time but we don’t know how to celebrate the process.

Tasch believes that we need to change our expectations about businesses, and move away from the mindset that success depends upon expansion and domination. Rather, as he points out, more business owners need to adopt the model of companies like Cowgirl Creamery, which focus their energies on improving their impact on the environment and their community.

Because of his thinking, Tasch has certainly met with some sharp criticisms from the investment status quo – those people demanding quicker, higher-dollar returns. To many old-guard investors and venture capitalists, investing locally in small, agricultural operations with low rates of return is seen as risky and fool-hardy. In light of the economic woes we’ve seen over the past few months, the irony is pointed.

Learn more about Tasch’s investment philosophy from this interview with Public Radio’s “Living on Earth“:

Co-sponsored by Ecotrust Food & Farms, Slow Food Portland, and Powell’s Books.

Date: Monday, March 16th
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center, 721 NW Ninth Ave., second floor. Portland, OR
RSVP: RSVP to Laura Ford at lford@ecotrust.org

Thanks for sharing